Yeia sou!! My name is Maria Zafeiroudis, born and raised in Nikiti Halkidikis. I would like to show you the traditional products of Sithonia from the stories of my “pappou” and my “father” , both beekeepers for many years in Nikiti.
Honey is the sweetest gift of nature to humans! Its unique nutritional and healing qualities have been known since ancient times! According to Mythology, Great Zeus was raised with honey by nymph Melissa (meaning honey). Hippocrates recommended it in many cases, while Democritus, the father of nuclear theory, who lived up to 107 years, used to say: “You need to wet your insides with honey and your outsides with oil”.
Honeymoon! It is magical following the trip of a bee to honey-making.
‘Honeymoom’ comes from the Old English hony moone. Hony refers to the European custom of giving newlyweds enough mead (an alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey and water) to last a month.
Bees collect sweet substances from nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or from excretions of plant-sucking insects. They transfer them to the beehive where they enrich them with extremely valuable components, making honey and storing it to honeycombs!
Honey contains 70-80% sugars, mostly glucose and fructose. 180 nutrients have been identified till now, but there is still work to be done! It contains 16% water, 18 different organic acids, proteins and amino acids, minerals in small quantities (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.), enzymes, protein complexes, vitamins (B2, B6, C, D, E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, etc. ), natural flavouring substances, etc.
Why is honey good for you?
Dr Honey – the sweetest doctor! Hippocrates recommended a solution with honey to soothe coughs and heal sore throats caused by viruses. Even nowadays, honey is thought of as an effective and alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine. The bacteriostatic power of honey is another unique quality, as it prevents the multiplication of bacteria. It is ideal for sore throats, wounds and burns!
If we consume honey daily, it does not only mean that we eat something tasty and sweet, but it also means that we improve our health! In addition to energy, it also offers well-being, regulates metabolism, protects against stomach or intestinal disorders, enhances the heart function and blood flow, represses anaemia, protects liver and kidney!
How do honey bees make honey?
The Queen Bee – 5 days after she emerges from her queen cell, a virgin Queen bee will mate in flight with approximately 10 or more drones. Their sperm is saved in sperm cells and the Queen Bee returns to the beehive where she lays up to 2000 eggs per day. A mixture of substances is excreted by the Queen’s exocrine glands and it is called royal substance. This substance is responsible for the peaceful synchronization in the behaviour between all the members in the beehive. Drones are the male bees of the colony. They develop from eggs that have not been fertilized. Drones cannot sting because they do not have a sting, which is a characteristic of the females and only them. Also, they cannot gather nectar or pollen. Drone’s main function is to fertilize the Queen. The mating occurs in flight and away from the hive. A strong colony has nearly 300 drones. But when the food is not enough, the worker bees drive the drones out of the hive. Hence, they die since they cannot gather food.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in order to arrange a visit to our biggest factory here and see the Queen bee through our own eyes.