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Honey locally sourced in Florida helping sea turtles heal

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Posted at 7:06 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 10:31:03-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Animal lovers all over Palm Beach County, Florida, are contributing to the healing of sea turtles at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

Sierra Malnove is a beekeeper and founder of Palm Beach Creamed Honey Co. She’s one of several beekeepers who offer honey to Loggerhead as a healing therapy for the turtles’ wounds.

Malnove got her first hive eight years ago and she’s become obsessed with every step of the process of commercial beekeeping. She maintains hives across the county and on her property, and enjoys every element of commercial beekeeping, from moving colonies to selling flavored and raw honey.

She’s seen firsthand how honey can heal. It’s a practice that dates back thousands of years.

“My partner Al cut his thumb nearly in half with a table saw, took him to the emergency room, they sewed it back and the girl said, I do not think this is going to heal,” she explained.

Malnove says Al kept his thumb wrapped or submerged in honey for days. It’s what he credits with his healing.

“Today, you can’t even see a scar, his nail healed, totally normal, like his nail was cut in half.”

Malnove has given gallons of her honey to Loggerhead. Malnove does not remove any nutrients in the process of making her honey, which makes it useful for therapy.

“We have honey that we’ve taken through the creamed process,” she explained. “It’s nice and thick and creamy, so it’s spreadable, which is perfect use I think for wounds on a sea turtle.”

Galapagos the sea turtle sustained injuries during an unintentional boat strike. Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s Director of Rehabilitation, Dr. Max Polyak, used Malnove’s honey to treat the wound.

“Topical, antimicrobial therapy, it’s very effective for that,” he said.

Honey is one of several therapies used on turtles. Polyak says it’s a special one.

“When we use the honey as therapy, to always remember the bees, because they did the work,” he said.

The process is very fulfilling for Malnove.

“We get to do what we love and we get to help others do what they love,” she said.

This story was originally published by Ashleigh Walters at WPTV.