An Ancient Bond: The Intertwined History of Humans and Honey Bees
The relationship between humans and honey bees stretches back over 9,000 years to ancient cliff paintings depicting honey harvesting. Prehistoric peoples quickly realized the nourishing treasures bees produced.
Early beekeeping began with wild colonies brought into rudimentary hives. Over centuries, humans and honey bees evolved an intimate symbiosis. Beekeepers provided protection while bees supplied wax for light and honey for food.
Ancient Egyptians revered bees as sacred, associating them with rebirth. Hives were transported along the Nile to pollinate orchards and produce honey. Greek and Roman literature also documented advanced beekeeping techniques.
Medieval European beekeepers implemented skeps, bell-shaped woven beehives. Honey hunters identified wild colonies in trees or logs, subduing bees with smoke before extracting comb.
By the 19th century, technified hives allowed honey to be removed without harming bees. But industrialization brought mass death from pests and disease. Thankfully, the ancient bond between bees and humans persisted.
Today, bees face ever greater threats – from climate change to habitat loss. As caretakers, it is our responsibility to honor this historic partnership. At Edinburgh Honey Co. our heritage techniques emphasize ethical, disturbance-free practices aligned with nature.
Keeping bees remains an act of devotion. Our intimate apiary craft symbolizes this 9,000-year affair between two highly social species. By better appreciating this ancient history, we can nurture bees for generations to come.