The Sadler family has been in the sweet industry of beekeeping for the better part of 40 years. Speaking with owners, mother and son, Tammy and Clay Sadler about the family business, their love for every part of their job showed in their passion and knowledge about the beekeeping and honey industry.
Clay’s grandfather started beekeeping as a hobby, eventually involving his son. When Clay’s grandfather passed away, his father began keeping bees full-time. “Now, between the whole family collectively, we have over 2,000 hives of bees,” said Clay.
About 5 years ago, the Sadler’s started packaging their own honey. Previously, their honey crop was being wholesaled. Now, they have Bee-Haven Raw Honey in over 50 retail locations, including their shop in Lakeland which they opened around 7 months ago.
At their brick and mortar, you can pick up Bee-Haven 100% pure Florida honey and merch along with other lines of Naked Bee products, a skin care line made with honey, beeswax, and all natural products based out of Tennessee.
For the want-to-be beekeeper, Bee-Haven carries a full arsenal of beekeeping supplies. In fact, if you’d like to have a hive of your own, you can contact them to be put on a list to receive a starter hive out of their stock of bees during Spring and Fall. “Bee Keeping is a pretty popular hobby now, especially in Florida. It’s one of the biggest states in beekeeping,” commented Clay. According to the Sadler’s you can have a beehive anywhere in Florida as long it doesn’t conflict with your HOA and it is registered with the state.
Clay explained the Bee-Haven process of beekeeping and extracting honey, “We move our hives around the state to get different crops of honey.” They harvest 3 times a year. Afterward, “We bring the full boxes of honey home and we’ll go through a process called extracting where you basically run the honey out of the frames.” Then, they render the wax and strain the honey. From there, the finished product goes into a bottle, is labeled, and ready to be drizzled over a piping hot biscuit.
What is their most popular honey? “We have one that we call our allergy blend and we take all the honey that our bees make throughout the year and we blend them together. There are 15 different types of honey in it from throughout the state,” remarked Clay. This best seller has a fantastic flavor amongst its other benefits.
“When you consume raw honey, it still contains trace amounts of plant and tree pollens. You want to eat [honey] that’s regionally local to your area so that you’re consuming those pollens regularly and it helps your body build a natural immunity and antibodies to those pollens,” explained Tammy. Their allergy blend covers every season and the regional areas of Central and North Florida. “It takes the seasonal and regional guesswork out of what honey you need to eat this time of the year. Even if you’re eating honey that’s regionally local, it also needs to match you seasonally to help with an allergy problem,” said the owner.
Besides satiating your sweet tooth and helping you avoid the sniffles, “Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory, it’s an anti-microbial product,” said Tammy. She continued, “Bacteria does not grow in honey. Honey is a natural humectant for the skin–draws moisture and holds moisture in the skin. It’s a naturally slower processing sugar than refined sugar so it’s actually the best natural sugar you can consume.”
What’s the difference between raw and store-bought honey? “In the actual processing of honey very common practices are to superheat the honey and then micro filter until there are no traceable pollens left in the honey.” This process strips many of the naturally benefits according to Tammy.
When you purchase raw honey, you know exactly what you are getting. With larger processed brands, you may not. According to the owner, commercial honey companies often cut their honey with cheaper, imported honey to stretch their yield. The only honey that Bee-Haven blends is their allergy blend.
Bee-Haven is a must visit for honey-lovers and beekeepers alike. To pick up some of their 100% pure Florida honey or try your hand a beekeeping, stop in the store Tuesday-Friday from 9am-5pm or Saturday from 9am-3pm.
Bee-Haven Honey Company
5212 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland, FL 33809