Last month, the popular lifestyle magazine Garden and Gun announced that the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective’s Black Locust Honey won the top prize in the “Made in the South” category for their 2020 food awards. The ABC’s Black Locust honey took the top spot over other raw and natural foods from around the south.
The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is a subsidiary of Appalachian Headwaters, a non-profit organization whose goal is to restore areas that have been deforested due to mountaintop mining, and is headquartered here in Lewisburg.
The group uses methods to help foster reforestation and conservation, but their chief one is the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, an organizing hub for local small-scale beekeeping operations in the area, across both Virginia and West Virginia.
The ABC collects and markets various keepers’ honey and splits the profits between compensation for the keepers themselves and the charitable work of Appalachian Headwaters. The ABC also donates honey for every purchase made.
Appalachian Beekeeping sent their Black Locust honey to Garden and Gun this last June, and judges determined its “hints of vanilla and mint” to be on a level above every other entry. Their praise was effusive, saying “This is not the kind of honey you put in a tea or hide, you put that on a biscuit and enjoy it outright.”
The ABC is immensely proud of the award, and is equally as proud of Mark Lilly, their head of beekeeping and education. Kelly Asquith, Lead of Wholesale at the Collective, says that Lilly is the star of the show (behind the bees of course).
“Mark has such a refined palette but also understands bee keeping and naturalism so well. He’s why this particular variety is so distinctive and so good.”
For anyone interested in purchasing honey from The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, their website, www.abchoney.org, gives the options of purchase for 16 and 12 oz jars, with each 16 oz jar prompting a donation to a local food bank.