SPAIN, SWEET AS HONEY

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Honey from heather in the woods of Asturias in Northern Spain

By Jack Wright
Source: Marca España (marcaespana.es/en/)

 

No bees, no honey; no work, no money

 

Mesolithic rock painting of a honey hunter harvesting honey and wax from a bees nest in a tree c.6000 BC. At Cuevas de la Araña en Bicorp, Spain.

Guess what, Spain has the largest beekeeping sector of the European Union. Does that say anything to you? It should! Henry David Thoreau says, “There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance.” In this age of unremitting wars against Nature, isn’t it nice to know that we live in a country that engages in a “noble and fine” relationship with Nature?

Spain has more than 29,000 beekeeping units which produce a total of +30,000 tons of honey a year, or 15% of the total EU output, making the country the largest honey producer in Europe.

On top of the quantity, Spanish honey is high quality, its texture smooth and uniform. So much so that out of the 30,731 tons produced in 2015, 30,208 were exported, according to the report  “The Honey Industry in Figures” published by the Ministry of Agriculture.

 

The world loves licking Spanish honey !

The key to the success of Spanish honey in the demanding international market is its excellent quality due to fine weather and the huge variety of flowers in the countryside.

The taste and smell of Spanish honey make it hugely popular all over the world, especially in Europe. France is the largest importer of the Spanish bee’s produce – 24.5% of the honey sold abroad; Italy imports nearly 24.3%; Germany 17.6%; Portugal 14.6%.

Mel Muria

If Europe buys Spanish honey for reasons of quality, won’t Asia do the same? It will. The region is turning into a key market for Spanish beekeepers as well. The Catalan company Mel Muria is a happy witness of this phenomenon. After breaking into the Japanese, South Korean and Saudi Arabian markets, it is now selling its gourmet brand, ArtMuria, and its organic honey, Bio Muria, in Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest trading destinations.

The Muria family has been in the beekeeping business since 1810. Their farm is in El Perelló, in the province of Tarragona, a “honey town” that produces 60% of all the honey in Catalonia.

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Images
Featured image: Honey from the woods of  Asturias in northern Spain by Adam Vincent
Honey seeker by  fr:Utilisateur:Achillea, GNU Generasl Public License
Mel Muria logo