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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tallahassee abuzz on honey

Florida Senator Bill Montford, D- Tallahassee, has introduced a bill SB 556 to designate Tupelo honey the official Florida state honey. This Tupelo honey was harvested by O'Neals Tupelo Honey, Hosford, Fl., southwest of Tallahassee. Honey bees produce the honey from the blossoms of the White Ogeechee Tupelo tree located along rivers, swamps and other bodies of water in the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi. Food enthusiast's consider Tupelo to be one of the finest honey's in the US due to it's taste and lighter color. It is sometimes recommended by doctors for consumption by diabetics because of its high laevulose/fructose, low dextrose content.

SCOTT KEELER | TIMES

Florida Senator Bill Montford, D- Tallahassee, has introduced a bill SB 556 to designate Tupelo honey the official Florida state honey. This Tupelo honey was harvested by O'Neals Tupelo Honey, Hosford, Fl., southwest of Tallahassee. Honey bees produce the honey from the blossoms of the White Ogeechee Tupelo tree located along rivers, swamps and other bodies of water in the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi. Food enthusiast's consider Tupelo to be one of the finest honey's in the US due to it's taste and lighter color. It is sometimes recommended by doctors for consumption by diabetics because of its high laevulose/fructose, low dextrose content.

10

March

You'll never bee-lieve the bill Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, is proposing.

The time has come, the senator says, for Florida to designate its very own state honey.

Set to receive the dubious distinction, assuming the rest of the Legislature agrees, is a variety of honey called tupelo, the production of which requires a tree unique to the northern part of this state and southern Georgia and Alabama. It's also central to the plot of the 1997 Peter Fonda flick "Ulee's Gold" and a Van Morrison song.

Seriously, this honey's a big deal.

It's also unusual among honeys for being diabetic-friendly.

"I think it's appropriate that the state of Florida recognizes a unique product for Florida," Montford said.

The bill (S.B. 556) got its first nod Tuesday in the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Georgia and Alabama have not yet named state honeys, although Georgia has named the honeybee its state insect.

"If they hear we do," Montford said, "they probably will."

There may well be a political upside to the bill: North Florida beekeepers, many of whom are Montford's constituents, must be positively buzzing.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 4:07pm]

    

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