Everyday Life in Hungary

Bees, Honey and Hungary

Most people love the delicious taste of honey. We buy the local honey and eat it on hot buttered toast, wonderful! Not only does it taste good but it has many healthy benefits too. Honey has a disinfecting effect and gives inflammation relief, particularly for those sore throats.

Hungary is the largest producer of natural honey with over 15,000 beekeepers throughout the country. Bees are one of the best pollinators in the world but unfortunately numbers are declining. This is mainly to due to the widespread use of pesticides.

We can all do our part to support the dwindling population by providing abundant food sources for them in our gardens. Plant flowers with blooms to encourage them to visit. Different blooms provide different tasting honey. Cherry blossom, sunflowers, daisies and even dandelions are bees best friends.

In Hungary the most famous honey is Acacia Honey taken from the white blossoms of the Acacia tree. Hungary’s unique climate and huge expanses of Acacia forests enable bees to produce a clear pure honey. It has a high sugar content so it does not crystalize, unlike other types of honey, it retains its liquid form for years. 75% of it is exported worldwide.

It is common to see beehives dotted around the forests of Hungary as beekeeping is a popular and profitable industry.

Bee hives are protected with plastic during the winter months.

The Hungarians have even dedicated a day to the beekeepers named St Ambrose Day falling on 7th December. On 7th December, beekeepers carefully look through their beehives to make sure that their bee colonies are doing ok. People believe that there will be more honey if the bees are carefully looked after on this particular day. On 7th December, traditionally, people drink hot tea with honey, and a lot of families make gingerbread or other Christmas cookies on this day.