Hurricane Michael’s devastation could threaten tupelo honey production in a tiny Florida community that’s the main source of the sweet delicacy.
After making landfall Oct. 10, Michael’s eye swept over the Gulf County town of Wewahitchka, the primary hub for tupelo honey production.
Local beekeepers are already worried about the 2019 harvest. It’s unclear how many white tupelo gum trees along the Apalachicola River fell or got damaged by the hurricane
Meanwhile, surviving bee colonies don’t have nectar in areas stripped bare by Michael’s fierce winds.
Tanker trucks full of corn syrup and tens of thousands of pounds of synthetic pollen are being rushed to beekeepers from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia line to feed the bees.
Panhandle bees also pollinate crops such as watermelons, cantaloupes and blueberries.