March 6, 2021

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Mallorca Gardening: Building Honey

Buzzing About Honey

Arriving at Mel Vici in Alaro not too long ago, I was greeted by the most superb smell of recently harvested honey.

Started off by childhood friends Biel Coll and Pau Queralt this is a organization that came about due to the fact the friends preferred to do the job exterior and did not see by themselves as cheesemakers! Loving the countryside and wanting the inhabitants of bees to improve, it seemed an apparent alternative to enter the world of beekeeping and generating honey.

Mel Vici - Honey

This artisan enterprise was designed from the ground up with no practical experience and extremely handful of other beekeepers on the island to discover from. Nonetheless with their perseverance and committment to make the best honey Mel Vici has turn out to be an at any time increasing company.

Pollen
Mel Vici don’t only deliver organic and natural Majorcan honey, they also generate refreshing pollen. I had no notion that this was gathered straight from the bees following their foraging journeys and was fascinated to discover how basic it is to collect.

A bee approaching a broccoli flower

The bee when she is traveling from flower to flower and happily masking herself in pollen will then push it down her physique accumulating it into little balls on her legs. Evidently, and only when the bees have a great deal of foodstuff to take in, they are encouraged to fly as a result of a accumulating box, which has a good grid in it, that knocks the pollen balls from their legs as they return to their hives.

Collecting Pollen

These are then collected in a tray beneath. Mel Vici sell this as a fresh new product but you will typically see it as a dried product in jars. I’m instructed that bee pollen has all the necessary amino acids that our bodies have to have for optimal health. One more solution which is created is propolis. This is a material which bees truly use as a defence to block holes, like a glue. We use it as it is beneficial for its antisptic and antibacterial qualities and generally utilised for sore throat solutions amid other issues.

The trays from inside a bee hive

The wax from the hives is used for issues like furnishings polish and facial area creams, so it looks extremely minor is wasted from a hive.

Mel Vici arrived to fruition about 6 decades back and whilst in the commencing they would accumulate rogue colonies collected in peoples gardens and other unwanted destinations they are now breeding their individual queens and colonies and also sell their bees to others on the island and also Minorca. In breeding their possess queens they are ready to assure a healthy and effective colony of bees which deliver the finest good quality honey.
The odor of the honey as we arrived experienced deep caramel aromas and this is thanks to the Autumn harvest being from bees gathering from the Carob trees.

Bee hives in the countryside

There are two honey harvests in the yr and I’m informed that the spring harvest has a lighter color and smell from the spring flowers. Mel Vici are very keen that honey labelled Majorcan honey is just that, and they convey to me that after the honey from their harvests are sold, there is no extra manufactured until the future harvest. Luckily for us for we buyers, Mel Vici keep on to increase their hives and at this time have all over 600 hives with close to 60,000 bees in each and every.

Biel Coll checks the queens

Each hive holds a queen bee, woman employee bees and, when there is an abundance of meals in spring, some males. At this time in character bees will come to a decision they will need to have a lot more worker bees so that they can acquire additional pollen. The queen is the only a single who decides irrespective of whether a bee will be male or feminine. When the hive is about complete with new bees the queen will depart and 50 percent of the hive will stick to her, she finds a new hive and can make new employee bees. The remaining fifty percent will create a new queen and in winter when there is not as considerably food items about they will get rid of off the males as their only occupation is to fertilise the queens eggs and eat! In this way colonies are ready to reproduce and mature insize and this is what Biel and Pau are recreating to hold their colonies increasing and Majorcan bees in best wellbeing.

Pau Queralt checking the hives

Their 600 hives produce close to just one and a 50 percent tonnes of honey at each harvest. This sounds to be an awful good deal but Biel factors out that it is no where by around more than enough to feed the whole island. There is considerably honey that is imported to the island from in other places but this is not a little something that Biel or Pau wish to take a look at and hence Mel Vici honey is very unique.
We were lucky enough on our go to to sample some of the honey we observed becoming harvested.

The hand worked centrifugal machine

The perform is nearly all carried out by hand but they have been extremely happy to demonstrate me their new electrical centrifugal machine (see video) in which they can stack 4 instances as several trays of honeycomb than the hand model which they nonetheless use for smaller client harvests.
On the side of each individual of their jars it tells you that it normally takes 1,152 bees that have travelled 180,246 kilometers and visited 4.5 million flowers to make just one 450g jar of honey. There is no question they are named employee bees!
Mel Vici have now made a small business plan enabling shoppers to have their own honey with bees sourced from them. For a mothly price they will then preserve the hives and harvest and jar the honey, all of which is returned to you. Some of this honey was becoming gathered at the time of our stop by and is nonetheless quite much accomplished by hand and fully all-natural. A terrific way to have your individual stunning honey.

A bee approaching a broccoli flower
As a gardener I was interested to know if my endeavours to stimulate bees into the backyard are handy and was happy to know that my leaving brassicas like broccoli to flower is beneficial. The bees also truly like bouquets these kinds of as rosemary, lavender, cucumber, melon and courgette. So I hope all gardeners sign up for me in continuing to plant a range of points to encourage the bees. We require them! Thank you Biel and Pau! If you’d like to discover out far more or see who shares the honey Biel and Pau can be attained through their fb website page Mel Vici d’Alaró