2012/01/06

Bee Keeping History from Egyptians to Americans

honey bee keeping
There are many evidences from rock paintings and very old drawings of bee-keepers in the Niuserre's sun temple from the 5th Dynasty (before 2422 BC) that The Egyptians kept bees at the earliest centuries . 

These drawings show bee-keepers blowing smoke into the bee hives as they remove honey-comb .  



Pots of honey were found in the grave of some of the Pharaohs, including King Tut.

Beekeeping goes back thousands of years to the stone age, cave drawings of bee keeping dating back to 6000 B.C. -showing people collecting honey from bee hives- have been found in Spain.

Bee keeping has been practiced in all societies and in all continents (except Antarctica) throughout the world. 



At first, humans just raided the beehives and in doing so, destroyed the hives. But then somewhere along the line, humans began creating bee hives and domesticating the bees. Artificial bee hives were created in hollow logs, large pottery vessels, straw baskets, and boxes made of wood.

Beekeeping came to the U.S. in the 16th century and in the 1800s the first apiculture system was brought to Pennsylvania by John Harbison. 



During the Great Depression and World War I bee keeping become very popular due to sugar/food shortages and the high cost of food. People ordered bee hive equipment from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. 

Wild bees were then transferred from trees into the newly purchased hives. People had to make due back in those days, and bee keeping was a great help to many.

Unfortunately beekeeping lost popularity after World War II. But now with the Colony Collapse Disorder (bees simply vanishing from hives throughout the U.S) bringing attention to honey bees, more people are becoming interested in taking up bee keeping again.

That's wonderful news for the honey bees, and for our food system since without honey bees to pollinate our crops over 2/3s would not grow.

And the renewed interest in backyard apiculture is not just a rural thing. 



Big cities like Tokyo, Washington, D.C., Paris, London, New York City and Berlin are encouraging urban bee keeping. And these are some of the biggest urban beekeeping areas in the world.

With scientists still trying to figure out what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder its vitally important now that people begin to take up apiculture by the thousands. 



We need bees to pollinate our crops, flowers, apple trees, and many other plants. Plus can you imagine a world without honey, I don't want to. I love the stuff.

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