Orange Blossom, Blooms In March Florida has roughly 550,000 acres of oranges and other citrus, most of it grouped in central to south Florida. Most varieties of citrus are self-pollinating, but the addition of honeybees does not hurt. This creates a nice partnership between the orange growers and the beekeepers. The growers want the highest possible production in their groves, whereas the beekeepers want an early spring crop to build up strong hives for the upcoming pollination season. The resulting Orange Blossom Honey has a light, citrus aftertaste that varies somewhat according to the variety of orange grown. In addition, Orange Blossom Honey tastes so much sweeter than other honeys (and cane sugar), that you don't need much of it to sweeten your teas and other treats!
Palmetto, Blooms In April & May Is a bi-product from the production of saw palmetto berries that is coveted for its extract containing from 85% to 98% fatty acids and sterols and used as an herbal support for prostate enlargement worldwide. The saw palmetto plant, (Serenoa repens), is a miniature palm with a lazy trunk and stems that sport an array of opposing saw teeth from the truck to the fronds (leaves). The small palm trunk may be 3 or 4 feet long and laying flat on the ground with the palm head turned upright and the palm fronds rising four to five feet in the air. The saw palmetto produces fruit once a year, about the size the size of an olive and also has a pit (seed) inside. The saw palmetto fruit are handpicked, dried into a powder, then converted into a liquid for encapsulation. The honey bee starts this process by pollinating the saw palmetto blossom. Saw palmetto honey is produced, from the miniature palm, profusely during the bloom season. This saw palmetto honey is a Gourmet Honey that is seldom tasted outside the borders of Florida. Real estate development, drainage, fires and encroachment of man has begun to shrink the borders of this one time rampant growing plant that greeted Ponce de Leon hundreds of years ago. Native Florida Crackers smiled at the tourist for years as they sold them orange blossom honey and kept the true jewel, saw palmetto honey for themselves. This gourmet delight is on the “threatened” list and may one day soon be a fond memory when the last supply of Florida indigenous saw palmettos have been bulldozered into a pile and burned. The last gasp of hope for saw palmetto honey is the saw palmetto berry which hand pickers are paid over $5.00 a pound and land owners now guard their supply of berries with guard dogs and shotguns. Saw palmetto honey is one of the honey greats that will change your mind about buying blended honey from the store shelf. With the international honeybee plight, saw palmetto honey will be in short supply. Support your local beekeeper, his bees will pollinate up to 40% of the food you will eat next year! We need more bees, more beekeepers to preserve our food source!
Brazilian "Sweet" Pepper, Blooms In Sept. & Oct. Is a popular honey in Florida. You would expect a spicy honey from the name, but Brazilian Pepper is a Holly bush very similar to Gallberry and Florida Holly. It is a sweet flavorful honey with a very subtle spicy aftertaste. Our Brazilian Pepper honey comes from our Cocoa location. Around late August to September each year the brazilian pepper flowers bloom and the bees get to work. Since they all bloom at the same time, we can find isolated areas of brazilian pepper bushes. Bees travel up to 3 miles from the hive. By placing the hives in the middle of brazilian pepper bushes, we create a great brazilian pepper honey.