Honey is as old as written history, dating back to 2100 B.C. where it was mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings, the Hittite code, and the sacred writings of India and Egypt. It is presumably even older than that.
Through out history man has enjoyed the delicious sweet taste of honey. Honey was man’s first sweetener. Ancient man treasured this natural sweet because it could not until recently be obtained in large amounts and because it was the only sweetener available.
In some early civilizations honey was reserved for the rich who could afford such luxuries. Taxes were many times paid in honey because of it’s great value!
Its name comes from the English hunig, and it was the first and most widespread sweetener used by man. Legend has it that Cupid dipped his love arrows in honey before aiming at unsuspecting lovers.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, Israel was often referred to as “the land of milk and honey.” Mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey was called “nectar of the gods,” high praise indeed. Through out history, Apiculture has been important for providing medicine as it has food.
In days of old, honey has been used not only in food and beverages, but also to make cement, in furniture polishes and varnishes, and for medicinal purposes.
And, of course, bees perform the vital service of pollinating fruits, legumes, vegetables and other types of food-producing plants in the course of their business of honey production.