In the heart of Ariège, the Pyrenees Ariégeoises Regional Natural Park was created in 2009 in 138 municipalities in the Ariège Pyrenees. It is renowned for the richness and diversity of their natural, cultural and human heritage.
The heather callune of the Ericaceae family is a sub-shrub or a shrub of 30 centimeters to one meter in height, it carries many tight branches, erect and more or less twisted.
Its name "calluna" comes from the Greek word "callunein" which means to sweep: the branches of the callune were formerly used to make brooms.
Callune is an important food source for sheep and deer because, due to its evergreen foliage, it can be eaten when snow covers the ground and vegetation.
The leaves are opposite reduced in small sessile scales placed in 4 rows. The petaloid calyx, which encloses the corolla, is surrounded at its base by a calicle, of green color, formed of small bracts tight against each other.
The flowers of the heather, pink or purple in color, are collected in compact clusters. They have 4 petals arranged in the shape of a bell.
In large numbers on the upper parts of the stems, they bloom from July to October. Their colors vary: purple, pink, lilac, violet, sometimes very pale to white. Once wilted, the flowers turn brown and remain on the plants in the winter. The fruits are tiny, hairy, gray capsules containing the seeds.
The beekeeping interest
The quintessential nectar-producing plant, its abundant, year-round flowering is a great attraction for bees, especially at times when food is scarce.
Our Callune honey
Callune honey harvested by Miel Factory is characterized by its gelatinous texture.
Urinary antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic, callune honey is very rich in vitamins and minerals.
Its slightly bitter flavor has a fairly pronounced caramel note.