Nobody likes a bee sting, but the honey from these pesky summer bugs could be a strong ally in your battle against stuffy heads and noses this spring and summer. “Honey contains proteins from the pollen bees harvest,” says Kimberly Jackson, DO, a general practitioner in Malvern, who balances traditional medicine with holistic and integrative healing approaches. “When you eat local honey regularly, the body is able to get used to these proteins so when you go outside and breathe in the pollen that’s in the air, your body is more used to it and you have less of a reaction.”
Of course, not all honey will help alleviate stuffy heads and noses. To get the best result, Dr. Jackson recommends taking one or two tablespoons of honey daily that has been harvested within a 20-mile radius. This way, your body learns to build up a resistance to the pollen it has to deal with regularly. “The flowers in a slightly larger radius are probably similar to the types of flowers that are within a 20-mile radius, but the closer the honey is made, the better the results,” notes Dr. Johnson, who personally takes a tablespoon of honey every morning during allergy season.
But you don’t have to take a straight spoonful. Try drizzling honey over summer-fresh strawberries, using it to sweeten a balsamic vinaigrette, swap jam for a sticky-sweet coat on toast, or mix it in iced or hot tea. “Just don’t use it in baked goods,” says Dr. Jackson. “The high heat may denature some of the proteins, so you won’t get as good of a result.”
Check out our roundup of local honey hot spots in the surrounding counties below to find the closest honey to you.
Kimberly Jackson, 412 East King Street, Malvern, 610-833-8739, kimjacksondo.com
Local Honey Hot Spots
Greensgrow’s bees live on their "B" Lot, and their famous “Honey From The Hood” is available starting in late August. You can score a jar of Lancaster-area honey the rest of the year.
Details: $4.00 – $12.00 per jar. 2501 East Cumberland Street, 215-427-2702
Located in the Reading Terminal Market, this retail store sells honey farmed in Smyrna, Delaware. You’ll find jars from 12 ounces up to 5 lbs, and you can also nab a 60-pound pail of the sweet stuff by special order.
Details: $4.75- $23.00; 12th & Arch Street, 215-922-2317 or 302-382-2370
Bartram’s nine hives and six beekeepers supply Southwest Philadelphia with honey from April 2nd through October 31st.
Details: $7.95 a jar; 54th St. and Lindbergh Blvd, 215-729-5281
Baues Busy Bees
Dave and Rosemary Baues have been beekeeping since 2000, and they sell their honey at The Phoenixville Farmers’ Market on selected Saturdays. The honey they harvest is raw – they only strain it to remove the most of the wax—so it still contains remnants of local pollen. The remaining bee’s wax contains propolis, which has antiviral properties.
Details: Online $9.50 for ½ jar; $16.50 for 1 lb. jar; at the Farmer’s Market prices start at $9.00 for a 1/2 bag. Bridge Street and Taylor Alley, Phoenixville
Suloman’s Milk Store
This family-owned farm and dairy store sells honey harvested by local man Eugene H. Taylor, who has been beekeeping for more than 60 years. He operates close to 35 hives and harvests wildflower honey at his home, only seven miles from the store.
Details: $3.75- $9.29; 2782 Leidy Road, Gilbertsville, 610-323-0314
Linvilla has more than just pumpkins and local fruits and veggies—honey harvested from the farm’s eight honeybee colonies is available in their market store all year long.
Details: $6.49 – $18.49 a jar; 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, 610-876-7116
Fruitwood Orchards Honey Farm
Located in Monroville, New Jersey, this orchard’s honey is raw, unfiltered and, contains all the enzymes, pollen, minerals, and vitamins that Mother Nature and honey bees put into it.
Details: $3.00- $161.00; 419 Elk Rd., Monroeville, 908-264-4504
Buzzing Acres Farm
This family-run business manages beehives throughout the Morris and Hunterdon County area. You’ll find raw, chemical-free, high-quality honey, as well as pure beeswax items.
Details: $3.50- $24.00; 54 Rick Road Milford, New Jersey, 908-264-4504.
High Land Orchards
This family-owned and -run farm is located right over the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line, and they harvest local wildflower honey from three to four different hives. Jars range in size from 12 ounces to 5 pounds.
Details: $6.99- $25.99; 1431 Foulk Road, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-478-4042