One of the Ermionida region’s most interesting sightseeing attractions is a visit to the Bairaktaris estate. The family has a tradition of beekeeping that goes back to 1914. When Makis Bairaktaris took over the reins of the family property of 100,000 square metres, he planted 800 olive trees, 250 pomegranate trees and 6,000 aromatic plants (2,500 rosemary bushes, 1,500 sage, 1500 oregano, etc.) and set up 600 hives. Naturally all the plants are organically cultivated.
The result is that from the beekeeping Makis collects 15 tonnes of honey per annum – 50% of which is exported – and makesa line of related products: royal jelly, pollen, aromatic propolis, dried herbs, wax face masks and body creams, decorative candles etc, marketed under the brand name Ermionis.
We visited the unit of Bairaktaris Apiary, just outside Kranidi on the road to the luxurious Amanzoe Resort Hotel. The building where the honey is processed, stored and exhibited crowns the top of a hill, from which the hives can be seen here and there amidst the trees and bushes. In the distance, the bucolic landscape unfolds with the sea beyond. Bairaktaris is always on the move, ever alert, on the lookout for innovations. Full of pride, he showed us the stone slab with the inscription ‘Works of 1914 Antoni Ath. Bairaktaris’, which his grandfather put up to mark his first buildings on the farm.
Makis’s second source of pride is his museum, which he guided us through himself. All sorts of items related to the Bairaktaris family history can be seen in the smart stone building, in tandem with the story of honey, the invaluable food that is so beneficialto the human organism.
In the main building Makis’ wife, Marina, showed us all the farm’s produce, where above the exhibits a framed certificate hangs with the label SO 2200, and the chemical test results proving the unadulterated purity of the honey.
Makis said goodbye in haste. His own ‘works’ awaited him: he is finishing his next achievement to be proud of, an underground cellar where his honey vinegars are maturing.
We wish him good luck.