Farmed all over the world, honey is sold in almost every market and grocery store in the state, but if you aren’t paying attention, you might wind up buying an ultra-filtered variety riddled with artificial dyes and preservatives. One way to avoid that – aside from reading the ingredients list – is to support local beekeepers. Missouri-based beekeepers can guarantee raw, unfiltered honey and not only tell you but show you where it’s made. Whether you’re looking for a natural sweetener or a remedy for allergies, these regional producers sell honey and honey-infused products that come straight from the hive.
Sunny Day Beekeeping
You can buy bottles of honey, honey sticks and honey dippers from Sunny Day Beekeeping in Richmond, Missouri, and what’s more, it sells all the supplies you need to start beekeeping at home, from tools and protective clothing to hive kits and queen bees. The hive boxes and all their trappings are built to industry standards, designed for durability and manufactured at a local shop. Sunny Day Beekeeping also provides resources and posts about classes online at sunnydaybeekeeping.com.
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KC Raw Honey
KC Raw Honey bees are all “rescues.” Owner Jeffrey Hoover professionally relocates honey bee swarms and hives from unwanted locations to his suburban backyard in Overland Park, which borders a 43-plus-acre conservation trust along Indian Creek where the bees can forage in an abundance of Kansas wildflowers. Pick up wildflower honey, bee pollen and, if available, honeycomb at Hoover’s house or have it shipped to your door. kcrawhoney.com
In 2009, Domenic and Nancy Giofre bought two hives from a local beekeeper – though they had little beekeeping experience and no proper attire. After four years, they had learned the necessary skills, and when their friends, Art and Vera Gelder from Walk-About Acres, retired and stopped making their beloved honey ice cream, they decided to take on the task. Now, you can find Giofre Apiaries honey ice cream in a variety of flavors, from vanilla to salted caramel and elderberry to peanut butter-chocolate chip. thehoneyicecreampeople.com
P&D Honey Farm
“How do you know it’s pure honey if you don’t know the beekeepers?” This question is posed on the label of some products from P&D Honey Farm. The answer is, you don’t. So head to its honey shop in Fair Grove, Missouri, to pick up pure raw honey or honeycomb and meet the worker bees producing it. (Although suspended for the summer, tours of the farm will resume in the future.) Keep an eye out for the dark honey: Available in all sizes from a half-pint to a gallon jug, it has an intense honey flavor and is generally better with oatmeal and bread rather than tea. facebook.com/pdhoneyfarm