Honey (from the Latin “melem”; in Greek, “μελιττα” means “bee”) is a product obtained by converting and processing bee nectar by bees and is stored in combs cells to be food for the hive population. Honey is the main purpose of the present and the past.
Honey was the first sweet substance used by man, being valued especially by priests in rituals. There is enough evidence that ancient civilizations used honey, among other things, for the preparation of alcohol plus pollen and honeycomb yeast, but the oldest documents concerning honey are two pieces written in Sumerian.
Egyptians left evidence regarding the collection and usage of honey. Babylonian people and other ancient civilizations from India and China used honey in medicine, but also in rituals and ceremonies. In the Old Testament, we find the word “honey” written over 60 times. About the production of honey, even ancient Greece wrote. Hippocrates recommended honey for curing some diseases (gastrointestinal, renal, and respiratory) and the treatment of wounds. Muslims used honey as a cure for any disease. The use of honey in alimentation (nourishment, drink, preservative), medicine and religious rituals were growing until the discovery of sugar cane and beet.
‘Elvish’ honey is named the true nectar of the gods by the beekeeper who sells it at a very high price. The “thick gold” comes from a cave in the Saricayir valley, an area near the town Artvin, in northeastern Turkey.
Turkish beekeeper, Gunduz Gunay, who keeps his hives in the Saricayir valley, sells his ‘Elvish’ honey for 5,000 euros (US $6,800) per kilogram because it is extremely rare.
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He says that the price is so high because the production is 100% natural, and the cave, rich in minerals, provides high-quality honey. Gunduz, whose family is in this field for three generations, discovered the cave in 2009 when he noticed a swarm of bees that went into it. The cave is situated at 1,800 meters deep.
Luck alight on the Turkish beekeeper, Gunay Gunduz
To the special taste of honey, produced in this cave, contribute the pure air and water rich in minerals, Turkish beekeeper states. He got into the cave depths with the help of professional mountaineers and harvested 18 kg of honey deposited in walls openings. Subsequently, honey was analyzed in a laboratory in France and it was found that it was there for seven years. They also affirmed that it has high quality and is rich in minerals. The first kilogram of honey was sold for 45,000 euros in French stock, even in 2009. A year later a pharmacist from China bought another kilogram for 28,000 euros.
At the present day, the owner of the precious product lowered the prices, hoping to sell it faster. Gunduz sells a kilo of honey for 5,000 euros, but generally, he sells it in jars of 170 grams and 250 grams.
Honey is produced naturally without improvised hives. The area is known to be extremely rich in medicinal plants.
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The lucky beekeeper believes that honey can be consumed especially for its therapeutic qualities, not only for its unique taste. Honey also contains many rare herbs, some of them are endangered, therefrom the high price. He also believes that most of the honey produced today is counterfeit and the real honey should not cost less than 15 euros.
As a rule, Turkish honey is the best in the world, but Gunduz said that counterfeit products and artificially created honey ruined the market for domestic producers.