Honey Finds Its Sweet Spot

Posted by: Economic Development Team on Monday, June 24, 2019

Honey is sweet and shelf-stable, but its capabilities extend far beyond taste and time. This humble pantry staple harks back to 2,400 B.C., during the early days of beekeeping in Cairo, when Ancient Egyptians used honey as a sweetener and medicine for a variety of ailments. Local honey made with the pollens of Southern Maryland plants provides the same benefits to Charles County residents today.

Yes, honey has found its sweet spot again, particularly as people seek natural remedies for inflammation, digestive woes, and coughs. But, it’s important to know what you’re getting; a bottle off the shelf at Safeway will not have the same benefits as that made from Charles County bees.

Cindy Beuchert, owner of Zekiah Farms explains, “The honey has to be local, raw, and ideally unfiltered. When you pasteurize it, or heat it, you kill a lot of the good stuff. Honey also has natural antibiotics, antifungal properties, and probiotics, but if you heat it up, it will kill it.”

Zekiah’s honey is made with the pollens from a combination of wildflowers, vegetable plants, and any of the hundreds of trees and plants that are native to Southern Maryland and on their farm. By having the bees use a mixture of pollens, they create a honey that has a very unique flavor. It is also raw, unfiltered, and comes directly from the hive. There’s no extra processing or screening.

The honey fights seasonal allergies local to Southern Maryland because the allergens and the nectar are coming from the same plants.  Customers come to their store to buy local honey for their allergies, but their honey is also sought after by people from across the US as a daily sweeter due to its unique flavor.

Zekiah Farms has kept bees for over 10 years, but they were originally brought in as a way to pollinate the crops, specifically pumpkins.  “We kept getting blossoms, but no fruit,” says Beuchert. “So, that’s how we got into the bees. It started as a way to solve a problem for my crops, but honey itself has turned out to be a better crop than the pumpkins and everything else.”

Honey is typically harvested about this time of year (late Spring/early Summer). Beuchert says, “The bees start producing in the spring when everything is popping out, and then you want to give them time to make food for themselves to carry over the winter.” The honey is sold on their farm all year round.

Zekiah Farms’ store hours vary according to the season, but currently are:

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday: 9 am to 4 pm

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: by appointment

Along with honey, they also sell beef, pork, chicken, lamb, seasonal fruits and vegetables, canned goods, eggs, local artisan’s products, and cheese from a local dairy.

Local honey can usually be found at one of Charles County’s three farmers markets. Check out those times and locations here.

Views from Charles

#MyCharlesCounty and other ways to make a difference

Published: Thursday, September 5, 2019

For those who work in economic development, pointing out a community’s assets is part of the job.  But sometimes, it’s what its citizens say that makes a difference.  This is a true story told by a local businessman who’s now in Southern Maryland but moved here from another state. 

“Charles County is a great central location for us to have access to all of our customers. We do business with NSWC Carderock, Naval Research Laboratory, NAWCAD Patuxent River, NSWC Dahlgren, and Indian Head Naval Support Facility, to name a few.”

Scott Decker
Director of Operations

Cardinal Scientific

“We are proud to be a key part of Charles County’s future and we heartily encourage other, cutting-edge companies to join us.”

Doug Egan
Chief Executive Officer
Competitive Power Ventures

“Charles County is where we started our company and where we grew and expanded. We now operate our managed print and managed IT solutions in five states and provide custom apps all around the globe. Our headquarters is still in Charles County, an excellent place to conduct business and recruit highly skilled individuals for our ever growing team!"

Joshua Justice
President

Just Tech

 

“We are proud to be a key part of Charles County’s future and we heartily encourage other, cutting-edge companies to join us.”

Katharine Tate
 Executive Director of Provider Engagement and Community Relations

Righttime Medical Care

“Charles County is a great place for businesses to start, grow, and thrive! We've worked with over 100 businesses since we opened our doors in Charles County, and I've witnessed the majority of these businesses achieve all three.”

Darlene M. Breck

Owner

Southern Maryland Business Center

“Charles County is a great place to do business because of the passion of the business community and the residents who strive to make it the best that it can be."

Andrew W. Welburn

President

The Welburn Organization