Antoni Martorell is responsible for the delicious “Miel de l’horta de Pollença” honey with its distinctive bee-patterned lid, on sale in local markets and farm shops. He is one of only five people on the island, named as a “Maistro de la Miel”. After 23 years of experience including ten years of training, he teaches beekeeping skills and writes in the island’s quarterly beekeeping magazine. He also manages 120 beehives and produces honey of different flavours, royal jelly and natural wax.
He is immensely proud of his honey, which is completely natural and of his collaboration with farmers around Pollensa who welcome the beehives on their land. He moves them from place to place to help with the pollination of trees such as almond, orange and carob and at the same time produces honey which carries the flavour of the blossoms or herbs, where the bees have been working. Careful management results in a wide range of distinctive flavours. He lovingly tends the hives to keep the bees healthy and to protect them from deadly predators like the Asian Hornet, which kills and eats honey bees.
Each hive is a highly organised colony with a queen bee, who lives for several years and is bigger than the others. She lays the eggs which maintain the hive’s population. The female worker bees produce 80% of the honey, look after the larvae and take care of the queen by feeding her royal jelly, while the male drones are responsible for fertilisation.
After smoking out the bees, the honey is extracted from the honeycombs in a centrifuge and is filtered and packaged by hand in Pollensa. Honey is a staple ingredient in many traditional Mallorca recipes, is great for health and is an all-round traditional remedy for coughs, colds, allergy prevention and for healing wounds. It’s also lovely on toast!