We are Vince and Sue Bray, your local Kentish Bee Keepers!
We pride ourselves on selling our pure honey, direct from our own hives to you. Our apiaries are located in Ditton, Coxheath, Headcorn, Staplehurst and our new site in Marden, so we are very local to the Maidstone area.
We are pleased to be part of the Bee Farmers Association.
As well as jars of delicious honey we also sell beeswax candles, polish, honey soap, beeswax lip balm, honeybee gift items and gift hampers.
We also make our very own beeswax re-usable food wraps. Help save the planet by not using cling film or foil.
Vince has always had an interest in honey bees and in 2012, for a birthday gift I bought him a bee keeping course. Little did we know then how it would change our lives! He then informed me that he had ordered me a bee suit too because “he needed an assistant” We started off with 2 hives in our garden and giving all our spare jars of honey to friends and family.
I came home from work, one day in 2015, and Vince excitedly told me that he’d booked us into a local Farmers Market the following month. So we had to suddenly buy “proper” labels for our honey jars, a gazebo and tables. The market manger advised us to have a Facebook and Twitter account and all of a sudden Bray’s Bees was born. We soon realised we would need more hives and more bees due to the overwhelming interest that our honey had caused.
Luckily, doing farmers markets, we got to know various farmers/landowners who were keen for us to place hives on their land thus meaning we could take on more markets and events. Our methods of bee keeping are quite natural, the bees often know more about what they’re doing than humans do! We keep our inspections of the hives to a minimum (except in the swarmy season, where they maybe planning to clear off!) and we do not use any chemicals to treat our bees. The bees have enough to cope with pesticides or weed killers that people still insist on using and the lack of wild meadows due to building works.
We also harvest our honey in a different way to some bee keepers. Each hive we harvest, we jar up separately so this results in different colours and tastes depending on the forage the bees have been on. We then realised we could utilise the wax and honey in various ways, candles, soap, lip balms, polishes and more recently, our totally reusable beeswax food wraps. What better way to use a natural product to try and rid the man made product that’s killing our planet…single use plastic clingfilm.
We are passionate about our bees and our the products that we make, along with the help of the bees.
Watch now on BBC iPlayer!