Sweet ambitions for new honey house at St. Joseph Abbey

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. BENEDICT, LA (WGNO) -- Along with the other things made at Saint Joseph Abbey, honey is one of the prized products.  But last spring, flooding all but wiped out the honey production facility.

This week, the Abbey hosted a blessing and dedication of its new honey production facility.  The Saint Ambrose Honey House has new equipment, and volunteers hope to grow the number of hives from 40 to 100.  The honey will be sold in the gift shop.

"The ultimate goal is to keep honey in the gift shop all year round so I figure to be able to do that I need to sustain 100 hives," said volunteer Jeff Horchoff who runs the operation.  "If I did that, we're looking at 400 gallons of honey every year."

The dedication ceremony included a honey tasting station with samples from around the world.  Alaska, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia were among the honey represented.

Spring flooding damaged the buildings at the college and nearly wiped out all of the hives.  All of the new equipment for the honey house was made possible by generous donations.

But there is still a lot of work that remains before the Abbey can recover entirely from the flooding.  The repair estimate is more than $35 million.  If you'd like more information on helping, click here.