HACCP, ISO 22000 and IFS
Country of Origin
The nature in SITIA Crete gives one of the best honeys in the world, authentic thyme honey.
Our honey is all natural with no additives, enriched with all the intense and exquisite natural aromas and flavors of Crete. Our honey is produced according to strict quality standards and comes from selected thyme fields in Sitia.
Wild thyme, with its distinct blue-purple flowers, grows in abundance on the rocky, barren wind- and sea-beaten shores of Crete, and is the signature flavor of honey in the region. It is the only plant on the island that fully blossoms in June and July, and from which the bees can collect nectar and pollen.
The result is a dense golden honey of high nutritional value. The scientifically proven high anti-infectious, and healing properties, has always been highly prized by locals and visitors alike.
Each year we find a suitable area in our nature to place the beehives. We follow the flowering season, find the most optimal areas, and harvest when the combs are filled with honey. This process starts early June in the eastern part of Sitia. The hives are placed in the coastal areas of Papadiokampos, Toplou, Palaikastro, Chiona, Kato Zakro, and Goudouras. After the seaside areas we move on to the highest mountains in Lasithi until August.
Nectar is collected by the bees, as they forage from flower to flower. They use their long, tubelike tongues to suck the nectar out of the flowers, which is stored in their stomachs and carried to the beehive. While inside the bee’s stomach the nectar mixes with the proteins and enzymes produced by the bees, converting it into honey. The bees return to their beehive, they drop the honey into the beeswax comb and fan their wings over each cell to evaporate and thicken the honey. Finally they cap the honeycomb with wax and move on to the next empty comb, starting all over again.
Honey extraction is the central process in beekeeping, where we remove the honey, isolate and contain a pure liquid form. The honey is stored in a wooden structure called a frame, similar to the honeycomb, and harvested late summer. Following the harvest, the hives are transported to our factory for extraction. The procedure is a simple one and applying food safety systems ISO-22000, IFS and HACCP.
When the cell in a frame is filled with honey, the bees seal the cell with a type of wax we call capping. The first step in the extraction process is to remove the capping with an automated machine or with a manually-operated knife. Usually, these tools are used together, along with a pronged fork. The removed capping are rich in honey, which can be slowly drained off. The wax is very valuable and often used to make candles or other products. Automated uncapping machines normally work by abrading the surface of the wax with moving hot knives, which make the process, while messy, easier than doing this task manually. Once uncapped, the frames are placed in a honey extractor, and the honey is removed by centrifugal force, and later filtered and stored.
We place our honey in the appropriate containers, with consistently low temperatures, until its standardized date. The use of the latest contemporary equipment allows us to bottle our honey without sacrificing its aroma or taste. Initially, we remove foreign bodies like beeswax from the honey, and once it has been left for three days, we proceed with bottling in containers.
We recognize that our product is differentiated not only by its unique flavor, but also by its purity and the integrity of our supply chain and processing procedures. Our aim is to ensure our customers trust by the authenticity of a honey’s provenance, but also experience a true taste of Cretan Honey.
All our products are produced with strict quality management, and we deliver analytical reports regarding quality assurance and organoleptic control. This way we safeguard the exceptional character, and are certain that our products can satisfy the most demanding consumers.