On the island of Skyros Yannis Krinis’ production of natural honey is already in the third generation. He and his wife Dimitra Markou are slowly expanding their product range and supply shops in Athens.
When losing his job around a year ago Yannis Krinis and his wife Dimitra Markou turned his hobby as beekeeper into his main profession. Already when he was a little boy Yannis went with his grandfather to put hives into the macchia and pine forests. Beekeeper is a very popular profession in Greece. The uninhabited southern side of Skyros with its wild herbs offers ideal conditions for high quality natural honey. A floral paradise of thyme, oregano and heather gives it a delicately fragrant flavour..
Even though it isn’t harvest time yet, Yannis shows us his bees. Without protective clothing he starts working. “My bees know me, they won’t harm me” and if they do, it’s only small stings whose poison he’s immune to since childhood. Yannis slightly opens the lid of one of the hives. With a smoker he creates spruce needle smoke that befuddles the bees and facilitates the beekeepers work for a short time. With a safe distance, we observe the spectacle of the tolerated “honey robbery”.
Coffee sweetened with honey
Dimitra is mainly in charge of distribution and considers extending their range with products like beeswax salve and propolis elixir. Step by step they want to build a network of clients. They already supply three shops in Athens with their single-origin and natural honey. We are having a coffee on their terrace. “I only sweeten my coffee with honey”, says Dimitra, “it softly rounds off the bitter taste and is also very healthy.” Bee products are ideal to strengthen the immune system. A very special panacea is the antiseptic resin propolis. It is the glue that bees use to protect their honeycombs from viruses, fungus and germs in winter.