world bee day

May 20th: World Bee Day. The Italian honey

May 20: Let’s celebrate World Bee Day! A world without these little workers would not be possible. They are the only ones who can provide us with one of the best products in the world: honey! Let’s see the different varieties of the Italian honey.

The importance of pollinators

World Bee Day was only established a few years ago. In fact, recently it’s more and more essential to raise public awareness of the importance of these insects. Life on this planet would be much more difficult without them, since the role of pollinators is fundamental. First of all it allows the reproduction of many plants. And then it maintains the balance of ecosystems and biodiversity. Unfortunately, due to the uncontrolled use of pesticides and climate change, bees are gradually disappearing. An immediate change of course is therefore necessary to preserve these fantastic animals and their treasure. Let’s see some of the different types of Italian honey.


It is thanks to pollinating bees that we can take advantage of honey.

Sweet like honey

Honey is a sweet food, rich in phenol and flavonoid compounds which make it a powerful anti-inflammatory. Honey does not have an expiry date, but it can lose its properties and part of its flavour with the time. It is not necessary to put it in the fridge, it is better to store it in the dark away from heat sources. It can be used against a sore throat or cough, dissolved in a glass of warm milk or enjoyed pure. Let’s not forget that honey is rich in sugars, so it is highly energetic and also used as a sweetener. However, it is also perfect with cheeses, some vegetables and even fish. Let’s see together the various types of Italian honey and what are the best combinations in the kitchen.

Honey in Italy

Globally, Asia is the largest producer of honey, with 49%. Immediately after comes Europe with 21%. Despite everything, Italy holds the world record for honey varieties. In fact, we recognize more than 60 different types. The region with the greatest production is certainly Piedmont. Then followed by Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. In fact, Italy is a country with a variety of climates and environments like few others. This allows the differentiation of many other products in addition to honey, such as fruit, vegetables and wine. Let’s see together some types of Italian honey.


Honey can be combined with so many ingredients.

Acacia’s honey

One of the most common and most popular varieties in Italy. In reality it does not derive from an Italian but from a North America plant, called Robinia, and introduced into Italy around 1600. Today the acacia has spread abundantly, particularly in central Italy. Acacia’s honey is one of the most used due to its delicate and non-intrusive flavour. In fact, it is excellent as a sweetener, but also with fresh and slightly matured blue cheeses, such as 50/80 day Gorgonzola. Also widely used in the preparation of desserts and bread.

acacia's honey

Acacia is the most popular variety of honey.

Wildflower honey

As the word itself says, this honey has the particularity of having strong floral notes. In fact, it is the honey with the highest pollen content. It is collected on spontaneous blooms which can vary depending on the Italian region and environment. The most valuable is the high mountain one, as it is an uncontaminated area. The enveloping flavor makes it suitable for fresh cheeses, such as taleggio or squacquerone, but also as a condiment for white meat. Excellent in the preparation of cakes or dissolved in hot milk as a cough sedative.

Chestnut honey

Recognizable due to its amber color. It comes from the Alpine and Apennine mountain areas. It has greater antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties than other types of honey. Its typical bitter flavor makes it perfect for use with mature cheeses, such as Parmigiano Reggiano. But is good also with red meat, speck or game meat.

chestnut honey

One of the characteristics of chestnut honey is its amber color.

Orange honey

Its aroma is not only floral but also fruity. Typical of Sicily, with a light color and a more solid consistency. It is particularly rich in vitamin B12, therefore perfect for obtaining benefits on the nervous system and stress. With a delicate flavour, therefore suitable for flavoring sweet creams, salads or fish dishes. Also excellent as an accompaniment to string cheeses, such as mozzarella or scamorza.

Honeydew honey

Also called Forest honey, it is not strictly honey obtained from nectar, but from honeydew. This is a sugary substance produced by some small insects that feed on the sap of some trees, such as fir or pine. Honeydew is therefore the waste product of these insects which however is a source of nourishment for bees, who then transform it into honey. Less sweet than the others, it has a bitter aftertaste and is reminiscent of bark or sometimes caramel. It pairs well with fresh cheeses, but also with spicy recipes. Excellent as a replacement for maple syrup. Honeydew honey is an excellent source of iron and is a powerful antibacterial.


Pine honeydew is one of the richest in nutrients. @copyright

Eucalyptus honey

Just like acacia, eucalyptus is also an imported plant. Used in Italy especially during the Twenty years of fascism, because it was extremely useful against water stagnation and during the reclamation of the swamp Agro Pontino area. Eucalyptus honey is harvested in summer and is widely used in cooking. Its aroma, slightly balsamic, is very particular and vaguely reminiscent of licorice. It has salty notes but is still perfect as a sweetener for herbal teas, possibly with a strong flavour, such as ginger and lemon. Ideal both with mature cheeses such as Pecorino, but also more delicate ones such as Primo sale. Also recommended with yogurt or as an accompaniment to fish and vegetable dishes.