Today I’m pleased to welcome Jo Thomas to the blog. Jo is the author of The Oyster Catcher, The Olive Branch and Late Summer in the Vineyard. Her lasted novel, The Honey Farm on the Hill is published by Headline on 24 August 2017.
Today Jo talks about Crete honey.
According to Incredible Crete website, ‘honey, along with olive oil, are probably the flagships of Cretan agro products.’ It’s one of Crete’s most important products. It is full of vitamins and antioxidant substances. Cretan honey is a natural product where the bees feed of the wild herbs, plants and trees that cover the island. Honey flavour varies according to the nectar it’s made from. It takes on the flavour of the plants the bees are gathering from.
In fact bee-keepers will move their hives around and to get the taste and style of honey they want. Incredible Crete says that in Crete the beekeepers may take the hives to the orange groves on the lower altitudes in early spring and then move them higher up the mountains when the herbs and plants blossom, especially thyme which gives Cretan honey such a distinctive flavour.
When I was researching this book I visited a honey farm in West Wales where I saw bee hives at work, and found out how actual hives worked, the structure and the honeycomb. I learnt how the bees work as a family and a team and where and how they forage for pollen.
But honey bees are under threat because of changed to our countryside. The use of pesticides and insecticides means there are few wild flowers and plants in our countryside today. Because of that our bees are struggling to survive. Bees are the great pollinators and without them, not only will plants, crops and wild flowers suffer, but other insects, animals and birds as a result of it. We need to help save the bees. According to David Attenborough, ‘Bumblebees are key factors in our wildlife. If they disappear many of our plans will not bear fruit.’ If you have a garden, why not plant some bee friendly plants? We need our bees! Let’s get buzzing and save our bees!
About the book
Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forwards…
One magical summer Nell fell in love in the mountains of Crete and her life changed for ever.
Eighteen years later, Nell is ready for a new beginning. When she sees a honey farm in the same hilltop town has lost its bees, the opportunity is impossible to resist. Welcomed back to Greece by the warm sun and aroma of wild thyme, Nell finds memories of her past at every turn. But much has changed since she’s been away.
As Nell throws herself into restoring the honey farm, she starts to unlock the truth of what happened all those years ago. She soon learns that the course of true love – just like Cretan honey – can be wild and sweet. And well worth the wait…
About the author
Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.