Pensacola, Florida
Friday August 29th 2014

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Honey on the Hill

Local Company Engages Community in Beekeeping
By Jeremy Morrison

The breeze drifting across Thomas Van Horn’s front porch is idyllic. It’s soft and easy and gently sways the flowers blooming throughout the front yard. Bees must love it.

Settling back in his chair, Van Horn explains the various roles of the different members of the bee community. He talks about pollination and hives and how different flowers produce different tasting honey. The subject interests him quite a bit.

“It’s really fascinating,” Van Horn said.

A couple of years ago Van Horn started keeping bees. Soon, neighbors began requesting honey from his backyard apiary and before long the East Hill Honey Co. was born.

“We’ve been moving more honey than I’ve ever dreamed of,” Van Horn said.

The local honey company is built around a philosophy of serving and nurturing the community. Van Horn said he is committed to “cultivating urban sustainability.”

In the spirit of community, the East Hill Honey Co. distributes hives throughout the local area. They are kept in backyards in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze and on the beach. While producing honey, the bees also help pollinate areas near their hive.

While Van Horn combined honey from all of his hives last year—making for a golden blend from various hives—he’s planning to keep it separated this year. By doing this, the company can offer “hyper-local” honey.

Van Horn said that he is always looking for more people interested in diving into beekeeping and hosting hives on their property. He is currently working on establishing hives in Destin and Seaside, so that people in those areas might have a local option when it comes to honey.

East Hill Honey Co. is offered at a number of locations around town. It can be found at Apple Market, Bailey’s Produce, City Grocery, East Hill Market, Ever’man’s and Joe Patti’s. Only residents living in the bee-friendly climes of East Hill, however, can experience the “hyper-local” benefits of residing close to the honey company’s home base: deliveries via bike are available within the neighborhood.

For more information about the East Hill Honey Co., or to get some jars pedaled to your front door,  visit easthillhoney.com.