Organic Honey Production in Crete
Crete is famous for its honey, as this Greek island produces some of the finest organic honey around the world. Thanks to Crete’s mild climate, its reach flora and the abundance of endemic flowers came together creating perfect conditions for beekeeping.
In fact, beekeeping and honey production have been taking place in Crete for more than 3500 years! This has been established not only because of the several references to honey in Greek mythology but also because of the archaeological findings. Namely, in what currently is Heraklion, and back in ancient time was Minoan civilisation, the archaeologists found a golden piece that depicts two bees and a drop of honey. This finding shows the great tradition of Cretan beekeeping that dates back to ancient times, as well as how much Cretans valued bees and their work, praising the incredible values of honey.
In Crete, the season of honey extraction falls on the end of Spring for the “orange-blossom honey” and on the late summer for the “grapes honey”, the blossoming periods rich in nectar for the bees to feed off. After placing the beehives in the low-altitude groves of oranges and grapes, the beehives are moved to the mountain areas that are covered with sage, oregano, pine and thyme. This is the secret of the aromatic notes of Cretan honey, especially when it comes to thyme honey – the local speciality.
However, it is not only the aroma that makes Crete one of the best producers of quality honey in the world. Due to the pleasant Cretan weather throughout the year, the local honey does not require any high-temperature treatment, which saves all the vitamins. That and the absence of added sugar makes Cretan honey natural and organic. And when you pour this precious honey on top of your Greek yoghurt and walnuts…you start to understand the reason why Cretans love simple ingredients in their food. It’s all about pureness and quality 😉