Bees were evolved on Earth on Tertiary Period at the beginning of Cenozoic Era, circa 65 million years ago, long before the presence of human.
Considering the fact that honey came up together with the bees we can surely conclude that since then and until 16th century A.C. honey was the only sweetening natural substance in the worlds as it was known that time.
From Prehistoric times man knew how to use honey in diet.
The beginning of Greek beekeeping is lost in the far past of the mythical era
Study of history provides evidence that there was systematic beekeeping.
Beekeeping enterprises were present during pre-Aristotelian period during which beekeeping had been systemised to a great degree.
In Greek Mythology bees and honey – either directly or indirectly – have an important position.
The texts of Aristotle constitute an important milestone for beekeeping of Ancient Greece as well as of all the civilised world of that time.
The only available mean was and still is the beehive.
Solon the Great Lawmaker of the Athenians, enacted laws for beekeeping during that time.
The Father of Medicine Hippocrates was recommending honey to all people and especially to patients.
Why Greek Honey?
Greece is, from the point of view of beekeeping a country with distinct particularity and a great beekeeping tradition and expertise.
- It is one of the richest countries in biodiversity in herbal species, with an 18% of plants being endemic.
- Climate conditions being favourable for the growth of beekeeping, with climate ranging from dry to wet and rainy, with relatively mild winter and large period of sunlight.
- The terrain ranging from lowlander to mountainous/semi-mountainous and island.
- In many cases, plants and trees from different terrain coexist in the same area giving Greek honey it’s unique taste and aroma.
- The high level of expertise and knowledge of Greek beekeepers has been passed on from generation to generation along with its continuous update and growth.
During research conducted by the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, samples of honey from abroad were compared with Greek honey, and results showed Greek Honey as having better antioxidant action.
The same study showed that oak honey was the one with the highest amount of antioxidants followed by fir honey, arbutus honey, chestnut honey, pine honey, thyme honey and orange honey.