The History of Honey
History of honey. Honey is a natural food collected from beehives. It needs no other ingredients added to it, and it requires very little processing.
Single-flower honey is made by bees that gather nectar from one kind of flower. There is also blended honey made by bees in different places gathering nectar from different kinds of plants.
People who live People who live in warm and temperate climates around the world have been raiding beehives since before recorded history. Honey does not need preservatives to keep it fresh. It can be eaten straight from the honeycomb, and it is a natural sweetener.
History of Honey
Honey is an ancient food. Honey and bees have been featured in many myths and legends from around the world.
The Cheyenne people of North America have a creation myth that tells of the first people living on honey and wild fruits.
Bees are native to many countries, and early peoples braved angry bees to collect honey. A 12.000-year-old rock painting in a cave in Spain shows a man putting his hand into a hole to collect honey while holding a basket with his other hand.
Ancient Egyptians collected honey by smoking bees from their nests. As well as eating the honey they used it as a medicine. They also left honeycomb to ferment in water, making an alcoholic drink we call mead. Far away on the Amazon River in South America, people also discovered how to make mead.
Both the ancient Greeks and Romans used honey in cooking savory and sweet dishes. Honey was used to make sauces and stuffing’s for meat, as well as puddings and cakes. The Roman army in France and Greece sometimes kept beehives as a hobby.
One early method of setting up a beehive was to collect the nests of wild bees. For example. if the bees nested in a hollow in the trunk or branch of a tree, someone might chop down the tree or branch and take it home. Later beekeepers made hives of burnt-out tree trunks and woven baskets.
In Australia, Aboriginal people have collected honey or sugar bag from native beehives for centuries. They also used this honey as an ointment.
In the middle Ages, honey was the most commonly used sweetener. It is mentioned in The Tales of a Thousand and One Nights from the Middle East the monks of England kept bees for their honey and to collect beeswax for making candles. The Vikings of Denmark kept bees to make mead, which they drank from metal drinking horns.
Bees have been kept in hives made from wooden tubs, casks and frames, plaited wicker and pottery for nearly 3,000 years. Flowerer, little was known about the bees themselves until the end at the 1600s when Dutch doctor Jan Swammerdam discovered that the icing’ or father of bees was really a queen!
Honey has long been used as a preservative. The Romans preserved fruits and vegetables in honey. For example, turnips were preserved in a mixture of honey and vinegar. In India, meat was preserved for the next year in honey.