Our honey is pure, all natural, raw and unfiltered from hives located in the Charleston and Lowcountry areas of South Carolina where we work with local beekeepers to bring some of this local liquid gold to you. The hives produce a multi-floral, non-varietal classified as wildflower honey. This means the bees visit a variety of local flowers and trees that are available in the surrounding area. This provides us with a unique type of honey which varies due to the time of year and what flowers the bees are visiting.
Prior to the colonists arrival to Charlestowne (now known as Charleston) in 1670, there were no honey bees (Apis Mellifera) in the Lowcountry. However there were other pollinators including the more than 46 species of Bumble Bee, birds, butter flies and other insects in North America. Honey bees were imported from Europe to produce honey, wax and propolis. During this time, honey bees were kept in log hives or woven grass baskets called skeps. In order to harvest honey and wax, the hives had to be destroyed along with the bees.
Beekeeping and honey harvesting was revolutionized in the mid 19th century. In the 1840's, Reverend L.L. Langstroth began experimenting with what is now considered one of the more modern hive designs with frames and boxes. The Langstroth hives were easier to manage, could be added to and it did not require killing of the bees to harvest the honey. Honey was primarily sold in the form of comb at this time. In about 1879, Charles Muth invented a honey extractor and started bottling honey for his grocery store. The Muth designed bottle is recognized as the first commercially available honey jar in a large scale for consumers. Our 8 oz Vintage Honey bottle is of this pattern and sealed with cork and beeswax.
The Lowcountry has been continuously farmed since the 1670's and continues to be a large producer of produce including tomatoes, okra, blueberries, peaches, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. Many of these crops require or are greatly enhanced by the pollination from honeybees.
There are several kinds of honey bees popular with beekeepers in the United States. Most of the bees kept in South Carolina by hobbyists or commercial beekeeping are of the Italian or Carinolian type. Both of these tend to be gentler to handle, increase their numbers quickly during nectar flow and do well in the southern climate.
A hive contains three types of bees to make up the colony. The first is the queen which lays the eggs and creates more bees to sustain and grow the hive. There is only one queen in the hive and she can be identified by a long enlarged torso. The queen is sometimes marked by beekeepers with a colored dot on her back. Next is the worker bee which is female also. The worker does all of the work in the hive including building the comb, raising new bees, collecting pollen and nectar to make honey. The drone is the third type and the only male bees in the hive. The only role of the drone is to mate with queen bees.
Bees coming and going from the hive to collect nectar, pollen and water.
The bees will build out the wax comb and fill up the cells with honey.
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