Honey produced at UT is for research and for sale

Honey produced at UT is for research and for sale

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"The local honey is going to have an allergy benefit. The pollen is contained in honey so it gives you almost like a vaccine to help future allergies," Phillip Moore explained. "The local honey is going to have an allergy benefit. The pollen is contained in honey so it gives you almost like a vaccine to help future allergies," Phillip Moore explained.
"I started the BeeMaster in 1991. It's not a brand new thing, but the purpose it provides is to train new beekeepers and teach them to keep bees alive, which isn't easy right now," Dr. John Skinner said. "I started the BeeMaster in 1991. It's not a brand new thing, but the purpose it provides is to train new beekeepers and teach them to keep bees alive, which isn't easy right now," Dr. John Skinner said.
Each colony has lightly-colored boxes filled with nine or 10 frames that help emulate a hive. Each colony has lightly-colored boxes filled with nine or 10 frames that help emulate a hive.

By KRISTIN FARLEY
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A local product has some real local roots. It's honey harvested as part of the University of Tennessee's BeeMaster Program, and sold at the UT Gardens farmers market.

UT student Philip Moore says although he helped harvest the honey and sell it, his main goal is to educate the public about bees.

"The BeeMaster course is open to the public. It's for beginning bee-keeping or people interested in becoming beekeepers," Moore said.

He says the honey is simply a by-product of his work with the BeeMaster Program, but it has value.

Many people want to buy local products because they want to know where their food comes from. Others look at local honey for its medicinal qualities.

"The local honey is going to have an allergy benefit. The pollen is contained in honey so it gives you almost like a vaccine to help future allergies," Moore explained.

6 News visited the UT Ag campus to see the bee colonies researchers study and the lab where research, including making honey, is done.

This year, the BeeMaster Program is selling a rare, aged honey. It was harvested 15 years ago and has a much darker color and a complex taste. Some people might compare this to aging wine.

"Honey does not spoil over time. It does not get contaminated," explained program leader Dr. John Skinner.

He decided to save that surplus honey more than a decade ago, but he says it's the program behind the honey that's so important.

"I started the BeeMaster in 1991. It's not a brand new thing, but the purpose it provides is to train new beekeepers and teach them to keep bees alive, which isn't easy right now," Dr. Skinner said.

He's referencing a few years ago when there was a noticeable decline in honey bees. Now a national team that includes Skinner is studying the problem.

It's a problem that could affect our fresh food supply. "Bees are extremely important to our food supply due to the pollination they provide," Skinner said as he gave us a tour of the lab. It has an observation hive, which is like a cross section of a bee hive.

The bee colonies building houses thousands of bees. Each colony has lightly-colored boxes filled with nine or 10 frames that help emulate a hive.

After some smoke was puffed near the colony to calm the bees, we got to lift the frames and see the honey they produce.

The tasty treat is only available for one more week at the Farmer's Market at UT Gardens.  The last day this season is October 26.

The farmers market is taking orders for the holiday season. To find out how to order, email Phillip Moore at pmoore17@utk.edu.

After that, you won't be able to get honey from UT until the farmers market opens again in May.

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