Plan Bee: A journey
Cholomontas (also called Ypsizon Mountain) is a mountain in the prefecture of Halkidiki with a maximum altitude of 1,165 metres.
It is the highest mountain in Halkidiki and covers almost the entire eastern and central part of the prefecture.
It is covered by dense vegetation and a large part of the mountain is included in the Natura 2000 network. Our village (Paleochora) is located at the foot of Holomontas and is the headquarters of our company.
Sesuras, kumarias, paliuris, chestnut trees, ash trees, oaks, oaks, smyrnias and olive trees are just a few of the mosaic of 1051 different species of the plant kingdom that adorn Holomontas.
But also the clover, the wild oregano. Mint , tea , flascun, cavalaria and hundreds of other plants come to complete the daily diet of the bees.
Our land is mountainous but with a rich beekeeping vegetation that, despite the effects of the environment, remains clean. The natural conditions for the development of beekeeping have therefore existed and continue to exist.
IN MOUNT ATHOS
Our apiary is located in the area of the Holy Monastery of Megisti Lavra 2.30 hours drive away from the port of Daphne.
From the beekeeping point of view, the Kastania of Mount Athos differs from any other Kastania in other parts of Greece. The abundant pollen collected by the bees throughout the flowering period, the rich nectar combined with the flowering time due to the sloping terrain makes the bees have a growth spurt.
But the honey you produce is also different because it is enriched by other herbs that coexist in this pristine region.
‘It has a high content of pollen grains that give it a special taste. This is a great advantage since the pollen increases its nutritional value.
Mount Athos (officially: Holy Community of Mount Athos ) is an “Autonomous Monastic State” within Greece, (perhaps unique in the world, with the exception of the secular Lhasa of Tibet), on the Athos peninsula of Halkidiki in Macedonia, considered a center of Orthodox monasticism.
It is considered one of the most important parts not only of the Balkans, but of Europe and the Eastern Church because of its great national, historical, religious, literary and cultural value as even a centre for the preservation and conservation of rich material, so that it is characterized as a “shelter” and “museum” of a unique treasure of Greek art and letters.
Due to the morphology of the terrain, the rich vegetation originating from the large forests located there , and the fact that the natural environment has not been subjected to any human intervention, Mount Athos is a special place of residence for bees. This is where the special tasty ricomelo comes from, which we collect from the unpaved areas of Athos, maintaining a part of the beekeeping production unit throughout the year.
On the island of Thassos during the months of August and September, we collect the Pekkomelo.
When the island that we now call Thassos was discovered by the early settlers, it was covered with rich
(abundant) mixed forest of broadleaf and pine trees.
In the lower parts near the sea, extensive wetlands filled with eels and birds reached inland as far as the
wild gullies with running water throughout the year. An imposing natural landscape that was praised by
by Herodotus and other classical writers.
Green. Blue. Full of memories and promises.Picturesque and unpredictable.The beauty of the sea combines the lush vegetation of lush pine forests and olive groves, with the clear crystal clear waters, the traditional village lifestyle, the archaeological sites, the modern shops and the nightlife.
The beauty of Thassos is definitely a great opportunity to enjoy nature. Lush forests of pine , black pine and fir trees, as well as areas of cultivated olive trees cover the entire surface of the island and the picturesque villages are revealed one by one.
And while the gaze is lost in the green landscape, it only takes a glimpse to get lost this time in the vastness of the Aegean Sea.
Inlets, lacy beaches, wild rocks and hidden caves promise unforgettable thrills. White marbles, fine wine, famous honey, excellent olive oil and oil deposits prove the undeniable wealth of the island. The historical and cultural background of Thassos over the centuries is even richer.
Without much effort, the emerald island easily won the impressions of its visitors and, without any advertising propaganda, gained a reputation that spread to the ends of the world and became a source of artistic inspiration for many creators.
The island’s charms were the reason for its moments of great glory and great destruction, as colonists and conquerors often added to the great history of Thassos with their presence.
The foreign influences were quickly and fruitfully assimilated by the locals who respectfully preserve the customs and traditions and who travel the history of the island through time.
Beles stretches from west to east, starting with low soft curves on the shores of Lake Doirani and ending on the course of the Struma River in the straits of Koula, which separate it from Mount Angistro (where the Rupel Forts are located) and, further east, from Mount Orvilos.
Its length is about 50 km. Its crystalline rocks form beautiful slopes which are watered by abundant streams. Its highest peak reaches 2 031 m (anonymous). Neo Triethnes, where the borders of Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria since the First World War, is 1,883 m high and the Istinbey peak is 1,339 m high.
The villages that adorn its densely forested slopes are numerous: Kastanousa, Platanakia, Makrinitsa, Ano and Kato Poroia, Akritochori, Mandraki, Vyronia, Neo Petritsi, Livadia, Kerkini, Rodopolis, etc.
Belles is a difficult mountain to climb. A charming challenge. On May 2, members of the Mountaineering Association of Corinth climbed Beles with Yannis Reklos of “Eco-guide” as their guide, starting from Ano Poroia to reach the ridge. It took them five hours of ascent and three and a half hours of descent without a strain. They saw wild orchids and other rare wildflowers, found snow in the shady parts of the summit, gazed at the little villages of Bulgaria from the other side of the mountain, had the most beautiful view of Lake Kerkini (without a camera what a tragedy!), saw one or two black woodpeckers (a rare species and they were impressed) and went down for a boat ride on Lake Kerkini in the evening to relax after a day of intensity and unforgettable experiences.
The ancient name of the mountain is Kerkini, its current etymological name is a riddle. Could it be a Vlach name (Latin language) and mean “the beautiful mountain”? Bella Montagna? I like that interpretation, even if it turns out not to be the correct one. To me, Belles is the beautiful mountain. You put your eyes on it and your vision rejoices.
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