The UK’s first ever ‘bee therapy’ experience is set to open at Perthshire this summer.
A specially designed wooden triangular structure, known as an ‘apipod’ has been installed at award-winning Monachyle Mhor, a boutique hotel near Balquhidder.
Six beehives housing a total of 60,000 honey bees have been placed in compartments underneath the pod, which is situated in a wooded glade at Monachyle Mhor. The bees come and go freely through their own special entrance.
A metal mesh between the walls and the hives ensures only sounds and smells infuse the interior, but the bees are contained, so there is no risk of bee stings to visitors.
Sustainable bee-based therapy, known as apitherapy, is a fast-growing trend in Eastern Europe. Crieff-based business woman, Charlotte Blackler, who is introducing it to Scotland, recently visited apitherapy centres in Slovenia, and decided she wanted to bring it home to Scotland.
Charlotte, who runs a company called Herb Majesty, selling free-range turkey, pork, lamb and chicken raised and grazed on wild herbal pastures, is convinced the therapy will fly in Scotland. She also founded Mena-pause.com , a food company that makes Mena bread, and a Mena snack bar that harnesses the power of nature to create a healthy and nutritious range of menopause-friendly food.
Charlotte says: “It really is the most relaxing experience – and it’s so good for you. Guests can relax or fall asleep on two sheepskin-covered beds inside the apipod which are situated directly above the hives.“
“You de-stress listening to the sounds of the bees going about their daily life, surrounded by the aromas of honey, propolis, nectar and pollen. The vibrations caused by bees’ wings also have a positive energising effect which calms and relaxes.”
She explains: “Monachyle Mhor is the perfect place to get back in touch with nature. I work closely with the Lewis family, who own Monachyle Mhor raising milk-fed Mangalica cross pigs in the woodlands here, so we already have a good working relationship. So I knew it would be something which they would love.”
Tom Lewis, chef patron says, “We absolutely love the idea of working in harmony with the bees to create this unique experience. It has been a really tough few years for the hospitality, but we always do things differently at Mhor. The apipod fits with what we already do here, which is to provide our guests with great food, warm hospitality and unforgettable memories. ”
The Apipod will be open for bookings in June, offering well-being sessions in the apipod and summer workshops with natural practitioners are also being planned.
Charlotte says, “Why not spend the day immersed in nature, wild swimming, hiking and relaxing over lunch before being lulled to sleep by the gentle vibration of thousands of tiny wing beats enveloped in the heavenly scent of warm honey from the hives beneath you?”
Its arrival has already created a buzz, with a top celebrity filming a BBC tv show at Monachlye Mhor which should air in July.
Pod well-being sessions:
Price £80 single use £120 for 2 people each 45 min session includes a guest refreshment hamper of fresh lemon balm tea, picked from the kitchen garden, raw honey on our unique Mena bread, and a Mena snack bar for optimal natural nutrition.
Charlotte’s long-term plan hopes to offer Bed & Bees overnight stays, offering visitors the chance to spend a night in the company of honey bees.