The producers Joaquín Becerra and Paola Escudero with the award-winning honey. / J. B

Honey from Cuevas del Becerro is voted best ‘milflores’ in Andalucía

The town, with almost half the hives in the Ronda area, has a strong beekeeping tradition

VANESSA MELGAR

For the second time, a honey from Cuevas del Becerro has won an award as the best multifloral honey in Andalucía. The producers of the product are Joaquín Becerra and Paola Escudero - and of course their bees. The award has come from Expomiel , an event promoted by the Diputación de Córdoba and is a showcase for beekeeping in Andalucía.

Expomiel was cancelled last year because of the pandemic but this year, Becerra and Escudero have achieved the prize that they also won in 2019.

The award, which Becerra dedicated to his mother who passed away recently. helps to strengthen the beekeeping tradition in the town which is in the Guadalteba district and itself is a part of the agricultural area of Ronda. According to data from the Regional Agricultural Office (OCA) of Ronda, almost half of the hives in the Ronda area are in Cuevas, with 5,931 out of a total of 12,637.

In the case of Cuevas, all the hives are transhumant, in other words, they can be moved around.

The area that produces the Expomiel award-winning honey houses just over a hundred hives and is to the north of Ronda,

“It is a flower honey, from the mountains. The only difference, with respect to the honey that won in 2019, is that this year there has been less broom,” explained Becerra, while insisting that the only secret to making good honey is that the beekeeper does not interfere: “It is the bees that make the honey.”

“It depends on the flowers that are around; although the vegetation is the same, the blooms are different. The bees collect what is there. Milflores is a mountain honey. The flowers that the bees have visited and that are reflected in the honey, are eucalyptus, some thyme, lavender and anise,” he said.

The award-winning honey is “light amber in colour, with very low humidity, which makes it very dense and spicy,” he added.

In total this year, they have produced about 1,500 kilos of this honey which can be purchased from several places in Cuevas del Becerro and directly from the farm.

“We also sell direct to the customer,” Becerra stressed. He recalled that in the Ronda area, especially in the Genal Valley, there once was a great beekeeping tradition, but most of the hives disappeared due to a disease.

Beekeeping is making a come-back although mainly for own consumption. “Apandeire also has a large beekeeping tradition,” he added.