Massive honeybees deaths affect area keepers. For the story, click here.
Despite the hardships posed by colony collapse disorder, many Northeast Georgia beekeepers are thriving.
Baldwin-based Jarrett Apiaries was recently declared the best tasting honey in the state at the Georgia Beekeeper’s Association State Honey Fair in Buford on Sept. 20 and 21.
“We had to miss part of the day. So we had no clue when we showed up to the award ceremony,” company owner and beekeeper Slade Jarrett said. “The judge said he tasted some of the best Sourwood honey he’s ever tasted. It was awesome. I was about to tears.”
Sourwood honey is a premium type made when bees collect pollen from the Sourwood tree, which is fairly common in North Georgia. The presence of the tree makes the area ideal for the manufacture of high-quality honey.
This year’s Sourwood crop was threatened by Georgia’s abnormally wet summer, which washes away pollen. Jarrett’s crop this year was only 10 percent of last year’s quantity.
Despite this, it won the fair’s coveted “black jar” category, which is based strictly on taste and not on color or clarity like other categories.
Additionally, Clarkesville’s MtnHoney won its third award for “world’s best honey” at the World Beekeeping Awards in Kiev, Ukraine, in October.
Virginia Webb, who operates the business with her husband Carl, is a past president of the Georgia Beekeeper’s Association, a member of the Board of Directors for the American Beekeepers Federation and is the only person in America to hold three master beekeeper certifications.