Beekeeping is part of the Bulgarians’ life since the ancient Thracian period. Bee honey and wax were one of the main exchange products in the trade of old Bulgarians. The history of the Bulgarian beekeeping consists of ancient traditions, knowledge and experience. The centuries-old practice of the former Bulgarian beekeepers has created facilities that have become a prototype for making such instruments in a number of other countries and which are used up to the present day. Bulgaria has been known as the biggest producer of high-quality honey and wax for a very long time, and it is not accidental. Bulgaria is a small country, gathered in a handful of places, but it has so much magic, history, traditions, and natural treasures that no imagination can hold.
The biodiversity here is extremely rich because it has almost all European habitat types as well as a significant number of unique ecosystems. Over one third of the country’s territory is mountainous and semi-mountainous areas, pure nature, far away from industrial areas and all sources of pollution. An industrial decline has been observed since the collapse of the socialist system in Bulgaria. The lack of working enterprises in heavy industry leads to preservation and enrichment of the ecological environment, which gives the green light to organic production. There are numerous protected areas in the country that aim to conserve rare plants and animals included in the list of the world-threatened species. Bulgaria is one of the richest countries in herbs and honey plants in Europe, many of which are unique to the world.
The moderate climate, varied vegetation and ecological natural conditions encourage the development of strong and healthy bee colonies, as well as the extraction of clean and useful honey with strong taste and aroma.
The power of Bulgarian honey is that it combines several unique honey types of certain valuable and healing meadow plants such as acacia, lime, thyme, lavender, etc., and also that an increasing amount of it is from the desired category “bio”. By the number of organic certified bee families, Bulgaria ranks first among the honey producers in Europe. A prerequisite for this is the clean nature and numerous protected areas. The so called manna honey, for example, which is one of the most valuable types of honey, is derived from oak trees growing high in the mountains, and even without a certificate of organic production, it is clean and of perfect quality. Most of the conventional, uncertified honey possesses these features. The world’s largest honey producers – China, Argentina and Brazil – have turned the apiaries into true industrial plants, which, on the other hand, determines the lower quality of this honey. The Bulgarian honey is unique and of high quality, and its taste is different from what you have tried before. This is because it is harvested in small private farms in quiet forest and mountainous areas in the wild, remote from the industrial zones. Bulgarian honey has unique quality due to the fact that it is produced in smaller quantities with the utmost care of the farmers.
The honey produced in Bulgaria has excellent taste and healing properties – so high that importers use it as an enhancer of the honey sold in their countries. This is one of the reasons why this superb product is not found on the shelves of the stores under the name “Bulgarian Honey”.
During the last decade honey has emerged as a significant product for Bulgaria, which is present at all international exhibitions alongside the Bulgarian yoghurt, rose oil and wine.
At present, Bulgaria has an export potential of about 10,000 tons of conventional and organic honey. More and more young people take up this ancient, legendary craft of their ancestors. On the other hand, having in mind the number of the population in the country, domestic consumption of natural honey per year does not exceed 2 500 tons. Almost every household living in the village produces honey for their own consumption. Therefore, with regard to the production of honey in Bulgaria, there always will be enough quantities for export.
If you want to taste pure healing elixir, you can get it directly from the Bulgarian manufacturers. There are opportunities to increase the quantities produced for export and to increase the number of the existing destinations, as well as to open up new markets with suitable price situation and significant demand. Europe is importing honey from several Latin American countries such as Argentina, Mexico and Chile. Bulgaria has a chance to take up this niche thanks to the low transport cost of delivery, competitive prices and higher product quality.