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Mikell’s Farm Honey, owned by Sharry and Doug Mikell of Old Fort, won an international honey contest twice for their certified sourwood honey. They won the 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 Sourwood category in the International Black Jar Honey Contest. The results were just released Friday, according to a news release. This photo shows Sharry Mikell with some of her products.

There’s a lot of international buzz about one local farm’s honey.

Mikell’s Farm Honey, owned by Sharry and Doug Mikell of Old Fort, won an international honey contest twice for their certified sourwood honey. They won the 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 Sourwood category in the International Black Jar Honey Contest. The results were just released Friday, according to a news release.

“When Sharry Mikell started taking beekeeping classes in 2012 through the Cooperative Extension, she had no idea she and her husband would start a business that would garner international acclaim,” reads a news release.

In May of 2013, they had two hives and managed to get them to survive through the winter. Then, Doug took lots of advanced beekeeping courses in Asheville and became a beekeeper extraordinaire. The couple expanded their business to 25 hives with the help of an AgOptions grant and started producing honey along with beeswax beauty products, using the wax from processing the honey.  While Sharry was busy filling orders and tending to the couple’s organic garden, Doug worked in the bee yard, according to the news release.

They use organic beekeeping practices and were the first in the area to have their honey analyzed for the pollen content and to certify their honey.

“When we sent a sample of our honey to Texas A&M University to test, the report came back with glowing reviews and the professor even reached out to us to explain that it was the best he’d seen in quite a while,” said Sharry.

The results they received from that test convinced her to enter their honey in the Black Jar Honey Contest. Their first entry paid off and they won the sourwood category for the international contest, which was quite a feat because Sharry received a letter that the sourwood category was the most competitive.

“What’s so good about the Black Jar Honey Contest is that it is completely based on taste and judged on anonymity; meaning the jar is covered and the judges vote on the honey taste alone,” said Sharry.

Their property borders the Pisgah National Forest and they feel that their location helps with their success.

Since the beginning of their beekeeping, the Mikells said they always have their honey tested to certify the pollen content and sell accordingly, along with using organic beekeeping practices.

“We have a nice Spring Blend Honey and have consistently had a great Sourwood Honey each year, ranging from 80 percent to as high as 94 percent Certified Sourwood Honey,” said Sharry.

“There is never a 100 percent of any honey type because you can’t put a leash on a bee, plus you’d need to have a single plant source over a large area,” said Doug.

They sell raw honey, that is pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed because it preserves all the natural vitamins, enzymes and other nutritional elements.

Now, their operation has grown to 35 hives. They also have a website; www.mikellsfarmhoney.com, along with selling on etsy and spreading the word on Facebook.

Doug and Sharry Mikell take pride in selling their sourwood honey in beautiful etched glass muth jars.  They also sell their honey, “Mikell’s Farm Honey” and beeswax beauty products called “Bee Naturally by Sharry” at several festivals throughout the year and have their goods in several local stores. The most recent location that their honey and beeswax beauty products can be found is the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor’s Center and the Folk Art Center, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to a news release.

Mikell’s Farm Honey is also a Certified Honey Producer for the NCSBA (North Carolina State Beekeepers Association) and will have both their Spring Blend along with their Certified Sourwood Honey for sale. Please check out their website; www.mikellsfarmhoney.com or give Doug and Sharry a call at 828-668-0103 to place an order or ask a question.