Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Malta – The Land of Honey

Apiculture in Malta Still Busy as a Bee
By Paul Cachia, DI-VE, 1/14/2009

The Maltese honey bee, known by the scientific name of ‘Apis mellifera ruttneri’ is endemic to these islands alone and compared to the other species, it is less susceptible to the varroa, a deadly disease. It strongly defends its territory against wasps, mice and beetles.

Malta is also blessed by a variety of plant species and a large amount of wild thyme, a very popular plant with bees.

The honey season in Malta starts in early spring when the pollen is available to bees but unlike other countries it practically spans the whole year with the apiaries in Mellieha active until late December.

There are around 150 beekeepers registered with the apiculture centre. Most of them have only small holdings and keep 5 hives or less...

…Maltese honey known as the ‘Wild thyme honey’ is well-sought after, which is after all where the name Melita came from - the land of honey.

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