Waldoch Honey

This is the honey from Mr. George Waldoch, of Waldoch Honey. I had previously posted about him (April 20, 2010), but never had a chance to make it to his house, down in Julington Creek. I finally had some free time today, so I decided to bike to his house and buy some honey. I ended up buying a gallon of it... a hell of a bike ride home. When I got back, I weighted it just for kicks... 13 pounds. Here is a Times Union article on Mr. Waldoch, as well as a link to Mr. Waldoch in action:
Feeling the buzz: George Waldoch's love for bees goes back more than 80 years. By Liz Van Hooser
It was 1925, and George Waldoch was 6 years old. In his family, this made him old enough to help his older brother tend to the beehives on their farm in Minnesota. Life's twists and turns would take him into the Navy during World War II; he'd sell sewing machines door to door in Jacksonville; he'd have four children and eventually lose a daughter followed by his wife, Ruth.
But through it all, Waldoch tended to his bees — dozens of hives at a time. The hobby has helped bring in extra income, and he's still at it at as he approaches his 90th birthday next month.
Waldoch, who lives in Mandarin, keeps hives in several locations. He currently has 120 in rural Brevard County. Although he's been working with the insects for more than 80 years, Waldoch said he's still learning new things about them. He shared a few of those lessons about bees and honey:
• Waldoch believes bees can sense if you're scared of them and are more likely to sting if you're wary. He never works with netting but tries to bring a pleasant attitude to the bees. Sometimes, he gets no stings at all. Other times, he'll get 20 or 30. If a bee is flying in your direction, Waldoch recommends you don't tense up. If a bee lands on you, don't slap it into your skin. You'll get stung. Instead, grab it between your fingers and roll it around until it's crushed.
• Waldoch doesn't recommend eating imported honey. Local bees make their honey by taking nectar (and some bits of pollen) from local blossoms. Some say that when you eat out-of-town honey, you lose the immune system benefits of honey. Allergists regularly recommend trying local honey to see if it helps relieve allergies.
• There are several kinds of honey made in Florida. The varieties take their flavor cues from the blossoms the bees feed on. Some of the most common plants bees thrive on here are Brazilian peppers, cabbage palm, gallberry, saw palmetto, orange trees and white tupelo. Waldoch's favorite kind of honey is made from saw palmetto plants.
• Waldoch says a bee sting doesn't hurt much. Scorpions, which like to hang out in beehives, are a different story. Waldoch was bitten by one on his ring finger. It became so swollen that he had to have his wedding band cut off. (He later had it soldered back together and still wears it.)
• The average beehive has 30,000 bees and can produce 9 gallons of honey a year. Waldoch says hives are smaller today than they were 50 years ago. He blames mites and beetles that prey on the bees, as well as fewer people raising them.
• Bees don't sleep.
• Waldoch eats honey every day, usually on cereal or with a piece of cheese. He doesn't get people who drizzle honey on pancakes, though.

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