The EEC Directive of 22nd July 1974 defines honey as “a foodstuff produced by bees from the flower nectar or the secretions produced by plants; the bees collect, transform, and combine them with their own specific substances, store them and let them mature in the beehive combs”. The final product elaborated by bees consists of 95% of sugar, out of which 90% is glucose and fructose. The plants growing in the Park and in the surrounding area used for the production of this honey are: rhododendron, dandelion, acacia, chestnut, and mixed flowers.
“Dolomiti Bellunesi Honey” obtained the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) with EC Regulation no. 241 of 11th March 2011.
There are six varieties of Dolomiti Bellunesi Honey, according to the various nectars used by bees: mixed flowers, acacia, lime tree, chestnut tree, rhododendron, dandelion.
The specifications describe the features of the six varieties of honey in the following way:
- Mixed Flower Honey has a color going from light yellow to amber, a sweetish taste, soft with a strong crystallization tendency.
- Acacia Honey (or Black Locust) is clear, transparent, with a very delicate and very sweet taste, a scent recalling the acacia flowers, typically liquid.
- Lime Tree Honey has a color going from yellow to light green, a taste with a slightly bitter aftertaste, fresh and balsamic scent, mellow aspect with late crystallization.
- Chestnut Tree Honey has a dark brown color, not very sweet, bitterish, tannic, with a sharp and aromatic scent.
- The precious Rhododendron Honey is almost colorless, white or light beige after crystallization, delicate taste, vegetable and fruity scent, liquid aspect at first and then mellow, and is thinly-grained.
- Dandelion Honey has yellow reflections, is not very or normally sweet, usually acid, slightly bitter and astringent.
Bee keeping has always been widespread in the mountains of Belluno, and the rich alpine flora includes several species very interesting for bees.