Beehives were transported by the Egyptians in boats to pollinate farm crops grown along the Nile River.
How did European honey bees get to America? Beehives were brought to America from Europe on some ships by the early settlers of this country. The skeps were attached to the bow of ships with the entrance facing the open sea. The journey across the Atlantic Ocean took over 60 days in difficult weather conditions and storms. This was a dangerous trip. Some of the new settlers and beehives did not survive the journey. The hives that did survive spread vigorously in their New World!
Beehives have been used in human warfare by throwing them from catapults or dropping them from high city walls onto the enemy below. Poison honey has been left for hungry enemy soldiers to find and eat becoming very sick and even left to die.
Mankind has often exploited bees and every resource, possible to exploit with little regard for our fragile environment or future generations! I was in the Oakland Airport on my way to Phoenix, AZ, from where I am writing this article. There was a pictorial history of the San Francisco Bay. This showed today there is still mining pollution flowing into the Bay Estuary from the 1849 Gold Rush in California–167 years later!
If we could only learn and emulate what our honey bees teach us by their example! Cooperation, humility, consensus, unity, defending one another and protecting their young. Yes, bees are industrious! We know honey bees add tremendous value to the environment around them by their pollination work, gathering nectar, propolis and water. Everything bees produce is non-toxic, health-giving, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and biodegradable for themselves with gifts to humans and their environment.
It is one of the greatest privileges of my life for me to assist and learn from working with honey bees. I love my “bee world” along with you, my bee friends, mentors and teachers…we all have the opportunity as Mahatma Gandhi said, “Bee the change you wish to see in the world!”
AS BEEKEEPERS, WE ARE CHANGING BEE HISTORY IN THE WORLD ONE HIVE AT A TIME!