The honey produced by the bees on Ikaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, is of particularly high quality due to the unique geographical and topographical attributes found on the Island.
Honey from the “ancient healing island” of Ikaria is of particularly high quality and is revered by the famously long-lived Ikarians, who believe it has special healing properties and consume it daily. It has a dark amber color and is thicker and richer than most honey with a unique delicious flavor.
This very rare honey, perhaps the best in the world, is 100% pure, natural, unheated and unpasteurized. Its special characteristics are a function of the unique environment in which the indigenous bees gather their pollen.
The Pine Honey of Ikaria is collected during the late summer/early fall season of August to October. From approximately mid-August, large secretions of honey are found in the beehives and this continues up until the ensuing springtime.
The taste is not overly sweet as this honey has a low concentration of sugars.
The color of this honey is pretty typical and darker than the thyme honey. The spring harvest is paler in color and more transparent than that which is collected in the fall.
The crystallization process proceeds at a slow pace as the natural percentage of glucose is fairly low. Additionally, honey from pine trees remains fluid without crystallizing for six months or longer.
Ikaria is free from industrialization and due its mountainous and undulating rocky terrain, conventional farming is not practiced. The island is therefore free from chemical pollutants that contaminate both air, land and water, leaving the bees to gather their pollen in a pristine, if not perfect, environment. Through laborious effort, the hives are placed in hard to reach areas throughout the hills and mountains where the bees feed on pollen from the Ikarian pines and a broad range of wild flowers and native flora.
The indigenous bees of Ikaria, which are confined to the natural borders of the island, feed off of a broad range of native plants, bushes and herbs which themselves possess interesting health properties. These include: Spring White Heather, Greek Strawberry Tree, Wild Lavender, Thyme, and Oregano, Fall White Heather, Akoniza, and a variety of native Pine Trees.
As a completely natural product, uninfluenced by man, each vintage of Ikarian honey has subtle differences in flavor and aroma based on seasonal climate conditions which affect the flowering patterns and result in proportional differences in pollen collection by the bees. We simply take what they provide us.