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A Brief History of Beekeeping

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While it is impossible to determine how long human beings have been harvesting bees' honey, the practice predates written history. Archeologists have found cave drawings of honey consumption by primitive humans that are 10,000 years old. Later cave paintings depict humans harvesting honey from wild beehives.

The first records of organized beekeeping using domestic beehives date back roughly 5,000 years, when Ancient Egyptian beekeepers likely transported hives up and down the Nile to take advantage of regional flowers when they were blooming.

Beyond the Middle East, experts have found evidence of ancient beekeeping in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Beekeeping methods included building hives within hollow logs, clay vessels, and containers made of wicker or straw.

The predecessor of the modern beehive with its movable frames arose in Ancient Greece. By the time Polish beekeeper Johann Dzierzon created the first practical beehive with movable combs in the mid-1800s, beekeeping was already prevalent worldwide.