"Georgians have long laid claim to being the first winemakers in the world, but could they also be pioneer beekeepers? After a thorough examination of some five-millennia-plus-old jars unearthed in Georgia, archeologists have declared that the artifacts contain the world’s oldest honey.
The honey stains found in the ceramic vessels, found 170 kilometers west of Tbilisi, are believed to be made by bees that buzzed around in Georgia 5,500 years ago -- some 2,000 years older than the honey found in Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen’s tomb, which had been considered the oldest before, Rustavi2 proudly pointed out.
As in ancient Egypt, in ancient Georgia, honey was apparently packed for people's journeys into the afterlife. And more than one type, too -- along for the trip were linden, berry, and a meadow-flower variety."
Thanks for sharing. I flicked through it but will read it as it looks interesting, it is mostly based on Greece. I am originally from the Mediterranean so can relate.
Since this thread is on beekeeping in the Mediterranean I share this bit of info about the Maltese subspecies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera ruttneri which is endemic to the Maltese islands. There are fears that with unregulated imports of nucs of Italian honey bees, hybridisation will occur and devastate the subspecies which is highly adapted to the islands’ climate and environment. This study gives some hope.
Even just skimming the pictures, that was neat.
Cylindrical hives of wood, clay, or even horizontal holes in a short cliff side.
Some of those ancient apiaries looked huge. A couple of hundred hives maybe.
The Beekeeping Museum in Athens looks like fun, if it's still around.
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