This is a rare harvest; once every five years or so we have the right combination of warmth, humidity and windless days whilst the hawthorn is in flower for the bees to produce this special honey. The last years were in 2014 and 2018 but the warm May in 2020 has resulted in a good crop. Honey from hawthorn is of very high quality and has a dense, highly viscous consistency. In Cheshire the Mayflowers appear just as the last of the oilseed rape blossom is finishing whose nectar can cause this honey to crystallise fairly quickly, lightening the colour.
The honey has a delicate, light, sweet-floral aroma and a rich taste profile, reminiscent of the nectar of the flowers, but with a nutty aftertaste, suggestive of almond. The nutty aftertaste is said to be a result of the presence of propolis, which is used to seal off beehives and their honey.
In addition to its exquisite flavour, it has well documented antiseptic and antioxidant properties, soothing and energizing effects as well as cardiovascular benefits.