A HALTWHISTLE-BASED honey company has won a prestigious government accolade.

The Northumberland Honey Company has won the award as part of the DEFRA National Pollinator Strategy.

As part of a 10-year plan to help pollinating insects survive and thrive, the honey company has been recognised for its efforts in raising the value of the honey bee with the ‘Bees In Business’ award.

The county’s prestigious honey company has now incorporated the sweet and golden delight into a drink.

Penned as the North’s answer to champagne, the company brew’s sparkling mead using the traditional champagne method.

This particular method of brewing means rather than getting a strong, sweet, syrupy liquid, a more champagne-like, dry drink is achieved.

Owners Suzie and Luke Hutchinson are one of only two producers in the world carry out the rigorous production that takes from 18 months to two years for a single bottle.

The creation process sees bottles laid down for over a year, riddled (turned upside down and turned by hand every day), disgorged (necks frozen and the yeast forced out under pressure), corked and wired just like normal champagne.

The pair received their award at Kew Gardens.