Posts Tagged ‘egyptian beekeeping’

Migratory beekeeping at least 2000 years old


The ancient Egyptians were said to placed the hives on boats, and drifted along the Nile to provide the bees with fresh flowers on the banks. They did this when the bees had spent or depleted the flowers in any given area, to insure that honey would still be of plenty… Due to Egypt’s terrain there was little pastures for the bees in Egypt. There were no forests or meadows with wildflowers growing. So, the rivers edge provided the bees with many different species of flowers to collect their nectar. Ancient Egypt far less vegetation than it does today. Ancient Egypt also had its lotus flower, which considered sacred, and was known to provide honey that was superior in flavor.

The inhabitants of Lower Egypt knew that the blooming of fruit-trees, and flowers of Upper Egypt preceded theirs by several months. Toward the end of October, the villagers embarked on boats or rafts, packed with pyramided hives, and brought them down the Nile into Upper Egypt, just at the time when the inundations had subsided and the flowers had begun to bud. The bees soon exhausted the supply of nectar two or five miles around a new locality; then the floats were moved to another station and remained there as long as it proved desirable. These wanderers returned to their homes about February, the hives well-stocked with honey, gathered from the orange blossoms of Said and Arabian jesamine. The hives were carefully numbered and delivered to their respective owners. Niebuhr reported seeing such a flotilla of four thousand hives on the Nile…. continued on source webpage.