While traveling through scenic Hardee County we came across a roadside sign announcing “The Bee Barn.” Intrigued, we decided to make a visit and found a true hidden gem. The sharp-eyed Mrs. Funmeister, who also serves as the navagatrix for our trips spotted the small roadside sign.
“That looks like a fun place,” she opined. I agreed and we headed off in search.
Nestled in a small wooden building off the Steve Roberts Special The Bee Barn turns out to be a location for all things honey and bee-related. Inside the store there is a wide variety of honey from the Cantu Apiaries including; orange blossom, gallberry, wildflower and even some Tueplo. There also are bottles of bee pollen, royal jelly, cakes of beeswax as well as skin care and other products that are honey-based or have honey as an ingredients.
Their bees, (a.k.a. the Peace River Bees) have produced 100% pure, raw, natural honey since 1979 at the family-owned and operated apiary next door. While they all call Zolfo Springs home, the bees are taken all over the country from California to Michigan pollinating crops and creating honeys with a variety of flavors and characteristics.
Unlike some other commercially-produced honey, the Cantu Apiaries products have no antibiotics or additives. Instead, essential oils, hard work and loving care provide the basis of the product. The owners also seek out similar operations that are environmentally friendly to bees and other native pollinators for their stock.
In addition to the consumable honey and honey products, The Bee Barn also features All Natural & Organic Botanical Skin Care products. These are “made with enough honey to be therapeutic.” The selections including soaps, skin creams and body lotions contain all natural & certified organic ingredients such as raw honey, organic royal jelly & pollen, propolis, organic aloe vera, organic sunflower oil, organic jojoba oil, shea butter.
The store also is educational, with a variety of vintage honey gathering and extracting equipment on display, as well as a working hive, where visitors can watch the busy bees at work through a pair of plexiglass shields.
They also have a brace of pamphlets that explain the health benefits of honey and suggested cooking tips and recipes. One even shows the ingredients to a refreshing “Foaming Vanilla Honey Bath.”
For those who still are not certain which bottles to purchase, there is a honey tasting tray in the back of the store so customers can sample the available varieties.
It takes a bit to find The Bee Barn on Steve Roberts Special – but when on your way through the back roads of central Florida it is well worth the stop. Please let them know on social media you heard about it here.
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