AN ARTISAN beekeeping business based in Hampshire has reached the final of a national competition.

Honey Bee Happy is one of the five businesses across the UK to reach the final of the Countryside Alliance Awards, from a total of 17,000 nominees.

Business director and beekeeper Rachel Annette told the Chronicle: “I have been a beekeeper since I was little and I’ve always been into wildlife and conservation; it’s always something that is natural to me and I’m so passionate about bees and wildlife.

Hampshire Chronicle: Rachel AnnetteRachel Annette (Image: Honey Bee Happy)

READ MORE: Local food, drink and craft producers meet to network and celebrate kitchen business

“I started this business, going from a beekeeper to a bee farm, about 10 years ago and everything we do is all about the bees, wildlife and conservation.

“I wouldn’t say I was shocked to be nominated, but apparently it was quite a few people who nominated me; I still don’t know who they are!

“I’m really honoured that I’ve got through to the finals. When I first read it, I wasn’t too sure what was going on!”

Rachel wanted to thank the Honey Bee Happy team for all the work they do, saying: “I like to do everything the right way, and I have lots of volunteers and helpers and they are always really good at what they do.

“I also want to thank those who nominated me, for their passion towards bees and wildlife. Thank you to everyone passionate towards conserving bees. Without them, we still wouldn’t be here.”

SEE ALSO: Heartbroken Hill Farm Juice owner speaks for first time after confirming closure

Hampshire Chronicle: A beekeeping experience dayA beekeeping experience day (Image: Honey Bee Happy)

Based at Cheriton, Honey Bee Happy has 200 hives across Hampshire. The business sells excess honey produced by the hives, and also offers beekeeping experiences.

Rachel continued: “Most of what we enjoy doing is the experiences, teaching beekeepers from beginners to advanced.

“I also love going to give talks, whether it is at schools or WI or the horticultural society, it’s about sharing a passion about what people can do to support the bees.”

To vote for Honey Bee Happy in the Countryside Alliance Awards, visit