For the second consecutive year, a type of honey produced in Guspini, a town in the Medio-Campidano area, has won the national Italian prize for best honey. The secret? Honey made by bees who only used nectar from Lavandula stoechas, a species of wild evergreen shrubs in the lavender family. Differently from lavander honey, it is more delicate and less aromatic, a rarity. Produced on the unpolluted Oschiri's hills by the local department of forests and parks, it will receive the prize in Montalcino, a town famous for its Brunello wine located in the province of Siena, Tuscany, on September 7th, 2013, during the yearly "Honey Week" conference and festivities.
The year before Guspini won the best prize with a ‘cardoon honey’, another rare and exquisite production. Sardinia has been known for its special honey for more than two thousand years. An article on The International Bee Research Association states:
"Honey is a product closely related to its area of production and whose composition and flavor depend on the types of flowers foraged by bees.
On the other hand, the main features of final products are also influenced by soil and climatic conditions, as well as human activities. Sardinia (Italy) is an island located in the centre of the Mediterranean basin and covers about 24,000 Km2. The most part of the surface is characterized by the presence of natural vegetation and extensive agro-pastoral agriculture. There are limited areas with intensive agriculture based on the use of chemicals (pesticides or fertilizers), and also limited industrial districts.
Therefore, the island is for the most part natural, which represents the ideal status for high quality honey production. The melliferous plants of Sardinia include more than 200 species, which allow the production of different monofloral and polyfloral honeys, including typical productions from Asphodelus, Thistle and Strawberry tree (bitter honey) and other typical Mediterranean or worldwide spread products such as Eucalyptus and Citrus."