October Newsletter: Fall Farmer Markets, Pumpkin Season is Here, Bumbles vs Honey Bees, and ZOMBEES

Fall Farmer Markets Update: By Jess Swenson

Hi readers, Jess here! With everything that is going on due to the pandemic and community growth, there has been much confusion about the status on many of the local Farmers Markets. Some markets have expanded and new markets have opened! While on the other hand other markets have abruptly closed, temporarily closed, or are in transition/libo. Goodnews! I have gotten the skinny on the markets and hopefully will clear up any confusion you may have.

Wednesdays: Philippi Creek Farmers Market Opens, October 6th!

One of the region’s best markets, the Philippi Farmhouse Market, will begin its new season from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at its usual spot at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The farmers market will be following the CDC guidelines by having multiple hand sanitization stations, vendors spaced out, and masks encouraged but not mandatory. The market features over 50 vendors from LOCAL growers and producers. What really makes this market shine is that The Philippi Farmhouse Market require that vendors be the producers and growers of their goods and products. It is the market's mission to promote local agriculture.

An ugly truth of some farmer markets, is that some allow venders to sell products/goods not produced/grown by the vendors. We have seen personal friends that WERE farmers, leave farming because it was too hard to compete with the prices of resale vendors at markets. Resale vendors are those that purchase the produce that large grocery stores rejected at a cheap price and reselling them at farmers market across the country. Customers get warm and fuzzy that they are getting produce from a farmers market, but they are being fooled if they fail to look closely or ask questions...like "Is your company doing the farming/ beekeeping?" "What is your process?" I promise you will not offend the vendor with these questions. Those that are the growers welcome these questions and will not become defensive. It allows for appreciation on the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that it took sometimes to bring our very best to you the consumer. Unfortunately, those that are not in the "know" are really getting grocery store rejects that will go bad sooner. As the old sayings goes, "You get what you pay for" and "If it’s too good to be true it probably is" The true farmers and beekeeper crops may cost more but it will last much longer and is much healthier for you. In the long run a much better investment.

This is not the case with the Philippi Farm House Market. Not only are the vendors true producers, but local to the Suncoast. By supporting local Suncoast producers you are supporting the local Suncoast economy as well. The market features live music, locally grown fruits and vegetables, including local USDA certified organic homegrown products. There will be plants, herbs, hand weaved baskets, fresh cheeses, fresh fish and meats, along with a wide variety of locally baked goods, delicious barbeque, plenty of food and beverage vendors and of course all your favorite Sarasota Honey Company products!

Thursdays: The Dearborn Street Market and Info on the Englewood Farmers Market.

There has been many people thinking that the markets in Englewood have been closed. This NOT completely true. The markets in Englewood on Thursdays were not one single market but rather multiple small markets clustered in the same area, on the same weekday and time…giving the appearance of one large market. Each market has its own name, manager, and landlord.

The market that Sarasota Honey Company is affiliated with is known as the Dearborn Street Market, the area with the palm trees and shade. We are pleased to announce this market WILL BE OPENING October 7th from 9am to 1pm! As far as we know we will be in our same location as before. The confusion about the markets in Englewood came from the highly publicized announcement that the market on the other side of the street from the Dearborn Street Market, known as the “Englewood Farmers Market” was permanently closed. This abrupt announcement was a shock to community and its vendors whose livelihood partly depend on the market.

Below is the most current information that we received about these markets and what to expect. We will keep you posted of any changes as we get them.

The front of our market (Dearborn Street Farmers Market) will be under construction in October, but access to the market will be open along North Orange. The lot across from our site belongs to the county and will be undergoing major construction through at least mid-February. This one of the reasons the “Englewood Market” was shut down. However, the Sunset Rotary has stepped in and saved the “Englewood Market” from shutting down. They will be the non-profit to sponsor the market going forward. Until the construction on the county lot is complete, temporary spots for the Englewood Market will be at the corner of Dearborn and Mango. The market managers of both markets, Dearborn Street and Englewood are working together to arrange for a pass through for customers along all the properties to access both markets as I’m sure customer favorite vendors from both markets. The diversity of products and option from the multiple Thursday markets in the area made for a unique and fun experience.


NEW 3rd Thursday Market at UTC!!!

Join us for UTC Night Market, a monthly outdoor market event featuring a live band, cocktails, lounge/ dance floor area and a curated mix of 30+ vendors selling handmade goods, jewelry, art, gifts and more. Shop, sip and stroll under the stars every third Thursday of the month from 5-9 pm in the West District at UTC near the Petco and Michaels. The event is free to attend and family friendly. Dogs are welcome, too! We have had a blast at this market! Very unique gifts and vendors. The market has a fun, hip, chillaxin vibe and the music and drinks are AMAZING!

Saturday, Venice Farmers Market.

The Venice Farmers Market was briefly shut down over the summer, but has resume on Saturdays, after its COVID-19 safety plan was approved by the city and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County. Its shut down was double blow to the vendors as many of them had just got the news about the Englewood closure. At the time they were told the market was “closed until further notice” Thank goodness that this market was also saved!

The safety plan is basically identical to the one first used by the market last summer, when it opened for business near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and prior to the availability of vaccines, noted Lee Perron, the manager of the market on behalf of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

The market will again be open from 8 a.m. to noon, in the 400 block of West Venice Avenue. You can find our honey at the BLISS Butters Booth!

Aspects of the plan include a 10-foot separation space between vendor tents. Shoppers are asked to travel in one direction, and volunteers use hand clickers to keep count of the number of patrons who enter the market either from the east or west.

Hand sanitizing stations are available with restrooms available at the Heckscher Park tennis courts. All vendors must again wear masks and six feet of social distancing will be encouraged. Patrons are encouraged to wear masks. Perron said following the widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines and state directives, vaccinated vendors had been allowed to operate without a mask.

Saturday, Boca Raton Green Farmers Market

Starting December 2021 from 9am to 1pm, and continuing each Saturday through May 2022. Now in its 24rd year of operation, the Market takes place at the north parking lot of Boca Raton City Hall, 201 W Palmetto Pk Rd. Plenty of parking is available adjacent to the Green Market vendor site.

Boca's Green Market has continually been dedicated to local food production and consumption, produce that travels from farm direct to the dining table and through the process supporting the Florida agricultural industry and the economy of our south Florida area. Each Saturday, fresh locally-grown fruits and vegetables as they become available in their individual growing seasons---along with fresh herbs, soaps & lotions, juices, potted orchids, ocean shells, fresh cut flowers, assorted variety of plants, fresh baked goods, prepared foods, oils & vinegars, gourmet foods, hydroponic and organic foods, fresh fish and seafood, fresh pasta, doggie treats ---are available for purchase.

You can find our honey at the Rock Creek Shrubs Booth!

Saturday, Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market: Sarasota Honey Company is NOT at the SRQ Downtown Farmers Market. We have had many customers say that they got our honey from this market, that they could not find us at the market, or ask us why are we not at this market? Truth is, we would love to be represented at this market but unfortunately, we are still unable to get into this market. Alma was invited to apply recently, but we were not accepted. It was felt the current market was not large enough for two honey vendors.


Sunday, The Market at Lakewood Ranch

The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch is pet friendly and home to more than 50 curated vendors of the region’s best food and flavors, located at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The market has a loyalty program, where you get free Market Swag when you purchase from 15 of our vendors. This is to help promote a continued relationship between our shoppers and vendors over the season. The market hours are 10-2pm and most recently expanded to a year-round market! What we really love about the market is the diversity of cultures represented through the vendors and the fresh food (non-fried) health food truck options. The exciting news is that this Sunday Tradition is Moving This Fall to Waterside Place. We have heard the official moving date but we will keep you posted!

NEW Sunday, The Meadows Farmers Market

The Meadows Farmers Market is a new farmers market whose grand opening will be Oct 10th. The market really wants us to join, and we would love to have a presence at this market due to our following from the Meadows and that we have often kept bees in the Meadows. The market has gone above and beyond to work with us with trying to put together a plan so that we can be present. The challenge we have is that this market falls on the same day and time as our Lakewood Ranch market…. Sundays, 10-2pm We are currently looking for Sunday assistance or if our products can “piggy-back” with another vendor at the Meadows.


Hope you are as excited as we are of the official beginning of the Fall Farmers Market Season! Please take time to visit each one, they each truly offer a unique shopping experience for the whole family. I will be sure to keep you UpToDate on any changes that may happen as they are brought to my attention. Till next time, remember, always ask questions, and always shop as local as you can! – Jess



Fall Pumpkin Season is Here! By Jess Swenson

A sign that fall has arrived when we start to smell the yummy pumpkin spice honey soaps at the our store and farmers markets. The smell of our pumpkin spice soap at our family home brings happy memories of fall time festivals, Halloween fun, and thanksgiving surrounded by love ones. You can only find this soap in the months of October and November at our honey store and farmers markets while supply lasts. A new tradition is our Pumpkin butter. We have family that does not like the texture of pumpkin pie but loves it flavor, our solution: cheese cake topped with pumpkin butter and whip. We also bake pinwheels and turnovers with our pumpkin butter for Thanksgiving brunch!

Honeybees VS Bumblebees by Cleo Warn

There are 20,000 types of bees in the world and out of those 20,000, one of those types are honeybees and one of those types are bumblebees. While they are both bees, there are some clear differences between honeybees and bumblebees.

For one, the two belong to a different genus. Bumblebees are in the genus Bombus, and honeybees are in the genus Apis. Their physical appearances are different too. Bumblebees have stouter bodies and are completely covered in fur.


Honeybees are small and slim and can be mistaken for wasps, but honeybees generally have fur on their heads and thorax and will threaten enemies by flying around and headbutting them. They will only sting as a last resort. That’s because honeybees can’t pull out their barbed sting and will die after stinging whereas wasps can sting as many times as they want to. Bumblebees also can sting repeatedly but like the honeybee, they don’t sting unless provoked. Different bumblebee species have different kinds of tongues to feed on multiple kinds of flowers. Honeybees are more restricted in the type of flower they can feed from. They only have short tongues so they can only feed from open flowers. But while the bumblebees can visit more types of flowers, they lack the stamina of a honeybee and don’t produce the large amounts of honey that honeybees produce. Bumblebees only make a small amount of a honey-like substance to feed themselves. Honeybees produce not only honey, but also beeswax, royal jelly, and propolis in large amounts. Humans harvest the surplus to sell and use.


All bumblebees are wild; living in fields and gardens where they make nests from abandoned holes and tunnels made by other animals. There are wild honeybees too, but many have been domesticated and raised by beekeepers. Honeybees make large hives that can house between 20,000 and 60,000 bees and there is a single queen who produces workers that care for the queen, look after the young, and forage for nectar. Bumblebee society is not as complex. They live in nests with a few hundred fellow bees and the queen (who is the only member of the colony to survive the winter) hibernates in the ground.


Both species are under threat but due to different reasons. Bumblebees are threatened due to a shortage of flowers to choose from and places to nest in the countryside. Honeybees are declining mostly due to disease and parasites such as the Varroa mite. Both types of bees are safe to host in your backyard. You can do this by planting wildflowers in your yard or garden and supporting your local beekeeper. You’ll not only help save these bees, but all pollinators like butterflies. To learn more about bees you can register for one of our Saturday morning tours, visit our YouTube channel, or check out some of our webinars.

Happy Halloween! Let's Talk About Zombie Bees! by Cleo Warn

Zombie bees are honeybees that have been infected by a parasitic insect known as Apocephalus borealis. The insects lay their eggs in the bodies of bees and the larvae start to feed on the bee once they hatch. The infection causes the bee to become agitated and act erratically, like a zombie. The parasite causes the bee to fly out at night and since bees are virtually blind without light, they seek out a light source and fly around it in a jumbled way before the infected bee falls to the ground and dies. Once the larvae mature (and there can be as many as 15), they emerge from the bee and pupate. The adult flies come out of their cocoons and the cycle repeats. While this sounds like science-fiction, zombie bees are a real threat to the already decreasing honeybee population and makes A. borealis a major factor to consider when talking about the phenomena known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Want to know more? Register for our weekly Saturday tour by visiting our website!






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