Honeybees Love Palmetto Trees

Dec 15, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Years back we were showering off outside after swimming at Pawley’s Island,   right under a palmetto tree that was in full flower and swarming with honey bees, so much so that the kids were unreasonably afraid of getting stung. Now I’ve found that one of the most popular varietal honeys in our part of the world comes from European honey bees visiting Sabal palmetto, or cabbage palmetto, our state tree.   The honey that comes from these flowers is light in color and somewhat thin. Interestingly for a state that defines itself by barbecue regions, this honey is decidedly smoky in flavor and a perfect sweetener for basting sauce, search palmetto honey savannah to find it.  I admire the bee keepers who can move their hives into palm thickets, a dense and hard to maneuver in ecosystem.