If you're a lover of avocados, blueberries, oranges, and even fresh cotton t-shirts, listen up! The humble bee plays an incredibly important role in fertilising the crops that allow these commodities to be grown, and make it to our tables (and wardrobes!). Bees are the world's biggest force of crop pollinators - it is thought that we rely on them for one third of the food we consume each day!

But our friend the bee is under threat! Some species of bee are approaching extinction. Increased pesticide use has driven their numbers down, as has a decline in the growth of pollen-rich plants and flowers. Since I live on a farm, the productivity of which is very dependent on bees, I am well aware of the importance attached to these tiny insects. So, in order to (hopefully!) convince you that saving the bees is a very worthy cause, I'm going to be sharing with you just a couple of things that we would lose if the bees were to die out. Firstly, there's a recipe for some mouthwatering honey and orange muffins, and to accompany them, some delicious honey and spring water drinks from the lovely people at Just Bee*.

Let's kick things off with a recipe! Here's how to whip up a batch of deliciously sticky honey and orange muffins!

You will need:
Plain flour (1 cup)
Baking powder (2 teaspoons)
1 egg
Orange juice (¼ cup)
Grated orange rind (1 teaspoon)
Honey (½ cup)

Step One: Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius, 170 degrees in a fan oven, or Gas Mark 5. Place your muffin cases inside the tray.
Step Two:
Sift flour and baking powder together and mix thoroughly. 

Step Three:
Using a grater or a similar tool, zest one orange. This should provide you with one teaspoon of rind. Then cut the orange open and extract the juice. Don't use orange juice from a carton for this - it won't taste right!

Step Four: 
Mix together the orange juice, the zest, the egg and the honey. Combine this with the flour and baking powder mixture.

Step Five:
Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon. This is essential as it will ensure that there is plenty of air in your muffins - this will help them rise in the oven as they bake.

Step Six:
Transfer the mixture into the muffin cases. I used a jug for this job as it helped to minimise any mess!

Step Seven:
Place the muffins into the oven and cook for around 12 minutes, until they are golden brown on top. To test if they are cooked, remove them from the oven and press the top of the muffin gently with your finger. If the muffin bounces back, it's cooked. If it doesn't, place it back in the oven for another couple of minutes.

Your muffins should look like the ones in the below picture once you pull them out of the oven!

Now that we've cooked up some sweet treats, it's time to think about what we're going to serve them with! I was lucky enough to receive some delicious drinks to sample from Just Bee, in three yummy flavours: Apple and Ginger, Blueberry, and finally, Lemon and Green Tea. Just Bee drinks are made from spring water, enriched with a single drop of honey. The flavours are subtle, light, and very refreshing. I selected the Apple and Ginger flavour to accompany my muffins. I enhanced the thirst-quenching qualities of the drink by making my own ice cubes using the Apple and Ginger honey water, and serving it with a slice of lemon. As well as being the perfect complement to my muffins, Just Bee drinks are low in calories, free from any artificial sweetners, and high in natural antioxidants - all thanks to the honey content.

By now, I hope you agree that saving the bees is an important cause -  not just because of all the delicious treats that bees provide, but because of their impact on global agriculture as a whole. 

But what can you do to save the bees? Just Bee drinks can help! They can provide you with some FREE wildflower seeds so that you can plant some bee-friendly flowers in your garden, providing our buzzy friends with a vital habitat! Get a free pack of seeds sent out to you by filling out this simple form.

Are you a friend to the bees? Have you tried Just Bee drinks? Drop a comment below and let me know!

Until next time,

A x

*This post contains samples that were sent to me for review.