Honey is a very revered product and honey production is studied and celebrated across the island. It is very much part of the organic and eco agronomy that Cuba has become renowned for over the past few decades.
It is said that Beekeeping really began in Cuba after the British occupied Havana in 1762 after a successful attack on the city which defeated the Spanish colonists.
By the nineteenth century records show that around 2000 tonnes of wax were being exported from the island each year.
There has been a ban on the importation of bees into the island for over 50 years. This is one of the reasons why the Cuban bee stock is renowned as one of the most disease free bee populations anywhere in the world.
Today there are around 1400 bee keepers on the island. Beekeeping is a highly respected activity and there are regular reports celebrating honey production and local bee keepers. There is a lovely set of Cuban postage stamps featuring bees. There are numerous conventions and educational initiatives helping Cuban beekeepers and new generations learn the necessary skills. This national recognition helps ensure that environments are protected and bee stocks are cared for and protected.
Traditionally the Cuban people do not really consume much honey as food, preferring to use the product for its health giving qualities. However increasingly people are using honey as food and in drinks, often as a healthier substitute for sugar sweeteners.