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Greek Honey and Apiculture
The art of beekeeping is practiced systemically in Greece by the 15th century B.C. Honey was produced from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods and beekeeping around Athens was so widespread that Solon passed a law about it: “He who sets up hives of bees must put them 91 meters (300 feet) away from those already installed by another”.
Greece has the ideal conditions for apiculture and is a country with long tradition and expertise in beekeeping. Greece has more bee hives per acre than any other country in Europe, and along with Spain, the greatest number of professional beekeepers. Greek honey is considered to be one of the finest in the world. It receives high recognition worldwide due to its high quality, exceptional flavor and excellent aroma.
Earth scientists and botanists consider Greece to have the richest flora in the Mediterranean basin, with more than 7,500 different species of plants, 850 of which are found exclusively in this country. The country’s unique environmental and geographic characteristics with long periods of sunshine favor the existence of a great variety of wild flowers, aromatic herbs, bushes and coniferous trees that are responsible for the distinctive and unique characteristics of Greek honey. More than 100 different plants contribute to its final composition. In addition, the nomadic way of Greek beekeeping, which is taking advantage of the different vegetative cycles in different regions, contributes to these unique qualities of Greek honey. Depending on the season, Greek beekeepers move their hives across the country over long distances, looking for concentrated areas of blossoming wild flowers and aromatic herbs or forests, rich in coniferous trees, to obtain honey with the purest flavor. Rich density, various distinctive flavors, exceptional aromas and unique organoleptic characteristics distinguish Greek honey and make it exceptional.
Generally, Greek honey is divided into two major categories: blossom or flower honey, produced from the nectar of wild flowers and aromatic herbs and honeydew honey, produced from coniferous trees. If any of the floral or tree variety dominates, then honey will have that specific flavor. Greece is the only European country that has identified and legislated physiochemical, microscopic and sensory characteristics of 8 types of honey (pine, spruce, chestnut, heather, thyme, orange, cotton and sunflower). Certain honey varieties produced in Greece are unique, rare and cannot be found anywhere in the world, such as thyme, pine and spruce honey. Constant quality control by authorities and beekeepers ensures its purity and authenticity and results in Greek honey being classified as one of the safest products.
Greek honey acts as a natural remedy for many ailments and helps strengthen the immune system. Specialists recommend consuming honey at breakfast, as it is a great energy booster for kids, athletes, elders and working people of all ages. One spoonful of honey contains 64 calories. The recommended quantity is 1-3 spoonful (or more) per day for healthy adults.