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Karystian Honey

Karystian honey includes many varieties, such as blossom honey, May honey, thyme, sage-oregano and heather honey. The local bee-keepers often move their hives to other parts of Greece in order to produce different kinds of honey, like fir honey and pine honey.

The blossom honey from Karystos.
The hives during the winter months have a small population. Up until March the existing forage provides enough flowering to help the colonies develop. In April and May the bees gather the honey which the bee-keepers harvest at the end of May. This is called blossom honey, spring honey or May honey and it is the first harvest of the year. May honey is a light-coloured honey and it sets at relatively low temperatures.

Forage up until then consists mainly of: buttercups, black mustard, mallow, lavender, savory and rosemary.

Thyme honey and sage-oregano honey from Karystos.
Later the summer flowering starts: mountain tea, oregano, thyme. Mountain tea and oregano grow mainly at higher altitudes. Thyme usually grows around the promontories of the region. There is a good reason for that. To create the ideal conditions for nectar secretion, thyme needs a temperature of about 32°C and relative humidity. Around the promontories these plants are constantly exposed to the strong sunlight while the prevailing north-easterly winds carry humidity from the Aegean and the Evoikos Gulf. Summer flowering last until the end of July. Then the second harvesting of the year takes place for thyme and sage-oregano honey. Thyme honey is a very aromatic, thin and light honey with a typical strong flavour and it sets about 8-9 months after its production. It is a suitable honey to use in confectionery.

Heather (kisouri) honey from Karystos.
From the beginning of August a type of heather called ‘kisouri' starts to flower in the region of Karystia. The nectar secretion of ‘kisouri' lasts until October when it is finally harvested to produce the renowned honey, known in the old years as ‘rodomelo'. This is a dark honey full of nutrients (iron) and many vitamins, with a great nutritional value. It sets rather fast and gets a buttery texture. It can be consumed plain and has many benefits for old people and children.

Fir tree honey.
Fir tree honey comes first in nutritional value. Many bee-keepers from Karystos move their hives to Central Evia and around Mt Dirfis, which is covered with fir trees. This activity takes place between the 10th of May and the 15th of July. Fir tree honey is viscous, it hasn't got a strong aroma and it doesn't set but it is very flavoursome and the richest in elements and vitamins.

Pine honey.
Another honey produced in Evia is pine honey. Two to three times a year between September and November the bee-keepers from Karystos move their hives to North Evia where the bees collect the honey from the local pine trees. Pine honey is quite light and has the distinctive flavour of resin. It doesn't set and it is quite nutritious.

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