Honey I Love You

Earlier this month I received my first package of bees. A package refers to a box containing 3 pounds of bees, or roughly 12 thousand Apis Mellifera. And while introducing a new species of animal to your home seems like a hugely cathartic event, there was no ceremonious exchange of insect between myself and the store from which I ordered them, which was a bit of a let down. I accepted the humming box, placed it in the hatchback of the family car, and drove home. After donning my bee suit and gathering all my tools, it took me about 12 minutes to physically place the bees into the brood box, the part of the hive where the queen will lay her eggs and rear new drones and workers. And with that our family joined an ancient fraternity of bee keepers.

Humans have intricately intertwined their existence with bees for millennia. Interestingly, bee keeping and honey hunting have been largely ignored in the archaeological or ethnographic records, and we have to be satisfied with minor glimpses into such activities. One of the earliest recorded instances of humans interacting with bee products comes from a modest spear point found in a Spanish cave, which was attached to its shaft with the aid of bee’s wax 40,000 years ago… continue reading…

Source: Holly Norton (The Guardian), May 24, 2017

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