Apiary visit, bee keeping and honey experience
Walk into any Cretan home and you will doubtlessly find a large pot or jar of the finest delicious honey, never purchased at the supermarket, but locally produced, given to them by a beekeeping acquaintance or family friend.
Honey is still an important part of the Cretan diet and apart from its unbelievable quality, it’s also a symbol of health, purity and well-being.
Honey is also a central part of traditional Cretan weddings; indeed a gift of honey with walnuts is often given to each of the guests as a symbol of fertility and well-being of the couple.
In Crete, local honey is used in baking instead of sugar, to produce mouth-watering syrup sweets such as loukoumades, baklava, honey pies and other pastries.
Crete is one of the sunniest places in Europe, the seemingly endless summer and limited rainy days make the fragrant Cretan herbs and flowers almost waterless, and the resulting nectar is simply superb.
Bee keeping is an art that takes many years to learn to become a “master bee keeper”, 5-7 years and longer in reality, as it’s a practice that is again passed from generation to generation here.
What better way to understand this amazing honey, loved and respected since the ancient Greeks than to visit a traditional local bee keeper and honey producer, witness the process that these incredible creatures go through to reach the end product of that delicious honey in a jar.
We will be guided by a honeybee enthusiast who will familiarize us with other, extremely beneficial products produced by the same honeybee, like the Pollen, the Royal jelly and Propolis, rich in vitamins, proteins and flavonoids.
A first-hand experience of how a mega brain that is a bee colony is organized, we can witness through a glass-hive the absolute order and progress that defines the colony and in the process of the event, we will be explained everything there is to know about the amazing life of the bee Queen and how it controls the entire colony.
Of course we will get a taste of the artisan honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and rakomelo (honey and raki – a local alcohol drink), produced by the very hives that we will visit.
Like the Olive oil, it’s a world beater, once tasted, never forgotten and if you find better elsewhere, I am confident that if I flew you there to taste and found it is as good, then it probably originated from Crete In the first place!
Trip duration: 3 hours