by Catherine Gilmore for the Johns Island Farmers Market
Whether it’s for cooking, sweetening, or even health properties, many regulars come to the Johns Island Farmers Market for their weekly fix of honey from Larry Sexton and Bob Harvey with Charleston Bees and Honey. Locally operated, Charleston Bees and Honey participate in the Farmers Market on Johns Island every Saturday in order to meet their regular’s needs, and the demand is growing every day.
Larry Sexton, original founder of Charleston Bees and Honey, has been keeping bees since he was seven years old. Growing up in Massachusetts, Larry was first exposed to bee keeping through his grandfather who had hives in a town outside of Boston. As he grew older, Larry became more of a helper to his grandfather, learning valuable skills that would eventually enable him to start his own operation. After retiring from the Navy and realizing that he wouldn’t be moving around as much anymore, Larry settled down in Charleston and began acquiring his own hives. Today Charleston Bees and Honey have over forty beehives and the number is growing.
One cannot mention Charleston Bees and Honey without mentioning Bob Harvey, Larry’s helper. As bee keeping and honey extracting can be strenuous work, especially if there are many hives, Larry realized early on that he would need a partner. Bob, a Charleston native, has always been in love with nature and fully understands the power and importance of bees. Larry believed that Bob, who lived in the neighborhood, would be an excellent and dependable helper. Since their partnership, Bob has proven to be just that, helping with the hives as well as managing their stand at the market every Saturday.
Larry and Bob both sing the John’s Island Farmers Market’s praises, claiming that it has benefitted them enormously both in their business and personal lives. In an interview, Larry mused about all of the connections and new clients made at the market, which have helped to give the company a hefty boost in business. Larry and Bob both state that the market has opened up their social circles in that they have met close friends through the networking that takes place there.
Raw, local honey is in high demand around Charleston as people are catching wind of its health properties. The regular customers stress the importance of trust; they know that Bob and Larry simply extract the honey and bottle it up without any tampering. Some regulars of Charleston Bees and Honey have claimed that it has changed their lives, curing them of their allergies and various other ailments. Whether they’re buying the honey for its health properties or simply because of taste, it is clear that Bob and Larry are the only choice for the honey lover.