Tuesday, October 4, 2011


For centuries the history of honey has been attributed to folklore, myth and legend and recognised as a gift from heaven. Nectar, Ambrosia and Food of the Gods were words frequently used throughout the Ancient World to describe honey. They believed in the power of honey which they developed into many honey cures. There are so many references made to this golden liquid not least from China, which is in fact the largest honey producing country in the world.

Right through to India and the Nordic lands. It is the oldest food and ancient medicines source known to man, WOW that is amazing I'm sure you will agree. People from Africa, which is where the history of honey began, Egypt, Greece, India, Spain, Israel and India, just to name a few were passionate about honey, seeking it out despite the fear of being stung. 

For some unknown reason the practise of bee keeping stopped for a while when the Roman Empire did around 400 A.D.

Christians from convents and monasteries re-started this practice which was then once again stopped by Henry V111 during the reformation of the Christian church.

Thankfully there was then a revival in the history of honey by scientists during the history of Enlightenment.

The art of beekeeping throughout history is a rich one; we believe the first maker of a moveable hive was a Ukrainian bee keeper called Petro Prokopovych.

This was more improved by an American bee keeper called Lorenzo Langstroth, his style of bee hive is the one still favoured today.

The history of honey became commercially viable during the 19th Century.

The history of honey is as long and as rich as the history of the honey bees. As one of the oldest forms of insects from the Neolithic Age that still exists today, honey bees are believed to have preceded humans on earth by more than 110 million years.

As early as 7,000 B.C. prehistoric carvings indicate that man enjoyed honey from the honeycomb, with drawings even illustrating early man risking his life against angry honey bees intent on protecting their hive.

Perhaps these ancient people recognised honey cures as well as the benefits of eating honey! 

Mentioned in ancient texts, such as the Indian Vedas, the Jewish Torah, the Koran, the Chinese Shi Jing, and depicted in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, honey directly from the honeycomb appears to have been as much a delight then as it is now.

From these ancient recordings it is clear that civilizations across the globe have enjoyed the benefits of eating honey throughout history.

In fact, though frequently mentioned throughout the Christian Bible it is worth mentioning that when the Christian Messiah, Jesus, arose from the grave, the gospel of Luke states that he was first fed broiled fish and a honeycomb.
Are There Famous People Involved In Honey History?
Yes there are many, Julius Caesar even reportedly accepted honey as a type of currency that was used to pay taxes in place of gold. And in the 11th century German citizens actually paid their property taxes with honey and beeswax.

Widely credited as being the father of modern medicine, the Greek physician Hippocrates (460 BC - ca. 370 BC) valued honey for its medicinal properties, he bought honey cures to our attention.

Hippocrates is noted as using it as an expectorant and claimed that it caused heat, which was useful for cleaning ulcers, wounds and running sores.

Modern scientists and doctors again recognise this as so, which is one reason there is now a revival in modern medicine practice.

He also believed that honey was good for the skin's complexion and he was not wrong, honey does indeed cure skin infections.

Hippocrates is noted to have encouraged the planting of seeds that had been soaked in honey, which he believed, made the fruit that grew from the seedlings taste even sweeter and when mixed with things like apple cider and vinegar he again recognised the healing properties of honey and all things natural.

Of course if it were not for honey bee pollination there would be very few fruits available to us.

After his death, the history of honey and Hippocrates continues as legends tell of a swarm of honey bees that lived in his sepulchre (a tomb or burial chamber) and continued to produce their sweet substance, which was then used to cure sick children when nothing else would.

The first century Greek philosopher, pharmacist, botanist and physician, Dioscorides, who authored one of the oldest journals of medicine, even cited honey as one of the greatest remedies ever.

As a natural food with incredible nutritional and medicinal value, Homer, Aristotle and Pythagoras all are added to the list of those in the history of honey who believed it to be a key ingredient to good overall health.

The history of honey as celebrated ancient medicines extends all the way to the Second World War when honey was widely touted for its use as an effective wound treatment on injured soldiers.

Prior to the production of penicillin, the history of honey shows it to have been the leading antibiotic treatment used for open wounds and lesions.

This honey cure is used to this very day on our war wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan in the medicinal form of Medihoney.

The history of honey is older than the written word. For the longest time, it was the only sweetener that was widely available to humans before the mass production of sugar grew to replace it after the 1800s.

As a food and as a medicinal agent, the history of honey is actually older than the history of man and certainly older than the history of modern medicine.

From ancient carvings and manuscripts discovered all over the world, honey appears as a delicacy and a heavily praised medicine.

Everything that has happened is of course History as we know and our honey bees are fast becoming an endangered species because of mans intervention on our planets environment.

Honey and honey bees are now known to have survived the last Ice Age so we must save our honey bees before the History of Honey becomes just that!

And of course we must not forget Albert Einstein who although not proved, is said to have stated that if the bees die then we die!

The only place reportedly said where honey history can be seen to survive for the moment is Australia.

At present there are no diseases such as CCD there that threaten our honey and honey bees departure from our planet. We must all hope that the history of honey continues for a few million years more.

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