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And may the queen reign again

Y que la reina vuelva a reinar

One of the exponents of the genetic richness of the Archipelago is the Black Canary Island Bee (Apis mellifera) and as such, it must be protected and preserved. It is known by this name due to its characteristic dark color. Their presence in the Canary Islands has been established for some 200,000 years. It is a breed that comes from the African bee and the bee from the south of the Iberian Peninsula (from the same trunk), which over time developed very particular genetic characteristics that have made the Black Canary Bee a unique breed within its species. These particular characteristics are, for example, its manufacturability and its non-aggressive nature, an aspect that is highly valued for its production. This native bee was on the verge of extinction for several decades due to the introduction of other breeds of queen bees in order to obtain a higher honey production, as it was erroneously believed that bees from other places were better producers than the Canary Island bee, which led to the creation of numerous hybridizations. In 2001, the Government of the Canary Islands launched a plan for the conservation and recovery of the breed.

And it is this unique insect, which lives in society, that supplies us with honey, whether it is the unique Black Canary Island Honey Bee or some hybridizations. However, it is the Canary black bee that is directly involved in the production of various types of honey in the Canary Islands. The beekeepers of Tenerife, in their small farms, have been producing high quality honeys in a traditional way for centuries.

Tenerife has a Protected Designation of Origin for honey. DOP MIEL DE TENERIFE is the guarantee of quality of the honeys from Tenerife. These honeys are a sweet exclusivity that derives from the particular flora of the island, nonexistent in other parts of the world, for example, Teide broom and tajinastes in Las Cañadas or heather and other species that occur in the mountains and midlands. This certification guarantees the freshness, diversity and specificity of the multi-flower honeys (in which no particular flowering predominates) and also of the thirteen varieties of single-flower honeys: Teide broom honey, tajinaste honey, avocado honey, chestnut honey, heather honey, relinchón honey, barrilla honey, fennel honey, pennyroyal honey, agave honey (pitera), malpica honey, tedera honey, as well as honeydew honey.

Furthermore, depending on the origin of the raw material from which the bees produce it, three types of honeys are distinguished: flower honey (the most common, from flower nectar), honeydew honey (obtained primarily from secretions of the living parts of plants), and forest honey (a mixture of both).

The Anaga region also has a producer of rich honey, Eduardo Perdomo, from Laurinagan, a mountain honey that comes directly from the honeycombs of Taganana. Its rich and sweet flavor, together with the multiple properties it possesses, make this product indispensable in Canarian kitchens.


Prehispanic beekeeping

Beekeeping is an activity already carried out by the aboriginal Canary Islanders, since bees have been on the islands longer than the first human being who set foot on them, as evidenced by the writings of the Roman historian Pliny the Elder. This exploitation continued after the conquest and continues today.

So, let us value the uniqueness and quality of this natural product that provides us with this native beekeeping breed, so that it is preserved and that the Black Canary Bee reigns again in the Archipelago, forging a sweet future as honey.

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