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Friday, November 4, 2011

It is about Thyme honey

In Kea, as in most Cycladic Greek islands, we take advantage of the blooming periods primarily of indigenous plants, with emphasis on that of the thyme bush.

Thyme is an indigenous bush growing on rocky and barren landscapes of medium to high altitude. Its bud is especially loved by bees and it offers us the renowned thyme honey. Even though it is, objectively speaking, in the same category as floral honey, it deserves a classification of its own, due to the rich taste and aroma of thyme, which overpowers any other blossom harvested by the bees, and of course its, in comparison to other floral honeys, thick texture. Even though a resilient plant, the thyme blossom is particularly sensitive to weather conditions.  Thus, a powerful heat wave, or prolonged dry period may in fact influence its blooming and, consecutively, the production of honey. Thyme blooming period begins around the middle of June and lasts a month. The end of  the blooming period is followed by the harvest, the gathering of honey from the hives.


We select only the fully filled honeycombs, taking care to leave some honey, particularly in the weaker hives, given that after the harvest of thyme there is no significant blooming taking place for the bees to feed on. After harvesting the honey, we take it into the lab, where it is extracted from the honeycombs, always with mechanical means that do not alter its texture, and the empty combs are returned on the very same day, to minimize any unrest amongst the bees.


A chemical analysis can reveal the honey’s composition, and the plants from which it originates. For any honey to be certified as thyme honey, it must contain a minimum of at least 15% of thyme. Our honey is certified every year, as containing thyme at a percentage of at least 50%!

Stamatis Paouris
Traditional bee keepeer

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