Afternoon Tea with Beeble
Beeble is an artisanal, honey-based whiskey brand, founded by amateur beekeeper Nicola Arkell and her family. Originally started as a waste saving solution, Beeble has gone from strength to strength, creating a real buzz in the whiskey industry! Nicola and her team are now responsible for over 8 million bees throughout Wiltshire, an amazing number at a time when the honeybee is in decline. For more on Nicola’s story, check out our interview below and if you fancy sampling some for yourself head over to the Beeble website to shop the range.
What attracted you to beekeeping in the first place?
My husband was given a beehive by his friend Tanya, as a surprise. He was a little overwhelmed by the prospect, but I was intrigued! So, I went on a course and trained to become a beekeeper. I totally loved the experience and haven’t looked back since, Tanya still remains a great friend and of course one of Beeble’s first customers!
How did this grow into Beeble?
I noticed that so much honey was wasted whilst harvesting - bearing in mind that a bee only makes half a teaspoon of honey in it’s lifetime, I thought there must be a better way! I put the sticky honey frames into a cauldron of whisky, left them for a month, filtered out all of the bad bits and it tasted great! From there Beeble was born. Taba, my daughter, designed the label – so it was a family affair, all dreamed up from my kitchen in Wiltshire…
What have you found the best part of starting a brand?
I have loved being part of a team. I was an art lecturer/teacher, and artist before and it has been a great new experience to work with other creative folk. We work really well together and the Beeble team still makes all of our decisions unanimously — which I’m really proud of!
What has been more challenging?
I think as you work in part of a bigger team, and you’re building a brand, you have to learn to be patient about how long ideas and plans take to materialise! I am quite impatient and this pandemic has meant one has to be super patient as all imports and processes have been so delayed, so that’s been a challenge.
What advice would you give to others?
I think there is so much truth in the fact that if you have a dream, you shouldn’t just sit there, we are all so much more capable than we realise. Have courage and seize the adventure! Success often comes from believing that you can succeed and doing everything possible to make it a reality, and Beeble is proof of that!
What can we expect to see from Beeble in the next few years?
I’m really excited about some new products that we have in the pipeline. Over the next few months we will be launching a Honey Vodka, and a Honey Rum. We are also launching our first non-alcoholic liquor, which I am really proud of - Beeble Garden. It has a soft gingery punch to it, and is completely delicious!
Our shoes are designed for adventure - where would you go if you could go anywhere or do anything?
I think my adventure would, of course, be beekeeping focused! Beeble are hoping to build a beekeeping school in Wiltshire and so I would love to launch that and get it up and running! The mission is to give more people the chance to learn more about bees and how to keep them in a sustainable way.
The bee population in the U.K is under threat and this would have a serious impact on our wildlife and our ecosystem as a whole. 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination, so we need the bees as much as they need us…
Please find out more about Beeble at www.beeble.buzz
Check out Nicola’s top Penelope Chilvers picks below!