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Honey man finds it hard to sell during pandemic

Television newscasts have shown images of American farmers dumping milk and of produce rotting in fields because the pandemic has disrupted markets.

Hobby farmers have had the same problem, but on a smaller scale.

Keith Green, owner of Double Barrel Honey in Clark County, has seen a rough winter and early spring.

First, all of his honeybees died this past winter at his and wife Jane Green’s home at The Ridings — probably victims of mites — although he now has new ones.

Then came the coronavirus.

“In the last year, we sold 24 barrels of it,” Green said, referring to his most popular product, Double Barrel Honey. “But the epidemic hit, and the specialty shops and gift shops closed.”

Double Barrel Honey is aged 90 days in charred oak bourbon barrels to give it its distinctive bourbon taste — although it is 100 percent pure honey without any whiskey in it. It is then double-filtered and bottled in pints like bourbon. It is sold in individual flasks, in gift boxes and by the case.

Where he was selling most of it, though, was in little downtown specialty stores, including Court Street Gifts, bourbon distillery gift shops, tourist attractions such as Claiborne Farm and Keeneland, and at festivals.

Last year, he sold thousands of dollars worth at the Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester and the Mushroom Festival in Irvine.

All that suddenly came to a halt.

He’s still selling some at D&S Hardware in Winchester, but mostly just on his website, doublebarrelhoney.com, and that’s a fraction of what he was able to sell.

“Our only hope is online, but that’s tough, especially when you have to pay for shipping,” he said.

There may be another glimmer of hope, however.

Gov. Andy Beshear has said nonessential retail businesses can reopen May 20, and restaurants can reopen their dining rooms May 22 — both at one-third their normal capacity.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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