L.L. Lanier & Son's Tupelo Honey
The Lanier family has been harvesting Tupelo honey from hives in the Apalachicola River swamps for three generations. In fact, the spring 1998 crop was our 100th!
L.L. Lanier Sr. (standing, left) and L.L. Lanier Jr. (holding pole) are shown tending bees in a photo that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.
Lavernor Laveon Lanier, Sr. started the business in the 1890's with a $500 loan from a wealthy local farmer. Having previously apprenticed as a beekeeper, L.L. Lanier, Sr. knew the trade. He recognized the unique qualities that could allow the swamps around Wewahitchka, Florida to produce a variety of honey that is in commercial production nowhere else in the world, even to this day.
Over the years, the business has grown, and more and more hives have been added to the bee yards along the banks of the Apalachicola. L.L. Lanier, Jr. apprenticed with his father, and assumed the leadership role in the family business in the 1940's. Always ready to spin a yarn about the hardships and the joys of beekeeping, L.L. Lanier Jr.'s name has become synonymous with Tupelo Honey.
L. L. Lanier, Jr. and wife Martha
L. L. Lanier, Jr. and wife Martha
Ben and Glynnis Lanier
As one would expect, his son Ben followed in the steps of his father and grandfather before him. Ben and his wife Glynnis operate the family business today, tending what has become more than 900 hives. Ben has made a reputation for himself as a beekeeper, and was asked to provide consulting services for "Ulee's Gold", a movie by award-winning Tallahassee filmmaker Victor Nunez, released in June 1997.
Numerous magazine and newspaper articles have featured our Tupelo honey business. Look for us in the following publications:
- "River Swamp native builds life around the bees" - Leesburg/Commercial - Oct. 17, 1983
- "Tupelo Time in Wewa" - Bay Arts and Entertainment - July/August 1994
- "Sweet Harvest From the Swamp" - Southern Living - May, 1996
- "Tupelo Honey" - Florida Living - February, 1997
- "The Treasure of Tupelo" - Times, St. Petersburg, Fla. - June 5, 1997
- "Keeper of the Bees" - Tallahassee Democrat - cover story, June 20, 1997
- "Beekeepers Hope for Sweet Rewards" - The Star - June 27, 1997
- "The Sweetest Job on Earth" - News and Views - November 3, 1997
- "The Bee-all and End-all" - The News Herald - April 2, 1998
- "Tupelo Honey: the Ulee's Gold Star with a Florida Link" - Miami Herald
- "Sweet Honey From Wewa" - Southern Living - April 1997
- "Living Through the Honey" - Sweet Tea Journal - Spring/Summer 2006
- "Guardian of the Gold" - American Artisanal - 2008
- "Honey Do's! What's all the Buzz About?" - Panama City Living - 2008
- "Coolie Road Trip" - Florida Panhandle - 2007
- "Tupelo Honey Oatmeal Cookies" - Southern Favorites - 2012
- "Tupelo Tradition" - American Profile - 2013
- "The Florida Channel" - PBS - 2013
HEATH BENJAMIN LANIER
Heath joined the family November 8, 2003. We are not sure yet if he is going to be a beekeeper. He has been getting stung since he was two, and he still doesn't like it. Heath is more of a snake handler at this time. We are not going to force him to keep bees. Being a beekeeper is something that a person has to want do and love to do. Heath is being home schooled now, so he is always around to visit with the customers. He usually is asking them if they want to see his snakes.