Somebody asked me once what is the best honey in the world. I said there is no such thing, and then I read about contests called “The Best Honey”. So maybe just being raw is not enough? Which is the best honey in the world?
From where comes the reputation of Romanian honey? Why is it so appreciated?
In June 2014, China’s Minister of Agriculture decided to find out the answer and paid Romania a visit. We are talking about China, the country with the biggest production of honey in the world!
The Chinese minister visited a small village, Udresti, and talked to Viorel Iosif, the secretary of Federation of Beekeeping Associations of Romania – Romapis, a beekeeper from father to son. He has only 100 hives, but produces a highly appreciated honey, which was so interesting for the Chinese dignitary.
We notice the honesty of the minister, who recognized that the quality of his country’s honey was way under the Romanian honey. What is the mystery? It couldn’t be only in the nectar the bees gather, so it had to be something connected to the way the bees were kept. This explained his personal visit.
The 61 years old beekeeper relates how he offered his visitors some honey and pollen and the bees were respectful enough not to sting anybody! 🙂
China represents 40% of the world honey production. But it’s of low quality. Would Romania going to export honey to the biggest honey producing country? It’s hilarious… Yet, it happened. In 2015 a company from Baicoi, owned by a 75 years old beekeeper sold 15 tons of honey to China. They asked more analyses than the usual number of analyses asked by any European country. Paid for them, too. And then, bought. A lot.
Viorel Iosip is also selling his honey to Germany, a country that “hunts” especially organic honey. Before buying it, they send it to their laboratories, in Germany, for 28 analyses that cost like 600 to 700 euros. Then, after they are convinced of the honey’s purity, the transaction is done – the Romanian beekeeper explains. He produces only 1.5 tons of honey per year, and the request is way too much for his 100 hives.
His best honeys are: sunflower honey, rapeseed honey, linden and acacia honey.
In 2015, Romania has exported 50% of its total honey production. To Germany and Spain and other nordic countries of Europe, which are well known to consume a lot of honey, to China and to other eastern countries.
Romania produces on average 20,000 tons of honey annually, ranking fourth in Europe and last year there were around 40,000 beekeepers with 900,000 bee colonies. Yes, a small country, but a nation of beekeepers.
The most appreciated honeys of Romania: honeydew honey, rapeseed honey, sunflower honey and acacia honey.
Where can we find Romanian honey?
There are lots of Romanian beekeepers who chose to sell their honey in other countries. Here is Dorulet Stancu from Happy Hive, who sells raw, unfiltered, high quality honey in Ireland. He started selling at the back of his car, but his honey was so appreciated, that things changed very quickly. Take a look:
You can always contact him if you want some good quality honey:
And here is another Romanian beekeeper, Mihai Grama, who sells 1 kg of honey with 35 euros! – His honey comes from the depths of Carpathian forests, made by the wild Carpathian honey bees – which he hunt and domesticate.
It cannot get more raw than this! 🙂
Amazon.co.uk also sells Romanian honey. See here:
Raw Health Organic Squeezy Romanian Acacia Honey 350 g (Pack of 2);
or here, a jar of Romanian honey which was packed in Hungary: Honeycomb Acacia Clear Honey – Romanian 454g
What’s the secret of such a good honey?
The passion for it. It’s not only about the type of flower, soil and weather. It also depends on the extraction and processing. Here are some tips shared by dr. Petre Iordache and his wife Veronica Mîndru Mara, from Apiflora, who won the contest of “the best honey” at the following categories: “Best Locust Honey”, “Best Lime Honey” and “honey specialties.”:
- do not use the frames that were already used for growing eggs, because when the bees goes out of the cells, a certain “shirt” will remain in the cell. This contains substances that may alter the taste of honey.
- The honey is extracted only manually, using a centrifugal device. The filter is done using 2 sieves, one provided with holes larger and one with smaller holes, and it is used only the gravitational force for this. Honey is not drastically filtered, and pollen grains will still remain in the honey, giving flavor and color. Not to mention the health benefits of it.
- Pay increased attention to breeding queens. There is a lot of literature, but to put into practice everything you read is a long way. There will be many hindrances that only practice can help you overcome.
- Here is another secret, known from a grand grand father, shared with all beekeepers by Alexandru Nicoara, on his blog:
Bread with onion and garlic.
It’s a special bread used to feed and stimulate queens. It is given as a stimulent at the end of autumn or in spring. You’ll need the following ingredients:
10 kg powdered sugar
0.3 kg onion finely ground (blender or juicer)
0.3 kg of finely ground garlic
0.5 fine cornflour
2 kg honey
10 packs of lemon salt (8 grams each)
100 grams inactive dry yeast
Mix all ingredients until you get a smooth composition. Then put it in plastic or paper bags, and close them making sure there is no air left inside (as much as possible). Prick the bags with the bread inside or scratched them with a fork and then place them over the frames, with the scratched surface facing the frames.
The bags will have like 1 kg, from the total amount of 13 kg which is obtained, and it will be enough for 13 hives. The onion and the garlic will prevent lice breeding. Besides this natural treatment against the Varroa lice, the beekeeper uses fumigation with Varachet and mavrirol bands. But because of these breads there will be more eggs and the bees will live longer.
Be very careful and do not exceed the 50 gr onion and garlic juice at 1 kg of cake, otherwise the effect will be opposite than desired.
There are dozens of recipes available, each beekeeper experimented till finding the best solution for his bees. And if you manage to find a way, stick with it and don’t try to push further and improve “the best” – it will inevitably go wrong.
“Love the bees and respect them!
Even more, love and respect the people who’re going to eat that honey!
Offer them quality!”
Pictures and info references:
Mihai Ganea -picture source and info references: http://agrointel.ro/30597/cel-mai-bun-pret-mierea-romaneasc-cluj/
17 thoughts on “What’s the best honey in the world? What’s so special at the Romanian honey?”
HI LAURA…I AM USING LANGANES HONEY A GERMAN PRODUCT, WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT?
Yes, Langnese is a trustful brand, with tradition. I love its Black Forest Honey. 🙂
I’m told Turkish Honey is the best in the world. Now, with this information posted above – I’m more than confused. Can someone break this down for me? I’m in the USA and would love to try them all – but, of course, price is an issue for me as well.
There is no such thing as “the best”. First of all there are some categories and then there is always our individual taste and background (subconscious level). And so we can have:
– the healthiest honey – which is impossible to label, as they are all good in different areas of health. And each country says their honey is the best: manuka honey, kanuka honey, mari honey, tualang honey, neem honey, sidr honey, Turkish honey, Bashkir honey and the list can go on.
– the most expensive honey. Here I can name Elvish honey, which is without doubt the most expensive, as it is sold with 5,000 EURO per kilogram.
– the best looking – Americans have been inoculated with the idea that the more transparent, pure and amber in color the best honey it is. An idea which is more than wrong. See here an article What is the difference between pure honey and raw honey?
My personal opinion is that to be good a honey should be as raw and organic as possible. Which is why local beekeepers that sell you honey made in forests (mountains) far from the industrialized areas is the best for anybody. Since the proclaimed “best honey” made in Australia, Turkey, Romania, Russia, Malaysia etc. Don’t look for One – The Best. They are all the best. 🙂
Hi. Indeed romanian honey i one of the best in the world, because in Romania the industrialisation is almost “zero”. Pollution is inexistent. This is the reason why our apiculture group sells honey and other products in Germany and Italy.
We are a small organic apiary on the Island of Grenada and twice won the award for the best honey in the world at the UK honey show in London. in 2015 we won the medal of Ukraine donated by the Ukraine Fellowship of Beekeepers, and in 2016 the Henders Cup donated by the Irish Federation of the Beekeepers for the best honey in the world.
Thank you for your comment here and lots of congratulation for your honey. With your permission, I will write an article about this “small apiary” you are running, so people can know that the title of “best honey” is something people really work for and not just some honey found hanging in a cave. As it is the case with another “best honey in the world”. Also, the most expensive. See The most expensive honey in the world is sold for 5000 euro per kilogram. Scam or not?
I’ll let you know when the article is done.
Thank you again. And the best of luck in 2017 as well.
Update: the article is ready. Here are some words about your “small” but important apiary: What is the Best Honey in the World? Apimondia can give an answer.
Do you have a web site? Do you sell and ship your honey to the United States?
I think it’s jessamine-eden.com
I wrote about it in What is the Best Honey in the World? Apimondia can give an answer.
Send her an email, I’m sure she’ll answer you back.
The best honey in the world is the Yemeni honey that called Sider,it is natural and pure, it used as a medicine for those they have diabetic.
I really enjoyed this post and I was wondering if I could promote the honey producer I am representing.
Sherbee Farms is a Romanian honey brand, 100% natural honey produced and packaged in Romania. I distribute his products in Central and Western Europe. If there’s anyone interested in trying our honey, please check the website and let us know.
Thanks a lot and keep up the good work, spreading the word on the benefits of honey!
We are based in Saudi Arabia and very much interested in buying honey product from Europe . Please can you share your contact detail so i could start discussion on buying and sample process.
Amazing article about such great raw material.
My father is a hobby-beekeeper and looking to export around 10.000l – bio honey of different types. If more quantity needed, he is able to deliver more quantity. The bees are close to a forest = no pollution = high quality.
If anyone knows anything – get in touch with me pls by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our website: http://www.bee-mania.com and leave us a message via the contact form. We will contact you as soon as possible and answer all your questions.
Please give me info on how to get that honey.
Bee-mania gave its answer to another reader here on this page. Here is what they said “Please visit our website: http://www.bee-mania.com and leave us a message via the contact form.” You can also sent them an email to email@example.com.
By far Yemen Sidr Honey is the best honey I ever tried. Much better than Manuka Honey. However, it is worth trying both if you can afford it.