Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Types of honey - The wealth of Greece

Παραγωγοί μελιού συλλέγουν τα καλύτερο μέλι στην Ελλάδα

A product unique in its kind, a source of nutrients, a feast of colors, flavors and aromas: Greek honey is a symbol of the healthy Mediterranean diet and the types of honey we find in Greece prove it day after day.

Let's get to know them!


How many kinds of honey are there?

In Greece there are 2 main types of honey, and each variety (such as pine honey, oak honey, thyme honey, etc.) belongs to one of them – or is a mixture of both!

We may often think of bees in relation to flowers and pollen due to the important role they play in pollination and the environment in general, but we forget one thing: this small but miraculous insect does much more!

The bee also collects honeydew from tree trunks, giving us, in fact, one of the best types of honey in Greece, pine honey, which accounts for almost 65% of domestic annual production!

So, here are the two types of honey:


Flower honey 

The types of honey derived from flowers and herbs, also known as flower honeys, are lighter in color and not as dense, with a higher percentage of sugars. The thyme honey of Kythera, the honey from orange blossoms, from cotton or acacia, even the honey of Olympus, due to the biodiversity of the area, give us the aromatic flower honey that we love so much. When it comes to this kind of honey, there are no questions regarding how it is produced – the typical method is followed, with the bees looking for pollen and nectar!


You may also like to know: How is honey produced?


Forest honey

The honey varieties that come from large native trees of the Greek countryside, such as pines and firs, are dark and thick, and not so sweet. These honeys are produced from honeydew, i.e. tree secretions, and not from pollen, with Thassos pine honey and Halkidiki honey being the most popular! Pine and fir honey is often referred to as "forest honey".

Did you know? The scale insect that produces these secretions has many names in Greece: we call it “vamvakada” (“vamvaki” means “cotton”), or “ergati” which means “worker”, while its scientific name is Marchalina hellenica - Marchalina the Greek!


What are the different types of honey in Greece?

In Greece, a country with rich vegetation, forests and aromatic shrubs from Crete and the Aegean islands, to Olympus and Halkidiki, the honeys that are produced are rich in taste, aroma and density, characteristics that make Greek honey stand out - making it, for many people, the best honey in the world.

Let's look at the most common types of honey in Greece and their main characteristics:


Pine honey

It accounts for 2/3 of the Greek honey production! It belongs to the dark types of honey that do not crystallize easily because of their low sugar content, and has a full taste and intense aroma that make pine honey unique.

Discover the pine honey of Thassos, Halkidiki and Rhodes in a jar of Muses Honey!


Fir honey

A relatively expensive kind of honey, quite dense and with a slightly resinous aroma. Karpenisi honey will fascinate you with its taste.


Chestnut honey

Widespread in mountainous Greece, chestnut honey is considered a flower honey but with honeydew characteristics and for this reason every honey company must indicate its botanical origin on the label.


Honey from orange blossom and other citrus fruits

A sweet honey flower variety, very aromatic and tasty, with a light-yellow color that should be consumed in a short time – typically produced by bees during the summer. Its high concentration of sugars makes it the best honey for sleep for many!


Oak honey

Ideal for those who love intense flavors, oak honey has a very dark color but also strong antioxidant action. For many people, it is the best honey for tea!


Thyme honey

Thyme honey is a variety of excellent quality and in great demand. Thyme honey from Kythera and Crete is considered by many to be the best honey in the world.


Heather honey

It belongs to the rare species of honey but its demand is constantly increasing. Heather is a purely beekeeping plant and, in our country, there are 4 plants of the family, each giving us unique flavors and aromas per season:

  • autumn heather, also known as "sousoura" (Erica verticillata)
  • spring heather (Erica arborea)
  • “strawberry tree” (Arbutus unedo)
  • Rhododendron

The nutritional value of heather honey is considered to be quite high! It is considered the best type of honey for health by many people.


Further reading: Nutritional value of honey - Everything you need to know!


What is the best honey in Greece?

Greek honey is now world famous for the beneficial properties attributed to it and its unique characteristics. However, it is difficult to answer what is the best honey in Greece and this is because the choice is based on the personal preferences of each person!

The only thing that’s certain is honey, from ancient Greece until today, holds a prominent place in Greek cuisine, with recipes and customs in every corner of our country, many of them preserved for thousands of years!

Add honey to your nutrition and cooking, and enjoy what the Greek nature generously gives us – enjoy Muses Honey!


Choose the best Greek honey!