The history of beekeeping goes back thousands of years. Since ancient times, the Greeks attributed to it a great nutritional value and divine properties. Archaeological excavations confirm this and mythological references are numerous. One has only to think of Eros, god of love and desire, who dipped his arrows in honey before aiming at men. And, Hippocrates who recommended honey to the sick.
The history of Cretan honey goes back to the time of the Minoan civilization and Cretan king Melisseas is accorded a special status since his daughter "Melissa" was one of the Nymphs who raised Zeus (the master of Olympus) in feeding honey and milk from a young age. In Greek, "meli" means honey.
Natural honey from an endemic vegetation
Greek honey is known for its quality, aroma and flavor. There are thousands of native plants in Greece, and Crete has more than 140 alone. The finest Greek honey, thyme, is in Crete. This represents about 15% of production, while the other varieties based on pine (about 60%) are more widespread.
Cretan honey is a natural product from areas with endemic vegetation. Thousands of shrubs can be seen, including aromatic plants such as thyme, sage, oregano and eucalyptus. These plants offer bees their favorite food and Cretan beekeepers do not need to give sugar to their bees. There are no dead seasons or periods when wild vegetation is covered with snow, aside from the peaks of the White Mountains in winter.
I chose a quality honey from a beekeeper committed to authenticity and traditional beekeeping. Kosta Fragiadakis practices nomadic apiculture. This imposing man is proud of his heritage, his land and family traditions. One look will convince you of its commitment to beekeeping, nature and bee protection. He shares his passion for tradition, and the origins of a mythical land. A blessed honey of the gods and when you taste it, this honey with thyme will make you a believer of Greek mythology.
Natural and authentic thyme honey
Two varieties of Alfa honey are available. Honey with thyme and another with thyme of forest and wild herbs. Kosta makes sure to harvest honey by moving his hives according to flowering, at the foot of Mount Psiloritis and its rich vegetation of native plants including white thyme. His facilities are modern and respect the ISO 22000 quality and hygiene standards. Honey harvesting is normally done from July to September. Close to the town of Moires in the south of Crete, this is where you can meet Kosta and his family applying principles of beekeeping handed down from generation to generation, offering the honey of the Gods to customers worldwide.
By Patrick Hadsipantelis