Destin beekeeper abuzz as honey harvest ends

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
Family and friends of Destin beekeeper Ken Holman of Bone Brow Honey, sold their stock at the Community Center yard sale. Pictured from left, 6-year-old Jacob Stepp, Scott McKinney, 9-year-old Nathan Stepp, 13-year-old Grace Hardiman, 13-year-old Elizabeth Stepp and Robin Holman.

The Destin honey harvest is in and it was a good year, according to one local beekeeper.

Florida's peninsula is known for producing a wide variety of sought-after products, including a large selection of fresh seafood and citrus.

A lesser known but equally quality product produced in the Sunshine State often hails from our very own backyard — honey.

Ken Holman is the beekeeper and owner of the Destin-based business, Bone Brow Honey.

Operating from a location off of Mountain Drive, Holman has been in the business of bees for about two years.

"I was on a plane, reading an article in a newspaper about beekeeping and honey, it seemed like something I could do," said Holman. "I was semi-retired any way so I needed something to do."

Holman is one of only a handful of residents along the Emerald Coast who risks daily stings to harvest honey. "Each hive contains somewhere around 50,000 to 75,000 bees and I have 20 hives," said Holman.

Holman told The Log that weather is a huge factor when raising bees, "Depending on the weather of any given year, rainfall and temperature especially, you can usually harvest honey from your hives once or twice a year."

Holman finished harvesting the last drops of honey from his hives for the year by Thursday evening.

He estimates they produced somewhere around 100 to 150 gallons of pure Florida honey this harvest.

The next step in the beekeeper’s busy bonnet is moving and "winterizing" his bees for the upcoming coldest months ahead.

Holman said if you don't move the bees during the winter and maintain the hives temperature and food supply, feeding them with sugar water, they will actually begin to eat the honey.

Finishing the harvest before the holiday season is beneficial for Holman because local honey is not only a great gift to give and receive, but honey is also a staple in many holiday dishes.

Bone Brow Honey is available in a number of different sizes — choose from pint, quart, half-gallon or gallon.

Holman ships his honey anywhere in the country, and it’s available for purchase and pickup by calling 259-1561.

For more information find them on Facebook at Bone Brow Honey.