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April 16, 2015

The business of bees and beekeepers: Harvesting honey

Where to get the sweet treat in Philly

Small Business Honey
Honey Sonja Langford/

From fighting dandruff and allergies to treating coughs and cuts, honey has many health benefits.

Since the days of our early ancestors, honey has been creating a buzz for its seductive color, sweetness and many health benefits.

But did you know the stuff sold on supermarket shelves isn’t the same, or as good as, honey directly from the hive?

Don’t fancy flirting with bees to get to the sweet stuff? Befriend a (brave) beekeeper.

In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, a bee sits on the finger of founder and beekeeper Rob McFarland, who has kept a beehive filled with 25,000 bees on the roof of his Los Angeles house for the past three years. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)


According to the Philadelphia Bee Co., which provides residents with locally produced bee products, including honey, wax and pollen, the city is a sweet spot for honeybees with its large number of trees and urban gardens. 

We Bee Brothers also harvests and sells local honey, including spring honey, which is typically lighter in color than fall varieties. 

Keep a lookout for locust honey, the first springtime variety produced in Pennsylvania. It is made from the blossoms of the locust tree. 

"This sought-after pale amber honey carries a flavor reminiscent of the sweet locust blossom, often mistaken for honeysuckle," Pittsburgh Magazine said in a feature article on local honey.