Local Honey – Sweet and Healthy

By Judy Delperdang

Satisfy your sweet tooth – and feed your health – with honey from the
Clear Lake Farmers Market.

“If you’’re looking for a sweet treat, there’s nothing better,” said Riley
Finer of Finer Honey Farms.

And honey is good for you.

“The benefits for allergies is what I promote with our customers,” said
Tammy Fuller of Honey Dome Farms. A teaspoon a day “ will help build the
immunity to the allergies that most people have reactions to.”

There’s a difference between spring and fall honey, according to Riley. If
you’ve got fall allergies, look for honey produced in the fall. It’s also
important to buy local honey.

“Then they know they are getting the local pollen to help with allergies,”
Tammy said.

Riley said honey is antibiotic, anti-viral, and has lots of enzymes.

If you’ve got a a sore throat, “it kills most of the bacteria on the first
swallow.”

Riley’s bee venture began over a beer with a buddy. They started in 2009
with a couple of colonies. That grew to 10, 20 and 40. This year he has
“about a hundred colonies. Next year I’m hoping for 300.”

Riley’s friend has since moved to Colorado, but Riley’s been in business
since 2010. He was the only honey vendor at the market “for the longest
time.”

“I hadn’t been to a farmers market in my life before that. I’ve stuck with
Clear Lake Farmers Market ever since.”

Tammy became interested in bees in 2010 “based on the fact that they are a
necessary pollinator for our garden.”

When they moved into their new home in 2012 they got two hives. They began
calling it a business when people wanted to buy their honey.

“We started the true business adventure in 2016 when I decided to leave
management and pursue another career adventure,” reducing the stress in
her work/life balance.

Riley likes the solitude of beekeeping.

“The thing that really drew me to beekeeping – it’s like running a trap
line. I get to go to people’s property that nobody gets to see.”

He has hives between Forest City, Mason City and around Clear Lake.

“Most people don’t even know they’re there.”

Honeybees are critical for the future of our food, Tammy said.

“This will hopefully give awareness around reducing or eliminating the use
of pesticides on our yards and gardens.”

It’s especially important to let the dandelions grow in your yard. The
edible yellow flower is “the first source of food for local bees.”

Tammy loves providing homes for the bees, especially since so many local
trees are being removed.

“Plus, the honey is amazing.”

“Clear Lake is a really good place to keep bees and make honey, that’s for
sure,” Riley said.

Honey Dome Farms has raw honey, flower bouquets, honeyberries, blueberries
and strawberries, and Tammy makes re-usable snack bags, bowl cozies,
handcrafted soaps, lip balm and sugar scrubs.

After the market season is over, you can find Tammy’s honey through their
website, honeydomefarms.com .

Riley will deliver honey locally to Forest City, Clear Lake, Mason City,
and Fertile throughout the winter. He can be found at Finer Honey Farms on
Facebook. He also sells lip balm, and is hoping to add candles next
year.

“I’’ve got a following. People like being able to get honey directly from
the beekeeper in the winter time.”

A third honey vendor at CLFM is Peggy and Pat Ennis with P&P Honey and
Bee Supply. They offer pure raw honey, bee keeping supplies, packages of
bees, and nucs. They can be reached at flat_lander@lycos.com,
641-444-4767, or search P&P Honey and Bee Supply on Facebook.

Find Clear Lake Farmers Market on Facebook, and atwww.clearlakefarmersmarket.com.
Better yet, come see us from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through October 20
at the Surf Ballroom parking lot, or downtown Clear Lake during Harvest
Fest on Oct. 6.