By Sarah Knott | Editor-in-Chief
I’ve never been one to spend copious amounts of time in a store; I walk in knowing what I want and where to find it, make my purchases, and leave. However, Savannah Bee Company in the Pier Village is perhaps the only shop that I could spend hours in and never tire of. The first time I stepped into the quaint St. Simons Island shop, yellow light from the morning sun seemed to pour itself into the space, illuminating countless jars of golden honey that lined the shelves on the walls.
The sweet smell of honey drew me further into the store and in no time I was reading labels, signs, and flyers about the company and the benefits of their bee products. Not only do they produce the sweetest honey I’ve ever tasted, their products promote healthy living while sticking to natural basics.
Savannah Bee Company has been located in the village since October 2015 and has brought food fanatics and honey connoisseurs alike through its doors ever since. While the company has been around for fourteen years, its roots sprouted over 30 years ago when Ted Dennard, a St. Simons native, met a beekeeper by the name of Roy Hightower looking to place beehives on the family’s land.
“The sunlight shone through the honeycomb like stained glass, and Roy cautioned, ‘Son, these bees can become a way of life,’” Dennard recalls. And they certainly did. Ever since, Dennard has been beekeeping. He didn’t begin to sell his honey until a friend of his opened a shop in Savannah, and convinced him to put his product on the shelf. Popularity grew and in 2002, Dennard decided to move from working in his kitchen to beginning Savannah Bee Company. In 2007, Dennard was named Georgia Small Business Person of the Year. 2008 rolled around and the very first Savannah Bee shop opened in Savannah. Since then, the company has continued to expand.
As college students, we can use all the help we can get when it comes to healthy living, and honey is perfect for the job. Not only is it a great way to boost antioxidants in the body, it can also be used to treat burns, prevent scars, and relieve a sore throat. These properties come in handy for college students on a budget who may not be able to drop everything and run to the store for some cough medicine.
Four main ingredients make up the base of their goods: honey, beeswax, royal jelly, and propolis -- all which are found naturally in beehives. Savannah Bee works to educate their customers and store visitors about the importance of honeybees. The employees are always friendly and helpful, and answer questions customers have regarding the ingredients and processes involved in their products.
Aside from being an excellent source of true, natural honey and bee products, Savannah Bee works with Whole Kids in the Bee Cause project, which installs glass observation hives in schools and nature centers to educate communities about the life cycle of bees. Recently, the bee population has hit a rapid decline, which poses a huge threat to not only over 70 percent of the fruits and vegetables we eat on a daily basis, but to the production of other important products such as livestock, coffee and cotton. Savannah Bee highlights the importance of bees and draws attention to the important role they play in our daily lives.
From the beneficial properties of honey they sell to the helpful organizations and causes they support, Savannah Bee Company is without a doubt one of the best locations for shoppers looking to support the environment.
Be sure to check out this unique shop and add some of their honey to your mostly-empty college student pantry. Be cautioned, though: once you taste the honey they sell, you won’t want to buy from anywhere else.