I’m sure you enjoy honey just as much as the next person, but have you ever really thought about our relationship with bees and when it all began? Well, even if you haven’t, I’m here to tell you about it!😊
Today, honey bees are largely domesticated, kept in hives, and their honey and wax are easily harvested by humans.
To determine when our ancestors first started employing honeybees, scientists examined prehistoric shards of pottery. On these ancient artifacts they found the chemical ‘fingerprint’ of beeswax that could be dating as far back as 9.000 years across Europe, the Near East and North Africa. Humans may have been exploiting honeybees almost as long as they’ve been farming! For these neolithic farmers, honey was probably a rare source of sweetness in their diet and beeswax may also have been valuable as glue, cosmetics or for medicinal purposes.🍯💊
We have been so enamored with the honeybees’ golden nectar that there is even an 8.000 years old cave painting of a honey seeker. This depiction was found at the Caves of the Spider (Cuevas de la Araña) in Spain. Our prehistoric ancestors would balance precariously on rickety ladders to swipe honeycomb from wild bees nesting on cliff faces. Proof of humans’ love affair with honey.
Think of this the next time you enjoy some golden honey 💛
Picture from the Caves of the Spider - Bicorp, País Valencià