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Show me the honey

Satisfy your sweet tooth with local honey

Story By Daisy Dow

Whether it’s a staple from a secret family recipe or the perfect addition to your morning oatmeal, honey is the golden goo that makes life a little sweeter. Its presence on grocery store shelves might seem to lessen its glow, but every jar of honey reflects the journeys of tens of thousands of bees to thousands of flowers. In some sense, every drop of honey alludes to the land from which it came. Without the birds and the bees and flowers and the trees, there would be no honey at all to sweeten up your day. The product of a collaboration between a community of fuzzy insects and the beekeepers who sustain them, locally sourced honey can offer a whole new way of tasting the South. Be it petting zoos or family farms, the Lowcountry is a hotbed for honey-making. For a taste of local goodness, make like a bee and drop by local honey vendors for some un-bee-lievably good honey.

So much to buzz about

Wild Light Honey Second-generation beekeeper Alec Bruns sells Wild Light Honey from his hometown of Savannah. Committed to sustainable practices that honor the essential role bees play in the natural environment, Bruns appreciates bees not only for the products they make but also for their majesty as insects. Beyond selling unfiltered raw honey, Bruns also rehomes bees he removes from those not looking for their company. He also offers classes and beekeeping lessons to those who indicate an interest in learning the craft. Wild Light Honey is available for purchase at the Forsyth Farmer’s Market, the Hilton Head Farmers Market, the Farmers Market of Bluffton and at Nectar Farm Kitchen. Keen to get buzzed? Head to Burnt Church Distillery to try a few cocktails featuring Wild Light honey.

‘B’ for the bees, an ‘A’ for the honey

Capital Bee Honey You might know Savannah’s historic district for its iconic architecture, its neighborhood art galleries or the artisanal shops that line the streets. The queen bee of Savannah’s boutique scene is Capital Bee Company’s honey boutique on East Broughton Street. A combination tasting bar and gift shop, the boutique offers a chance to try some of the fifteen flavors of honey sold through Capital Bee Company. From blackberry to snowberry to tupelo to mesquite, there is a flavor of honey to fit anyone’s craving. Capital Bee prides itself on providing single varietal mono-floral honeys, meaning that each kind of honey is made by bees that find nectar from one particular kind of flower. For a taste of Capital Bee, go straight to the source to try before you buy at the honey boutique in Savannah. You also can purchase some Capital Bee honey products in Nectar Kitchen in Hilton Head or Bluffton.

Much to see, and so many bees!

Bee City Honey Over thirty years ago a passion for beekeeping and public education paved the way for one of the Lowcountry’s premier honeybee farms and zoo. Bee City Honey in Cottageville is a family-owned business that got its start through a genuine commitment to the practice of beekeeping. Today Bee City is a metropolis for pollinators and an educational destination for those interested in the how-to’s of beekeeping and seeing an operational hive. Additionally, Bee City boasts a unique petting zoo featuring wallabies, coatimundis, a tiger, miniature horses, pheasants and more. Bee City makes pure raw honey, meaning that it is neither strained nor heated, so all the original flavors and properties are preserved. The gift shop sells creamed honey, honey mustard, honey butter, beeswax lotion, lip balms, soaps, candles and even beeswax figurines. Bee City honey is sold in over 80 regional outlets and has made its way onto grocery store shelves in Harris Teeter and Publix. 

Good as gold

Edisto Gold Honey Also known as “liquid gold,” this raw, unfiltered honey is harvested from hives on the shores of the Edisto River. The hives and honeybees sit among the bushes of an organic blueberry farm in Branchville. Yes, it’s sweet and delicious, but what’s more, unpasteurized honey contains antioxidants and trace amounts of our favorite superfood, bee pollen. You can find it at Sea Eagle Market in Beaufort and Calhoun Street Gallery in Bluffton.

A sweeter way to start the day

Morning Glory Homestead What began as a family’s homestead on St. Helena Island has turned into a productive farm and educational tool for the community. Belinda and Tony Jones are active beekeepers and members of the Lowcountry Beekeeping Association. The expansion of their family farm created an opportunity for both of them to share the traditions, culture and foods of their Gullah heritage. Morning Glory Homestead offers youth camping programs, in-person and virtual school visits and tours of St. Helena Island that explore its history through the land and its produce. Their organic and sustainable agricultural practices make their produce packages an enticing addition to their jars of local raw honey. After a fresh harvest Morning Glory honey can be purchased at their online store or on-site at the farm. 

Sweet on you

Hilton Head Honey Since the early 1980s Hilton Head Honey has seeped into dishes, drinks and desserts all across Beaufort County. Its honey comes from a series of local hives that are maintained by dedicated beekeepers. With the recent passing of one of Hilton Head Honey’s beloved beekeepers, the brand now dedicates a portion of its proceeds to finding a cure to ALS. Like its label reads, Hilton Head Honey is made “by bees for local honey lovers.” Hilton Head Honey can be found in many SERG Group restaurants as well as in Burkes’s Main Street Pharmacy, Ulmer’s Pharmacy and in owner Jeanne Thomas’s family counseling office on Pennington Drive. 

Hot spots for honey

  • House of Honey (Hilton Head) 
  • Savannah Bee Company (Savannah) 
  • Lowcountry Produce (Hilton Head/Beaufort) 
  • Farmers Market of Bluffton 
  • Piggly Wiggly (Hilton Head) 
  • Nectar Farm Kitchen (Hilton Head/Bluffton) 
  • Bee-Town Mead & Cider (Bluffton) 
  • Coastal Discovery Museum (Hilton Head) 
  • Michael Anthony’s Market Cafe (Hilton Head) 
  • The Purple Cow (Hilton Head) 
  • The Herb Room Organic Apothecary (Hilton Head)