Beekeeping became an industry in Florida in the 1870s and reached its peak a century later, cultivating more than 360,000 colonies and ranking first in the nation in honey production, according to the Florida State Beekeepers Association. Although the discovery of two types of mites in the 1980s led to a nationwide decline in beekeeping, roughly 250,000 colonies still exist in Florida, and the state remains in the top five in honey production, the association says.
About 14,000 of those hives belong to Wendy Goldstone and Richard Spinale, a beekeeper of more than 30 years, who together established the Bee Unique store on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. In addition to dozens of specialty honey- and wax-based products, from sauces to candles, they curate six kinds of signature raw honey: clover, wildflower, saw palmetto, cinnamon and Florida’s world-known orange blossom and tupelo honeys. All-natural, unprocessed and collected straight from the hive, raw honey is said to contain a number of health benefits, including antioxidants and antibiotic properties. Bee Unique’s honey is harvested by bees that migrate to South Dakota and throughout the state, including West Palm Beach, Vero Beach, Indiantown and Okeechobee. (561-379-4404, beeuniquehoney.com)