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Generations of beekeepers have been harvesting this delicacy in Wewahitchka, north Gulf County, for decades. It is harvested from the White Tupelo Gum tree (nyssa ogeche). These trees average 50 to 75 feet in height, and 2 to 3 feet in diameter. The trees are most content when standing in several feet of water. An abundance of Tupelo trees are found in the Apalachicola and Chipola river basins in our part of Florida (Gulf and Liberty counties).
The Tupelo tree blossom starts out as a round bud, about the size of a small pea. It then swells into what looks like a miniature cauliflower. Finally, it explodes with dozens of little spikes. The nectar is at the base of each spike.
Tupelo blossoms are very fragile and unpredictable. In some years, the nectar flow lasts for a few weeks. In other years, the fragile blooms may be ruined by wind, hard rain or cold weather just a few days after opening. One thing, however, is certain. Each year, the demand for Tupelo Honey increases!
Content provided graciously by GCTDC Partner, Smiley Honey.
Take an inside look into the harvesting of Tupelo Honey and mysterious waters of the Dead Lakes.