One of the most anticipated times of the year at the farm is the arrival of the White Tupelo bloom. As the Tupelo bloom approaches, we harvest our spring honey and move our hives to locations that have the highest concentration of White Tupelo trees. This allows us to produce the purest Tupelo honey possible. When it comes to honey enthusiasts, the purer, the better as it brings out the unique and pleasing qualities that make Tupelo honey a favorite the world over.
Tupelo Trees in Bloom
Once the White Tupelo trees begin to bloom, we have a short span of just two to three weeks to produce the long-awaited Tupelo honey.
The bee yards for Tupelo honey lie on and around the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers. When blossom time begins, we move over a thousand hives to the new locations. We do this at night while the bees are all home and tend to stay in or on the hive rather than flying as they do in daylight hours.
The move is a big production, requiring several flatbed trucks and forklifts. We are pulling the spring honey during the day and then by dusk, our focus changes to loading the hives to move as it gets dark. We often don’t get home until the early hours of the morning, and sometimes just as the sun rises. We catch a quick rest, then our day starts all over again.
This process takes us about a week. It is very important to get the hives in place to take advantage of the time that the trees are in bloom and the nectar is being produced. The timing can be a bit tricky as we are also trying to produce as much honey from the spring blooms before Tupelo begins as well, so it is a balancing act to be as efficient as possible.
As the Tupelo bloom begins, we are also worrying about the weather. The heat was a problem this year, drying up blooms quickly. Another weather issue can be thunderstorms; a single one can take out all the blossoms and end the honey flow. Another big concern with rainfall is flooding. We have to monitor the river and the storms to the north of us and react quickly if the river rises too high. When that happens it is chaos as we try to pull hives out of the flooding areas before they get destroyed. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen every year, and this was a relatively uneventful Tupelo bloom as far as flooding is concerned.
The Tupelo Honey Flow
You can actually smell the nectar when you walk into the bee yard, and the sound of the bees over the river is an incredibly loud almost thundering hum as thousands upon thousands of bees frantically collect this sweet bounty. It is truly an amazing thing to experience.
We were extremely pleased with the quality of the Tupelo honey this year, though the quantity was much less than last year. A combination of the heat during the flow, which dries up the nectar in the blooms during most of the day, and the damage to the Tupelo trees from Hurricane Michael are the likely culprits causing the reduced quantity.
As the Tupelo bloom approaches, we monitor the trees every couple of days to see when the blooms are opening up. We then have to monitor the hive to see the amount of activity and taste the nectar to ensure that the flow has begun. The busier the bees, the more likely it is the bees have found the blooms and have started to collect the nectar.
By monitoring the bees, we can also determine where we stand from a quality and production standpoint. It’s taken us years to get to recognize all the signs between the trees and the bees. As things wind down, it then becomes all about when to pull the Tupelo honey. To get the purest Tupelo honey, we have to make the most of the flow before other plants begin to bloom nearby.
Try Our Unique Tupelo Honey Today!
With all our hard work, we are happy to report that the quality of honey is exceptional this year. You won’t want to miss out on this rare and delicious honey with its pear-like fragrance, delicate green hue, and burst of uniquely sweet flavor. Buy your Tupelo honey now and fall in love with the best honey in the world!