A Hilltop Honey based Fighter Shot a day keeps the doctor away!
Fighter Shots are renowned for being a quick and healthy drink option that helps us thrive day to day in our increasingly busy lives. While alternatives are usually less healthy than claimed, Fighter Shot’s ginger, ginger and marine collagen, and ginger turmeric shots offer a rich composition of natural ingredients in high concentrations that boosts energy and vitality.
We caught up with Lowri Jones from Hilltop Honey for a Q&A. Hilltop Honey are our trusted supplier of pure honey, providing a delicious and naturally sweet base to our range of ginger shots (10-20% of our shots depending on flavour).
Q&A time with Hilltop Honey
1. What would you say are the major benefits of drinking Hilltop honey every day?
Honey is a natural product filled with antibacterial properties. A few winters ago GPs were recommending that instead of taking antibiotics, people first soothe coughs and boost immunity naturally with honey. Hilltop honey is such a versatile product that can added to almost any recipe for natural sweetening. We don’t add any artificial flavourings. It’s simply pure and natural honey.
This is a far healthier alternative to processed sugars that often appear in other juice drinks. We regularly promote the idea of replacing refined sugars with natural alternatives on our social and share bee-rilliant recipes to encourage our following to make the swap.
2. Please walk us through your honey-making process, from hives to the homes of customers
Our process also involves working with beekeepers across the UK, Europe and further afield to bring you exciting varieties of honey. Each individual honey is unique in its own way, from the colour right down to the aroma notes and flavour. The flavours within each honey are dependent on the plant species that the bees collect nectar from. We have a Bee Welfare policy in place to help protect the bees, which we expect beekeepers to comply with at all times.
We rely on our various local apiaries (collection of beehives), including the very first hive in Scott’s parents’ garden, to produce our Welsh Blossom Honey. The bees collect nectar from plant species native to the location and fill the supers (frames) within the hives. The frames are taken from the hives once full of honey. We never remove all of the frames from the hive, allowing the bees to feed on the honey left behind. When harvesting honey, the combs are de-capped and the frames placed into an extractor. The extractor spins at a high-speed and 'flings' the honey out, which drips to an outlet to be transferred into buckets. The buckets then head to Hilltop HQ to be jarred. Once jarred, they are ready to be sent on their way to homes all over the UK, for everyone to enjoy.
3. What is one of the most critical steps in your process?
One of the most critical steps is filtration. We only ever filter out debris, such as wax and solids. All the goodness of the honey remains. We have a super Technical Team who test every batch of honey we produce to confirm its authenticity and pollen count.
Filtration can often have negativity hanging over it; as some people believe that it filters out the goodness. This may be true for some honey businesses. However, here at Hilltop, this isn’t the case. Crystallisation, although frustrating, is a natural process of honey and if you notice your Hilltop Honey crystallising this is a definite way of being reassured that all the natural goodness is still present within the honey.
4. What makes Hilltop, Hilltop?
Hilltop was founded in 2011 by young beekeeper Scott Davies. Way back then and still to this today we’re buzzing to show the world that there’s more to honey. Our Founder, Scott, has become a very busy bee with the day-to-day running of Hilltop, so the role of Head Beekeeper has fallen to Scott’s father, Micky. Here at Hilltop, we know honey. It’s real honey packaged by real people; though we can’t take full credit for making the honey - that’s all down to the bees!
We truly pride ourselves on our small workforce who look at honey based on their personal knowledge gained throughout years. Our team is built up of local people. Many are family members, and we’re really proud of the community that we’re building here. Personally, I believe that without all our passionate teams coming together and working alongside each other, much like bees in a hive, the Hilltop honey and brand wouldn’t be what it is today.
5. How far and wide do you send your honey?
Honestly, Hilltop has a better passport than me! Hilltop Honey is most popular here in the UK. You can also find Hilltop Honey across the pond, in America. Hilltop Honey travels as far as China, Taiwan the Middle East, and South Africa. You can even find Hilltop Honey available on super yachts in the South of France.
6. Are the bees really disappearing?
Well, the short answer is no. Scientists and good beekeepers are working to keep colonies safe from Varroa mites and the effects of Nicotinamides that can influence Colony Collapse.
7. Do you have any other practises we should know about?
Our super Technical Team test every batch and have a cabinet full of honey varieties (that’s the dream!) that they are constantly reviewing – the colour, taste, cases of crystallisation – to ensure that we maintain our quality.
Our Supply Chain Team also works tremendously hard to source packaging in line with our sustainability credentials. For example, like Fighter Shots, all our glass jars are reusable or recyclable.
8: Could you tell us a little more about the Honeypot Charity?
Since 1996, the Honeypot Charity has been working to enhance the lives of young carers and vulnerable children aged 5 – 12 years old. They are the only charity in the UK to provide respite breaks and on-going outreach support throughout a child’s formative years. Honeypot gives young carers a break from demanding and stressful responsibilities at home and provides a safe, nurturing environment where children at risk can develop their full potential.
If you’d like to support this initiative, please adopt a bee or make a donation. Your support is much appreciated.