By Catherine Gilmore For The Island Connection
Whether it’s for cooking, sweetening, or even health properties, many regulars come to the Johns Island Farmers Market for their weekly fix of honey from Larry Sexton and Bob Harvey with Charleston Bees and Honey. Locally operated, Charleston Bees and Honey participate in the Farmers Market every Saturday in order to meet their regular’s needs, and the demand is growing every day.
Sexton, original founder of Charleston Bees and Honey, has been keeping bees since he was seven years old. Growing up in Massachusetts, Sexton was first exposed to bee keeping through his grandfather who had hives in a town outside of Boston. As he grew older, Sexton became more of a helper to his grandfather, learning valuable skills that would eventually enable him to start his own operation. After retiring from the Navy and realizing that he wouldn’t be moving around as much anymore, Sexton settled in Charleston and began acquiring his own hives. Today, Charleston Bees and Honey have over forty beehives. They even offer a service in which people call them for beehive removal; they extract the bees from the yard safely and incorporate them into their own hives.
One cannot speak about Charleston Bees and Honey without mentioning Bob Harvey, Sexton’s helper. As bee keeping and honey extracting can be strenuous work, especially if there are many hives, Sexton realized early on that he would need a partner. Harvey, a Charleston native, has always been in love with nature and fully understands the power and importance of bees. Sexton believed that Harvey, who lived in the neighborhood, would be an excellent and dependable helper; since their partnership, Harvey has proven to be just that, helping with the hives as well as managing their stand at the market every Saturday.
Both Sexton and Harvey sing the Johns Island Farmers Market’s praises, claiming that it has benefitted them enormously both in their business and personal lives. Sexton mused about all of the connections and new clients made at the market, which have helped to give the company a hefty boost in business. And both of them say the market has opened up their social circles and they have met close friends through the networking that takes place there.
Raw, local honey is in high demand around Charleston as people are catching wind of its health properties. The regular customers stress the importance of trust; they know that Sexton and Harvey simply extract the honey and bottle it up without any tampering. Some regulars of Charleston Bees and Honey have claimed that it has changed their lives, curing them of their allergies and various other ailments. Whether they’re buying the honey for its health properties or simply because of taste, it is clear that Charleston Bees and Honey is the only choice for the local honey lover every Saturday at the Johns Island Farmers Market.