HONEY ALONG WITH OLIVE OIL ARE PROBABLY THE FLAGSHIPS OF CRETAN AGRO PRODUCTS. DURING THE PAST, THE BEE GARDENS WERE IN PERMANENT PLACES.
Honey contains sugars which differ from glucose, making it appropriate even for diabetes patients! It is rich in vitamins and antioxidant substances, which also act against cancer. The main vitamin of honey (E) along with other substances serves to remove from the body the harmful elements deriving from the metabolism or from external factors such as smoking, radiation and various carcinogenic substances. The Cretan honey is an absolutely natural product and it is produced in areas with endemic vegetation. As it is known today, the biome of the island is rich in endemic plants and especially in aromatic plants, offering the Cretan bees their favorite food.
Crete is rich in self-sown trees, such as thyme, sage, blackberry bush, oregano, pine, acacias, strawberry trees and of course the cultivated citrus trees. The processing of honey is made in a natural way, without high temperatures that destroy the vitamins. According to official data, there are 2.206 apiarists in Crete with 142.856 beehives. Crete ranks fourth at a national level with a production of 1.673 tons of honey in 2004.
Today the apiculturists carry their beehives from place to place, depending on the existence of flowers. So, early in spring they take them to the orange groves and generally to low altitudes, so that the bees can collect juices from the floriferous plants and later they take them to higher altitudes, when the aromatic herbs and plants blossom, especially the thyme that gives the Cretan honey its distinctive taste. The “grape-harvest” takes place in July, August and September.
From the prehistoric times to the present day Crete has always produced honey! One of the most important exhibits of the Museum of Heraklion, the Museum that guards most of the secrets of the famous Minoan civilisation, is a wonderful golden jewel, “two bees” which are said to be in love with each other. This is the most trustworthy testimony of the connection between the Cretan people and the bee.
Honey, this wonderful sweetener, contains various glucose sugars and can be consumed even by diabetes patients! Moreover, it is rich in vitamins and antioxidant substances (against cancer). The main vitamin of honey (Ε), along with other substances, removes from the body the harmful by-products of its own metabolism or other factors, like smoking, radiation and various carcinogens. The cretan honey is a completely natural product and it is produced in areas with endemic vegetation. Today it is known that the island is rich in endemic plants and especially aromatic plants. These are the favourite food of the cretan bees…
If you go for a walk in the bee gardens of Crete you will realise why this island produces the most fragnant honey in the world: Thousands of bushes smell wonderful and some of them grow only in Crete! The Cretan apiculturists do not need to feed their bees with sugar because there are no dead seasons, or periods when the wild vegetation is covered with snow, so the bees can find their food on their own.
Through milleniums it seems that nothing has changed. Maybe the beehive was improved a bit but everything else has remained the same. The bees, the aromatic plants, the pure unspoilt environment of the island. The processing of the Cretan honey is also done in a natural way, without high temperatures that destroy the vitamins.