Despite its small size, Romania managed to make a substantial contribution to the honey trade in the EU. Lately, this country also engaged in measures to ensure product conformity. Research groups and official bodies both played their respective parts in establishing a working framework to characterize and authenticate polyfloral and unifloral honey samples that are commercialized and produced.
The year 2015 was the best time for Romania and Romanian honey. That year, Romania was declared as the largest honey producer in the entire EU. Annually, they were able to produce 35,000 tons of honey.
Quality of Honey from Romania
The quality of Romania’s honey was emphasized when the Minister of Agriculture of China visited Romania. Since China is the biggest producer of honey in the whole world, they want answers to know how Romania’s honey compares with theirs.
The said minister went to visit Udresti, a small Romanian village and spoke with the Federation of Beekeeping Associations of Romania’s secretary. The beekeeper they visited only had 100 hives. However, all these hives produce high-quality honey, which the minister found interesting. He was honest to admit that Chinese honey is inferior in quality compared to Romania and also wondered if the nectar is the only difference. His visit explained that the ways bees were kept made a considerable difference in the quality of Romanian honey.
Factors Affecting Quality of Honey in Romania
The said beekeeper shared that he offered pollen and honey to people who visited his farm, and he even said that his bees were so respectful that it never stung anyone.
Based on the minister’s visit, one thing was clear. The secret to good quality honey is the passion for beekeeping. The weather, soil, and flower types are not the only determining factors. The processing and extraction processes matter, too.
According to Romanian beekeepers Dr. Petre Lordache, winner of the best honey award, here are some tips to make the honey achieve superior quality:
- Never use frames that were used to grow eggs. The bees leave the hive cells, with the “shirt” remaining on the cell. This is where the substances that change the taste of the honey are contained.
- The honey should be extracted manually, with the use of a dedicated centrifugal device.
- You should use a filter with two sieves. The first sieve should have larger holes, and the other should have smaller ones. It would be best if you only used these with gravitational force.
- The honey should not be filtered drastically, and the pollen grains should remain in the honey, keeping its color, flavor, and health benefits.
- Breeding queens should be given special attention.
EU-supported beekeepers’ programs
Another thing that makes Romanian honey achieve superior quality is the state-funded beekeeping programs. The country is already blessed with favorable environmental conditions, and on top of this, the state provides 50% subsidies. The funds are distributed equally among the beehives in the whole country.
For three years, Romania received more than ten percent of the 65 million Euro apiculture budget. This amount is the third largest allocation in the entire EU.
Many factors are affecting the quality of honey produced in Romania. They are already blessed geographically, and the state also acted accordingly by supporting its beekeepers. These, on top with the passion and dedication of the local beekeepers, all contribute to the superior quality of the honey from the country.