Volume 7 | July 2021
July Piece Of Paradise:
Sarasota Honey Company
There's no arguing that life isn't sweet in Sarasota - especially if you've been to Sarasota Honey Company! This month we paid the nominal $6 per person registration fee to attend a Saturday morning tour. (In turn we received a store credit for the ticket cost.) The tour was led by the company's founder and co-owner, Alma.
Alma's passion for her work shows brighter than the cheerful little yard in which she performs it - which is quite a feat considering the charming retreat she and her husband have created along University Parkway. Peppy paint colors, palettes of pollinating plants, a beautiful wall mural, and friendly reminders to "Bee Kind" make it difficult not to feel happy at this cozy attraction. As if that wasn't uplifting enough, Alma's tour narrative is filled with all kinds of information you never imagined you'd learn about her life and her love of bees. It's all good.
According to Alma, this structure is the oldest single family home on University Parkway. It was built in the 1940s.
The bee hives! Wow did we learn a lot about bees...
But before we got to the bees, we had to discuss the birds - "the birds" being chickens on the property. The chickens are part of a holistic approach to Sarasota Honey Company's operations. The chickens fertilize the garden, the plants grow, the bees pollinate the plants, the vegetables grow, and then the chickens eat the vegetables. The chickens also dig in the earth to find and eat the maggots that would otherwise damage the hives and cause the bees to leave.
Some sustainable aspects of the property include the use of chickens, Florida-Friendly plants and rain barrels.
We sat next to these painted sunflowers, captivated by Alma's storytelling, for the majority of the tour.
How do beekeepers determine bees to be fit for duty? What are the roles of male bees compared to female bees? How is a queen bee cultivated? Why is honey actually a nuisance for some bee professionals? Is the female of the species *really* more deadly than the male? These were just a few questions we heard answers to during the seated portion of Alma's presentation, which was about 45 minutes. The tour of the yard was another 20 minutes or so.
Enough about bees! (Actually we would have been content learning more...) But we came for the honey!
We didn't hesitate to use our store credit from the tour tickets to purchase one bottle for ourselves and one for a family member.
The tour concluded with a step into the gift shop, which is stocked not just with honey but also with jams, eggs, and other local goodies. We didn't even mention, yet, the dedication of the owners to using this company to help transition young adults with special needs and to educate/partner with the community on homesteading practices (some YouTube tutorials here). This inexpensive, unique tour is definitely on our list of recommended activities during your next stay in Sarasota!
Nearby Considerations
Several local colleges are competing to build the most creative bee village at Sarasota Honey Company (we'll post a photo of the villages on our Facebook account sometime this month), including New College. Alma also mentioned a "well known" swarming location for drone bees in the New College area, which made this month's supplementary feature a no brainer: New College! You don't have to enroll in the school to appreciate their gorgeous grounds. Do yourself a favor and take a stroll along their campus. Whether you're inspired by this month's beauty or the bees, the paradise is yours to find.
While the location (right next to the John Ringling Estate) provides a stunning backdrop, the combination of architectural details, landscaping and youthful color pops sets the mood for a whimsical waterfront walk.
Homeowner Tip
Get to Know Your Insurance Water Damage Policy
As a member of the International Home Watch Alliance, we received this article and thought it was worth passing along. Water damage in homes is the second-leading cause of homeowner's insurance claims, and some carriers have implemented a time limit for what's covered. When you're away for the season, how long would it take you to discover a surprise leak?
Coastal Haven Home Watch of Sarasota delivers peace of mind... for your piece of paradise. Share your Sarasota pieces of paradise with us! We'll include them in an upcoming newsletter for other Home Watch clients to consider during their next stay in Sarasota.