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PDO honeys from Corsica, a guarantee of quality

Today we are talking about Corsican honeys, and more particularly those labelled PDO mele de Corsica. This is a real guarantee of quality and traceability and we tell you why! We gathered this information from the PDO Miel de Corse website, as well as from the beekeeper we work with for these Corsican honeys.


  1. The PDO Miel de Corse 
  2. The specificities of the Corsican bee 
  3. The know-how of Corsican beekeepers 
  4. Corsican flora
  5. The different types of honey 


1. The PDO Miel de Corse 

The island of beauty is a land of beekeeping where the beekeeping tradition has existed for thousands of years. The PDO Miel de Corse appellation is based on various criteria: 

- the specificity of the Corsican flora, which includes a large number of endemic species,
- a Corsican ecotype bee (Apis mellifera mellifera corsica)
- a beekeeping know-how that combines tradition and technicality.

To ensure the quality of these honeys, controls are systematically carried out by a specialised organisation and the INAO (National Institute of Origin and Quality). Laboratory analyses are carried out to certify the quality and origin of the product. Tasting commissions also allow them to judge the appearance, smell and taste of the honeys.

The production conditions are also regularly checked: 
- the hives must be in good condition
- The hives must be in good condition, the wax must be renewed regularly and the wax must be pure bee wax, 
- the hives must be smoked with natural fuels.

Thanks to this sign of quality, the Syndicat AOP "Miel de Corse - Mele di Corsica" has increased the reputation of Corsican honey, modernised the beekeeping activity and allowed the development of the sector with many beekeeping installations. 


2. What are the specificities of the Corsican bee?

The Corsican ecotype bee, Apis mellifera mellifera corsica, is clearly different from other bees because it is perfectly adapted to the climatic and geographical conditions of the island, and has the ability to make the most of the succession of exceptional flowerings throughout the year.

It is a black bee, which is a little more aggressive than the bees of the continent. The Corsican bee produces three times less honey but is more rustic and much more adapted to its territory, which allows a rational and reliable exploitation of all the resources of the environment.

3. The know-how of Corsican beekeepers 

Beekeeping is a production anchored in the traditions of the island, in the past, almost all families had beehives, some of which were implanted in the very walls of the houses.

The etymology of the names of the villages even shows the importance of this activity: Moltifao means "a lot of honey", and Castifao "castles of honey".

The beekeeping profession is complex and requires a great deal of technical expertise. In addition to the essential knowledge of bee biology and the functioning of a colony, Corsican beekeepers have adapted their beekeeping to the specific conditions of the island. 

Beekeeping, and in particular the choice of apiary locations, is directly linked to the knowledge of the land and its specificities. It aims to make the best use of the successive flowerings of the spontaneous vegetation in their diversity and rhythm of development, to take advantage of the altitudinal shift of these flowerings due to their staggering throughout the year. To do this, beekeepers move their hives from the sea to the mountains over the seasons.

This results in two types of practices: some farms work exclusively with fixed apiaries, on sites with high nectar and pollen resources, others practice micro-regional movements, usually over very short distances.

The criteria of the specifications specify that the hives must be installed, organised and well maintained. Smoking of the hives is done with natural fuels (pine needles, eucalyptus leaves, rosemary etc.). Chemical repellents are not allowed. Filtration and decanting are compulsory and remelting of honey is allowed only once, while pasteurisation is forbidden.

apiculteur traditionnel corse

Our partner beekeeper, Colin, at work in the apiary 


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