Vermont is known as the ‘land of milk and honey’ so it’s appropriate that Champlain Valley Apiaries would be located there. Founded in 1931 by Charles Mraz, the 3rd generation family business will be celebrating their 85th anniversary in 2016.
While the average American thinks honey is honey and will buy the cheapest brand (ok, I admit, I’ve bought the Honey Bear squeeze bottle in the past), others from around the globe better understand the importance of honey and use it for food and medicinal purposes.
In fact, in the mid 1950’s, Charles started to study apitherapy – treating ailments such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis with live bee stings at his Middlebury home. People came from around the world to be treated by Charles – sometimes seeing 20 people a day, 7 days a week. Today the company may well be the only U.S. business that sells bee venom to pharmaceutical companies across the globe for use as desensitizing treatments for people with allergies to bee stings.
Similar to the early days, Champlain Valley continues to focus on quality. To produce a pound of honey, bees need to make 20,000 flights, collecting nectar from hundreds of thousands of flowers. Employees spend a good part of each year visiting approximately a thousand hives the company maintains at more than 30 locations from the Canadian border to Shoreham, NY. The end result is a crystallized (raw honey) that is extracted and packed in its natural state retaining its original flavor, vitamins and other nutrients. They also offer liquid honey.
This time of year everyone is looking for a deal; it’s an honor for Sunset Hill Stoneware to be a part of their sweet offering.
Keeping watch. Pat