What is organic honey?
Organic honey is distinguished by a method of production and beekeeping conditions that respect the specifications of organic farming and whose main characteristics are as follows:
- Bees must be born and raised on organic farms. The rules for organic production must be complied with for at least one year before the honey can be marketed as organic.
- Apiaries may not be located near sources that may pose risks to the health of bees and to the products.
- Hives must be built with natural materials
- Sources of pollen and nectar should be available around the apiary (within 3 km) and be mainly from crops produced with environmentally friendly methods.
- The destruction of bees in the combs, the use of combs that contain brood and the use of synthetic chemical repellents are prohibited when harvesting products.
- To ensure wintering, reserves of honey and pollen are left available in the hives after the production season. Feeding should consist of honey, sugar or organic sugar syrup.
- The use of veterinary drugs is highly regulated: the certifying body or the control authority must be informed before the products can be marketed as organic.
The importance of honey traceability
European texts provide for the obligation to mention the country of origin of the harvest on the label, but this obligation falls in the event of multiple countries of origin in favor of an opaque mention "mixture of originating/non-originating honeys of the European Union ". This lack of transparency leads to 80% of consumers mistakenly thinking they are consuming French honey, even though it is most often blends from different countries and of varying quality. Some countries of origin, starting with the main producing country, China, are often singled out for fraud such as the addition of sugar syrup. A decree has just been published in 2022 which provides, in the case of mixed honey packaged in France, the indication of all the countries of origin in order of importance.
We must ensure the traceability of the honey. At Miel Factory that's what matters most to us: we admire the beekeepers we work with for their work ethic and respect for bees.
The uniqueness of Cuban Honey
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba's main trading partner, the island was unable to supply itself with pesticides for lack of foreign currency and because of the United States embargo. Out of necessity, the government then adopted a policy of organic farming, which continues today.
In Central America, the beekeeping of stingless bees is a practice that dates back at least two millennia, reaching its peak at the end of the Maya era. Meliponines, the subfamily to which these bees belong, include nearly 500 species distributed mainly in the intertropical zone. Most of them nest in dry tree cavities or underground, and are fond of rainforests where they play an active role in pollinating wild plants. On the island of Cuba, only one species of meliponines (Melipona beecheii) is present, it was probably introduced during pre-Columbian times from genetic strains originating from the Yucatán Peninsula. In the countryside around Havana, honey bees continue to be a vector of socialization, because their domestication often corresponds to a family tradition and because the beneficiaries of hive products are familiar to the honey bee keeper. In the forest, on the other hand, honey gives rise to more gathering practices.
Over the past twenty years, awareness of the role of the bee in the functioning of ecosystems and the value of the services that they are likely to provide to agriculture have been at the origin of a rapid evolution in the representations social associated with the insect. This evolution contributes to diversifying the profiles of breeders, to detach practices from the weight of breeding or gathering traditions, and to design meliponiculture as a leisure activity or even to consider its integration into a market logic.
Cuban Honey from Miel Factory
We find in Cuban honey the flavors of the tropics with fruity and spicy notes. Flowers such as amaryllis, bougainvillea, orchid, campanile, almond tree and all the biodiversity of the mangrove brighten Cuban honey.
All our honeys are meticulously checked to guarantee optimum quality.