by Sheli Ellsworth
Heritage Honey encourages tasting. Feel free to mosey up to the honey bar and sample some of the intoxicating flavors of locally grown natural honey. Unlike wine tasting however, honey tasters are safe to drive after sampling creamy mango, avocado, raspberry, orange, creamy cinnamon, eucalyptus, the ever-popular creamy lemon and other honey flavors. The store located at 2031 E. Thompson is owned by David Mitchell, a local, long time bee keeper and Suzanne Lamey who manages all packaging on site and handles the daily store needs.
Lamey has 8 years of experience in Honey Packing in Ventura County, “My job title grew from Quality Control Manager to Managing all the day to day operations at that facility. I felt like Ventura was the Supreme location to start a Honey Packing Facility and Retail Store. Ventura is well known for its support of local businesses and for this reason our idea to bring this unique Honey business to the City of Ventura would benefit the health of its community.”
Mitchell’s first experience with bee keeping was when his mother took a bee keeping class while he was a kid. At age 15 he went to work for a bee keeper. Now Mitchell has 1400 hives scattered around the county each one with 30,000-50,000 bees. “David Mitchell’s years of service to this industry along with countless others are the history of the Heritage in Beekeeping,” says Lamey.
For anyone interested in the health benefits of bee products more than the taste of nature’s nectar, the store also sells bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis from local hives. Bee pollens have been used for centuries to energize, soothe digestion, boost the immune system and treat allergies. Bee pollen is rich in free amino acids, vitamins, folic acid and contains more proteins than any animal source. Heritage Honey bee pollen sells for $8 for an 8 oz jar. Royal Jelly is also an excellent source of nutrients and is believed to help with memory loss, sleeplessness, immune problems and to reduce anxiety. Some have even called it nature’s Viagra. Propolis, a compound bees produce to coat their hives, was used by the ancients to fight infections and embalm mummies. Today it is used for sore throats, cold sores, wound healing and healthy skin and hair.
The store also carries a variety of fruit spreads, salsas and candies all made with honey. They sell several lines of honey-enriched skin care products as well as bee pot holders, bee pillows, queen bee mother/daughter aprons, tea pots and cups for bee lovers. There are plenty of fun bee books for children and informative ones for bee enthusiasts. The store also sells bee keeping supplies as well as live bees for beginner bee keepers and offers bee keeping classes.
If you are interested in the possibilities of bee keeping, a séance flanked by beeswax candles might help you discover if your bees are in your future. Or you could just stop by the store and taste some of the delicious flavors of honey.