Through exploring Franklin’s Beekeeping and Honey scene, I’ve learned that this hard and sacred work is an art form. It seems to me that this beekeeping hobby quickly becomes a lifestyle for folks who enter into the sweet life of bees.
We all love the delightful nectar that bees produce, but did you know that one in every three bites you take is thanks to a honeybee? Williams Honey Farm says that if you feed a honeybee, then you feed the world. Most of us know that honey can soothe a sore throat, but local, raw honey also has antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it contributes to digestion and gut health, and it’s immunity-boosting!
It turns out the term “liquid gold” is more than appropriate. Luckily, Williamson County has several beekeepers producing and selling local honey that all of us can benefit from!
Southall Farms is one of Tennessee’s most innovative and sustainable farms, and we are eagerly awaiting the opening of its extensive grounds along with a luxury inn, spa, and cottages.
In the meantime, the farm’s apiary and its 2.5 million bees are already thriving and producing award-winning honey! The Good Food Foundation has named Southall Farm’s Wildflower Honey the winner of the 2020 Good Food Awards in the honey category. Head beekeeper, Jay Williams, manages the millions of bees that populate the apiary at Southall, utilizing the 325 acres of natural flora to produce the highest quality honey.
Williams attributes part of the success to the fact they do not harvest the honey until July, which captures a full season’s worth of nectar. The team at Southall has planted hundreds of native plants and shrubs on the land while maintaining plenty of wildflowers for the bees.
All of this combines to create a perfect scenario for making award-winning honey. Visit Southall Farms to learn more about where to buy this incredible honey, as well as updates on the opening of this spectacular venue.
Williams Honey Farm
Speaking of Jay Williams, he has his own wildly successful honey farm, named Williams Honey Farm. Not only has Williams’ honey been named “The best tasting honey in Tennessee,” they have been featured in numerous publications such as People, Southern Living, and The Tennessean.
Williams’ passion for beekeeping and all-natural methods have inspired him to educate the public about the struggle of the honey bee. They accomplish this through speaking engagement, classes, and website introduction. They also aim to create more forage areas for pollinators in middle Tennessee through bloom boxes, vertical gardens, seed bombs, and bee-friendly landscapes. Thirdly they strive to produce raw, 100% pure, all-natural honey that folks can feel really good about.
And lastly, they have a goal to give back to the bees by giving away one seed bomb for every 10 purchased to a school-aged child to plant and become a “polleneer” in their own communities. Check out Williams Honey to view their many products of the hive, such as creamed honey, comb honey, honey vials, lip balms, gift boxes, and more. You can also taste some of William’s Honey at the incredible 1892 restaurant in Leiper’s Fork, where Chef Dylan Morrison incorporates even the comb and bee pollen into his dishes. Be sure to sign up on the Williams Honey website for the Tactical Beekeeping Academy and/or sponsor a hive; the sweet opportunities are endless!
Early’s Honey Stand
The legendary Early’s Honey Stand started as a roadside honey stand situated under the shade of a large oak tree in Spring Hill, Tennessee, way back in 1925.
Today, Early’s has become the largest mail-order house in the South, shipping their rich, golden honey along with other specialty products all over the country. No matter where you are located, you can enjoy a variety of honey, such as the Sourwood Honey, which comes from the hives at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. The Sourwood Trees bloom late season, which produces a very complex, prized honey.
Another favorite is the Sorghum Honey, just the same Hill country Sorghum as it was back in 1925. As the business has evolved, Early’s still adheres to the words of the original owner, Mr. Early, who said, “At Early’s, you’ll always get the best quality product at a reasonable price, from the friendliest people in the world.”
During your visit to Williamson County, you will likely spot the eye-catching packaging of Trubee Honey at multiple local gift shops.
Local couple Jeff and Laura started beekeeping as a hobby that quickly turned into a thriving business. Truebee Honey offers Wild Flower Honey, which is not simply honey from a single nectar source. There is an unpredictable nature to each vintage harvest, depending on the environment and the season.
Another unique quality about Trubee Honey is that it is not pasteurized, boiled, or filtered. If you hold one of their glass jars up to the light, you can even see the different colored bits of pollen suspended in the golden honey. As the business has grown, they now offer a wide array of honey precuts such as Barrel-Aged Honey, Tennessee Snow Whipped Honey, and even Beeswax Lip Balm.
It’s safe to say the beekeeping community in the Franklin area is alive and well! Along with the more well-known producers listed above, this area is full of novice beekeepers. As far as I can tell, the more, the merrier of the honeybee and the fruits of their labor!