The bees, their honey and its curiosities

curiosities about honey, pinturas rupestres las paredes de las cuevas de Araña

Raw honey is one of the most appreciated and versatile natural products produced by nature. Its benefits have been exploited for millennia by men. A natural product that serves as food, medicine and skin care. As such an ancient product, history has left us many curiosities that are nice to know.

Therefore, in this article we will look at the following points:

  1. A little bit of history of bees
  2. When do we start consuming raw honey?
  3. Vision of the bees
  4. Birth of a bee
  5. Spain, leader in honey production

Also, in our store in Las Rozas in Madrid we offer a fantastic selection of quality honeys: heatherr, eucalyptus, rosemary, manuka, thyme … Finally, if you want to know more about honey, you can read our previous article Where to buy quality raw honey

1. A little history of honey

Bees and raw honey appeared on Earth long before humans, in the Tertiary period, about sixty million years ago. There is evidence of coexistence with humans in the Prehistoric Age, as shown by a prehistoric painting some 15 000 years ago in the spider cave in Valencia (Spain). Therefore, with these facts it is demonstrated that it is that epoch the men already took advantage of the properties of the honey.

Subsequently, honey, a product described as “food of gods” has been used and consumed in later civilizations. In Egypt a honey pot was found in perfect conditions of consumption, in a tomb built 3 000 years ago. Similarly, in Ancient Greece was recommended by Hippocrates as a fortifying food that prolonged life. Also, in ancient China it was consumed by the wealthy classes.

Finally, during World War II, the pilots of the air force were fed large quantities of honey in each mission. Exactly when they were travelling in their planes at 12 km above sea level, at temperatures around 15° below zero. Extreme conditions, in which the human body cannot survive without an adequate or sufficient supply of oxygen and maintenance of body temperature. However, their honey-rich diet gave them control over their body and brain energy levels, allowing them to survive and successfully perform their duties.

Photo 1: Hieroglyphs of Ancient Egypt

2. When can we start consuming raw honey?

About 8,000 years ago in the Iberian Peninsula between the transition of the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, a group of men immortalized with cave paintings the walls of the caves of Araña in Valencia, where they represented how they hung to some lianas and put their hands inside a honeycomb of wild bees to extract the raw honey. This painting shows that from that moment the human being was already consuming this precious sweet, honey.

Moving by the clock of time, 2 000 years ago a clay tablet from Nippur, found in the religious centre of the Sumerians in the valley of Éifrates was engraved in it a recipe made with honey to treat wounds. In it we find the following words:

“Grind it to sand powder, then a few words are missing on the tablet, and continue with the following, then knead with water and honey, and spread on this mixture pure oil and cedar oil.

  • First curiosities in the Old Testament, and Hannibal the Carthaginian

Moving closer to the present, we find in the Old Testament numerous references to honey, often calling Israel “the land where milk and honey flow”. Another review of the Old Testament tells us how God who speaks to Jacob fed him with “honey and oil that rose from the rocks” and also supplied Israel with flour, olive oil, other products and honey. Later, in the New Testament we are told how John the Baptist fed on lobsters with wild raw honey.

Also, the great warrior of Cartagena, Hannibal when he crossed the Alps with his army with the elephants to attack Rome, supplied his army with honey and vinegar.

  • Honey on the other side of the world

On the other side of the world, in the ancient texts of Chinese medicine, honey has a balanced character (neither Yin nor Yan) and acts according to the principles of the Earth element, i.e., it enters the lungs, spleen and intestines. During the Eastern Zhou dynasty (770-256 B.C.) in China, honey was one of the most exquisite delights for the royal class, who used to take a mixture of raw honey with bee larvae. Likewise, in Chu’s poetry he describes us many times about wine and honey (11th century B.C. to 223 B.C.).

Finally, in Ancient Egypt the Pharaohs used honey, as archaeologists have found numerous Egyptian tombs where honey vessels have been found inside their coffins, whose honey was in perfect condition when they were discovered.

3. Vision of the bees

The sense of sight in bees is very important. It helps them to find food among many other things.

Bees have two compound eyes and three simple eyes. Simple eyes are used to see at short distances in the dark. Very useful for when they move inside the hive. Their compound eyes have them very perfected and with them they see with great clarity.

Their compound eyes contain small structures that by themselves form an eye with their own crystalline and cornea. All of them, besides seeing with visible light, have the capacity to appreciate ultraviolet light.

Bext we show you a video that shows you how you would see the bees the flowers.

Video on the vision of bees

4.  Birth of a bee

Next we show you in birth of a bee

Video: Birth of a bee

5. Spain, leader in honey production

Spain stands out for its high production of raw honey and its variety. Spain produces the largest productions in Europe.  Here we find more than 20 types of honey, among the best known would be the honey of orange blossom, heather, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and thyme. However, there are many more such as: chestnut, cilantro, lemon, medlar, tajaste, etc.. Each one has its own flavour, aroma and properties.


The BBC media. What makes honey eternal and does not spoil.

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