The 2013 Honey Season

The 2013 honey season harvests are over and the results are mixed. The good news is that we have plenty of honey. The bad news is that supply and demand pushed up prices for some of the honey varieties we sell. Here is the scoop:
 
We secured a bumper crop of Florida wildflower honey that was harvested by a beekeeper in Bristol. The crop this year is lighter in color as compared to 2012, and it has a very nice floral flavor. This is probably our best honey for those of you taking raw honey for seasonal allergies. It is chock full of pollens from at least 12 different trees, bushes, flowers and grasses that grow in our area of the Florida panhandle. This honey was delivered to us in early May.
 
Orange blossom honey took a hit this year. The weather in south-central Florida was not very cooperative.  Some cool days and ever cooler nights kept the bees hive-bound for parts of the nectar flow. Lower yields from beekeepers translated into higher prices. On average, prices were up about 15% as compared to 2012. The good news is that we did manage to secure a good amount of fine orange blossom honey from a beekeeper who resides near Gainesville. He delivered it to us in mid-May. The honey he produced is rich, thick and creamy. We are very pleased with the flavor and quality of this honey. 
 
The 2013 tupelo season was not what we had hoped for. A very wet and cool spring had produced some near perfect conditions for a bumper crop. The tupelo trees were strong and healthy, and beekeepers were whispering that this might be the big year. But when the tupelo tree blossoms came out in late April, the weather was fickle. We had some cool nights, mixed with some daytime rain, which caused the bees to start and stop several times. Although the blossoms lasted nearly 3 weeks, the nectar flow was not consistent.  At first, it looked like the season would be a complete disaster, but our beekeeper partners managed to salvage the season with an okay harvest. The good news is that the flavor of the 2013 crop is very good. It is definitely better tasting than 2012. The bad news is that tupelo honey prices jumped 25% on the lower than expected yields.  We were able to secure a good amount of tupelo honey in May and early June, and we should have enough tupelo honey to last until the 2014 crop, unless sales explode on us.
 
The last honey we took into our warehouse in late July was some gallberry.  We did buy several drums of some excellent tasting gallberry honey from a local beekeeper in Gulf County. Our beekeeper friend from Gainesville that produced our orange blossom honey also made some very fine gallberry down in his part of Florida, and we have purchased a good number of drums from him. We will continue to sell this honey under the name of "Holly Honey" because it sounds better and is easier to fit on our labels. . .
 
Please send us an e-mail if you have any questions or would like more information about our honey varieties: smileytupelo@gmail.com
 
 
 Bees on Bee Boxes Bees clustering on the outside of a hive after the honey has been harvested. 

Inside view of Bee Box Inside view of a honey super full of Tupelo Honey just before the bees cap it off. 

Men working tupelo honey bees Men working the hives (also known as "robbing the bees").


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