The location of Gran Canaria in the Atlantic Ocean leads to multiples microclimates that benefit the birth of a unique flora and a large variety of endemic plants, therefore that is why the honey produced in this volcanic island is unique in the world.
The honey of Gran Canaria is produced by the Black Canarian bee, a variety of a local bee adapted to our climate that is characterised for its production and extraordinary docility. The physic, chemical, and organoleptic characteristics of the honey are defined by the type of nectar the bees recollect and two types of honey are distinguished:
Single-flowers: the predominance of the nectar of a floral specie makes the honey have some well-defined sensorial characteristics, the case of the honey from tajinaste, orange tree, pitera or barilla.
Multi-flowers: coming from the nectar of various vegetable species in very variable proportions.
In Gran Canaria there are 300 beekeepers in charge of almost 11.000 hives. The production of honey is very bound to the climate and each year differs in relation to the rain. However, the yearly insular production is around 90.000 kilos of honey.
Types of Honeys
Traditionally, our honeys are sorted in relation to the altitude:
Honey from the coast: In areas that don’t exceed the 600 m over the level of the sea, it stands out the honey of barilla (Mesembryamthemum crystallinum) for having a very flashy white colour and for having a toffee flavour with a caustic touch. There are also collected honeys with touches of orange and avocado. In occasions this honeys can have presence of piteria (American Agave), what provides a sour flavour very valued by some consumers.
Halfway honeys: In areas between 600 and 1.000 m of altitude, are maybe where we can find the most variety of honeys, standing out the honeys with predominance of tajinaste, tedera, cardo or relinchón. In the case of the tedera (Bituminaria bituminosa) the flavour of coconut of their honeys is very characteristic.
Honeys from the summit: Above the 1.000 meters of altitude there are common the multi-flower honeys with predominance of broom, eucalypt or chestnut. These last are characterized for its pleasant smell and its flavour to wet firewood.