Visitors traveling through Rabun County might spot a beekeeper waving to them off Highway 441. The mannequin sits outside of the Blue Ridge Honey Co., a family owned and operated business in the Northeast Georgia mountains. Bob Binnie started the business with his wife Suzette after commercial beekeeping in 10 states beginning in 1981.
Blue Ridge Honey Co. bee yards can be found in Northeast Georgia, Western North Carolina and South Georgia. Sourwood Honey is one of their most popular, locally-produced varieties.
Sourwood honey is light to medium in color. Usually mild in flavor, this honey varies from year to year. It is considered one of the best honeys by many and is produced mainly in the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Sourwood is a tree that grows 40 to 60 feet and blooms from late June through July. The honey is definitely NOT sour! – Blue Ridge Honey Co.
Bob, the 2003 Georgia State Beekeeper of the Year, handles all beekeeping and sales while his wife manages the office, website and shipping. They also sell pollen, beeswax products, and bees.
HOURS: Monday – Friday 8:30 – 5 p.m. Saturday 9:30 – 5 p.m. Closed on Sunday.
FUN FACTS from the Blue Ridge Honey Company:
- Honey bees are the only insects that produce food for humans.
- A healthy hive contains ~40–60 thousand bees.
- During the honey production period, a bee’s lifespan is only 4 – 6 weeks.
- Honey bees visit approximately two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
- Bees fly at an average of 13 – 15 miles per hour.
- Queens lay approximately 1,500 to 2,000 eggs per day at a rate of 5 or 6 per minute. One queen lays between 175,000 and 200,000 eggs per year.
- In order to produce 1 pound of beeswax, bees eat approximately 8 pounds of honey.