Florida Tupelo honey is one of the rarest honeys in the world. Featuring an exquisite buttery flavor and light color, honey from the tupelo tree is sought after by honey aficionados the world over. It even inspired a song from the legendary Van Morrison.
At Sleeping Bear Farms, we take our bees on a little vacation to the panhandle of Florida each winter to chase the tupelo flowers. The result is the liquid gold we sell here – 100% raw, lab-certified authentic tupelo honey. Learn more about this legendary honey with us here.
Where to Find Tupelo Honey
Tupelo trees thrive along the rivers and creeks of the Florida panhandle and have delicate fragrant blossoms that can produce wonderful honey crops.
The Florida Tupelo flower is very delicate and blooms for only a very short time every year. Our beekeepers go through great lengths to keep our Florida tupelo honey pure by taking all the honey boxes off the hives, and putting on clean empty beewax combs right as the first tupelo flowers bloom. After about two weeks of bloom, we go out and take the honey boxes off the hives and spin it out to get the rare tupelo honey.
The Tupelo blossoms have very delicate little pistols that secrete the nectar. A strong wind or hard rain can rip the blossoms from the trees. The blooming period generally starts about the 20th of April every year and lasts about 3 weeks.
The honeybees are very eager to visit the blossoms, as the nectar can be quite abundant in good years.
Tupelo trees thrive in the river and creek bottoms where it is very wet.
The best Tupelo honey producing region in the world is the Florida panhandle along the Appalachicola, Chipola, and Choctahatchie River systems of creeks and backwaters.
Tupelo Honey Properties
Real Tupelo honey is a light golden amber color with a greenish cast. The flavor is quite delicious, buttery and distinctive; a choice honey. Good tupelo, unmixed with other honeys, will not granulate.
Some diabetic patients have been permitted by their physicians to eat Tupelo honey.
Our crop this year is lab certified Tupelo honey.
Average analysis: fructose 44.03% glucose 29.97%.
To make the best Tupelo honey, the beekeeper has to remove any honeycombs of honey off the hives from other nectar sources such as highbush Gallberry or Ti Ti. Then the beekeeper must place on new boxes of empty combs so the incoming nectar will be kept separate from other honeys.
We spin out all the honey collected in Florida with this stainless steel automatic honey extracting line made by Cowen manufacturing. All the honey is stored in 55 gallon drums until it is put into bottles.
We have a bee farm in the Vernon, Florida area where we send the bees to be distributed throughout the Florida panhandle every winter.
Our skilled beekeepers start to prepare the honeybees on the winter solstice by giving them supplemental feed and pollen patties to stimulate the queen bees to start raising young bees(brood) to build up large colonies to make new hives for making Tupelo.
We raise our own queen bees from special breeding stock picked for desirable characteristics such as prolific nectar gathering, gentleness, and disease resistance.