Almost invisible, but incessantly busy with their hectic routine, bees are essential for our very survival due to their key role as pollinators. And whilst honey may be the most widely known and used product, we shouldn’t forget other gifts from the bees such as royal jelly, pollen and propolis. Due to the close relationship between bees and their habitat, their creations are like fingerprints of the local environment. And this is why the diversity of Ticino’s pre-alpine landscapes, with plains and hills to the south and high peaks soaring to the north, can be discerned in the various types of local honey, each one of which has particular characteristics depending on the area. Ticino’s honey par excellence though is chestnut honey. The aroma is strong and full-bodied, but secondary floral accents can impart different gradations of colour and taste. Acacia honey on the other hand, usually collected in the Sottoceneri area, is almost colourless, with a fine, delicate fragrance and taste. Lime-tree honey is light brown, and is generally appreciated by those who find false acacia honey too sweet and chestnut honey too strong.
By Alessandro Pesce, journalist and Daniela Linder-Basso (UCT – Unione Contadini Ticinesi)