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Honey: Buy Local to Help a Beekeeper, or Become One!

It's National Honey Month and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is urging you to enjoy Kentucky Proud honey as part of a healthy diet.

"Honey is a natural sweetener, but it also has numerous other benefits," Comer said in an announcement. "When you buy local Kentucky Proud honey, you're buying a product that you can serve to your family with confidence. You're also helping a local beekeeper make a living."

State apiarist Tammy Horn pointed out that, while Americans consume 400 million pounds of honey every year, only 135 million pounds are produced in the United States. This disparity puts American consumers at risk of buying honey that is adulterated or that has been "cut," or combined with ingredients other than honey. "The best way to be sure you are buying pure honey is to buy from a local source you know and trust," Horn said.

Horn said more beekeepers are needed. "With demand for honey in the United States far exceeding supply, there are tremendous opportunities in beekeeping and honey production," she said. "The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is happy to help anyone who wants to get started in this fascinating and rewarding business."

Horn said Kentucky is recognized nationally for its strong beekeeping heritage. The Eastern Apicultural Society regional conference was held in Richmond last summer. The Kentucky State Beekeepers Association will hold its fall meeting in November in Bowling Green.

The state apiarist's office identifies and eradicates infectious disease in honey bee colonies, offers advice to Kentucky beekeepers, and educates the general public about the importance of bees and honey. To find out more, contact Horn at (502) 782-5909 or [email protected] or go to

Honey can soothe a sore throat, boost your energy, help you care for your skin, and provide numerous other health benefits, according to the National Honey Board. For more information and recipes, go to

-Staff report

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