Chile is a fascinating environment in which to study beekeeping. The South American country is often referred to as an “ecological island”— an area of land isolated by natural barriers, which allows for a large amount of “endemism” or development of special plants in each place. As a result, Chilean apicultural (honey) production is characterized by a great variety of specific types that are derived from unique native flora; products that can be found nowhere else on earth.
Yet in just about every small town in Chile, you find nothing but humble plastic containers of generic honey. A kilo sells for about 2,500 pesos, or five dollars USD. This product looks the same everywhere, with cartoonish bees and the word Miel. But it has no date, no location, no information to distinguish it as a special product.