We last left Buddy Nachtsheim in early June.
At that time, we recounted the odyssey of Buddy and his honeybees.
The bees had somehow survived Hurricane Michael despite the demolition of their hives located on Buddy’s Overstreet property.
And while taking care of his father, who had just lost his wife of more than 50 years prior to the storm, Buddy essentially hand-fed those bees, nursing them to health as the hives were reconstructed.
Bees, by the by, Buddy knew nearly nothing about just months before as he entered the realm of beekeeping as a novice.
The bees rewarded Buddy for his patience and care with a heavy flow of honey, which Buddy would come to call Hurricane Honey.
(Small aside because Buddy insisted, he borrowed the brand name from the headline of that June newspaper story. We aren’t telling).
Buddy even special-ordered classic glass jars in which to sell the honey.
Oh, the places Buddy has been since.
A few days after The Star story was published, the Panama City daily paper picked up and published the story and once it hit the internet on both sites, Hurricane Honey was no secret.
“The phone just started ringing off the hook,” Nachtsheim said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
The story was subsequently picked up by newspapers in Jacksonville and Palm Beach and the phone calls kept coming from people who wanted some of that hurricane survivor honey.
Within days Buddy was making deliveries around the area, as far as Panama City Beach, while also witnessing his deep faith with a host of people, from all walks of life, he would never have met save for his bees and their honey.
All while sharing stories of loss and survival.
One woman, sure the honey would give her superpowers to overcome her trials, drank a bottle in front of Nachtsheim.
“I cried with more women, young and old, and elderly people than I ever have in my life,” Buddy detailed. “It was as very emotional time for me and them.
“It kind of caught me off guard how people were so interested in me and my honeybees.”
Within a couple of weeks, the Weather Channel came calling and Buddy did a remote segment on his story of survival for a national audience.
He mailed his honey as far away as Colorado.
At the urging of Nancy Brockman, coordinator for the Gulf County Libraries, Buddy decided to tell his story, of how he and his bees survived and thrived after Hurricane Michael.
“Nancy kept pushing me to write this down,” Nachtsheim said. “There seemed to be so much interest I figured people wanted to learn more about it.”
And, Buddy, a boat captain in occupation, began to talk, to recount the details of what he had been through, not only learning about bees from scratch, but also Michael, his family’s losses and the storm’s impacts on his life, faith and bees.
“I just talked into my SmartPhone,” Nachtsheim said.
Once all on tape, he enlisted the assistance of an online transcription service to put spoken words to paper and Brockman helped him with initial edits.
Tiffany Howell came on board as a co-writer to help Buddy put all the elements of the story in its proper place and the result is “Hurricane Honey: A Survivor’s Story of Overcoming.”
Ramsey’s Printing crafted the book, which is on sale locally at The Loft, Ramsey’s Printing and No Name Books & Café.
The book is also available on Kindle or by visiting Buddy’s website at www.goodnewshoney.com.