History of Beekeeping on the island of Hvar
Beekeeping has a long tradition in Dalmatia, especially on the island of Hvar. Honey was used as a sweetener, and beeswax was used to clean, polish and make candles during the island history. The island is full of scents of sage, lavender, rosemary, heather and bearberry. Honey bees collect flower nectar and convert it to well known honey from the Hvar island. Hvar honey has an excellent quality. Large choice of local honey can be found on the island.
There are about 60 beekeepers on the island. They have approximately 2500 beehives.
Rosemary blooms from early February until mid April. It is an evergreen plant that can grow to a height of two meters. Rosemary honey is one of the finest honeys there is. It is translucent and bright with mild taste. Rosemary honey helps with exhaustion and improves circulation. It is recommended to use it to reduce physical and mental exhaustion.
Sage blooms in April and May. It is a perennial Mediterranean shrub which has a woody stalk height of 50-70 centimeters. Sage honey is a light yellow, slightly greenish color and smells like a flower. It has a healing effect on the respiratory system. It is used for strengthening the immunity.
The favorite plant of beekeepers is lavender which blooms in June and July. Lavender has a purple color and specific relaxing scent. Lavender honey is brighter and has an extremely aromatic smell. It is recommended to take two to three spoons of lavender honey each day to prevent constipation, reduce cramps and regulate heart function. Lavender honey dissolves in milk or light tea and it is good for pregnant women because it reduces pregnancy symptoms. It is one of the most recognizable products of the island of Hvar.
Heather and tree heath are widespread on the island. They are evergreen plants with purple and white flowers. The heather blooms in the spring and the tree heath blooms in September. The honey is bright and blurry with pleasant smell. It is recommended for rheumatic diseases, gout and diseases of the urinary tract.
Bearberry tree is an evergreen shrub that can grow to 10 meters. It grows in the end of the year in October, November and December. Bearberry honey has a bitter taste so beekeepers will never put it on sale.
Island’s honey is also used for liquor. The liquor is made from the best varieties of honey and medicinal plants of the island. It represents a nice souvenir from the island.
Writing about Hvar, its natural beauties and rich cultural heritage is more than work – it is always a pleasure. Writing about the island of Hvar brings back all the memories from this magical island.