From the April 7-13, 2013, American Profile Magazine "Tupelo Tradition" by Start Englert.
It was interesting to come across this article after I had written so much about tupelo honey earlier this year. You might say I have developed a craving to try some and that is exactly what I'll do next winter when we are down in the Florida panhandle. I can't find any offered around here (in Illinois).
Ben Lanier, 54, was standing in a swamp near Wewahitchka, Florida (pop. 1.981) and listening to the sound of thousands of honeybees feasting on the white tupelo blossoms in the trees. "Hear the bees. That's a tupelo roar. That's a pretty sound." You bet, and real good for the family coffers.
Lanier is a third-generation beekeeper. His family has harvested the tupelo honey in the Appalachicola River Basin since 1898 when his grandfather started the bee business with a $500 loan from a local farmer. Ben's father took over the business in 1953, and Ben did the same in 1991.
"I have bees in the same places my granddaddy did 100 years ago," says Ben. Beehives must be cleaned and readied each spring for the two-week tupelo tree bloom. And, I had always thought tupelo honet referred to a Van Morrison song.
More sweetness to Come. --RoadDog
95th Illinois, Pride of McHenry County
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