When was honey discovered? 

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “when was honey discovered?”. We will discuss how Egyptians manage honeybees, and understand what modern beekeeping is. 

When was honey discovered? 

Honey was discovered some 15,000 years ago. The earliest evidence of honey gathering comes from Spain. These honey collectors didn’t raise bees, instead, they went out into the woods to gather honey from abandoned hives. 

Ancient Egyptian beekeeping wasn’t documented until 10,000 years later. Beekeepers may have traveled the Nile in order to follow the onset of spring and the flowering of nectar-producing plants. 

Honey was considered a delicacy in ancient Egypt, and as a result, it was often buried with other valuables. Graves that had been uncovered had this old honey, which had been well preserved.

Even though it’s hard to tell exactly when and how beekeeping originated, early civilizations learned fast to tear down the hives and make a beeline out of the region, then return after the bees had dissipated a little. 

Early honey collectors found that smoke repels bees, therefore they likely carried a lit torch for protection. Even while ancient people took great pleasure in honey’s many benefits, the practice of beekeeping back then was very dangerous for the bees that were engaged. Before any honey could be gathered, the whole colony had to be wiped out. 

Even while honey has been described in the oldest documented chronicles, its practical usage goes back considerably longer than that. Consuming honey may have given early humans an appreciation not just for the animals that provided it but also for the dangers that were made by humans gathering it. 

For prehistoric societies that subsisted on a limited diet, honey was probably a pleasant supplement. In order to discover a wild beehive, its location had to be kept under wraps. Honey was a valuable good because people liked the way it tasted and because it was good for their health.

How did Egyptians manage honeybees?

Ancient Egyptians used twig and reed hives to control honeybee colonies of the Egyptian Honeybee. Beekeeping was well-established in Egypt’s Nile Valley by 1500 BCE, and Egyptian officials accepted honey from farmers as payment. 

As a result of this, the honey was stored in clay jars and then given a stamp indicating its grade and color. Honey does not do badly if properly stored and can be kept for thousands of years. 

Pure honey can be stored for too long, and even can be stored for thousands of years. However, if honey is contaminated or contains artificial flowers it can go bad easily. 

Besides being a food source, honeybee products were also utilized medicinally and religiously in ancient times. Additionally, beeswax was an essential component in the mummification process, in addition to its application in the production of candles.

What is modern beekeeping?

Today’s most popular beehive design is the Langstroth, which is made of hardwood boxes and frames that can be readily removed to gather honey and wax and evaluate the hive’s health. 

The Langstroth hive also has the advantage of being portable. Every growing season, honey bees move around in search of the greatest fodder and most nectar-producing flowers for their hive’s nutritional needs.

In Europe

Honeybee hives are often moved to the countryside at the end of the growing season by beekeepers. In the UK, heather is blooming, while in France lavender fields scent the air. 

Because of the high prices that may be achieved for these specific types of honey, it is advantageous to relocate the hives. 

When nectar-rich flowers emerge in April and May, migrating bee wagons will go to the greatest sites for foraging on wildflowers.

In the US

As a result of the creation of enormous farms for fruit, nuts, and berries Migratory beekeeping, and specifically their pollination services, is the most lucrative method to generate money in the United States. 

During the main growing season, thousands of hives are carried on the roads by semi-trucks to big agricultural operations. These enterprises are located in a variety of states. 

When the world’s biggest honey bee-pollinated Almond grove pollination takes place in California each February, it kicks off the whole pollination cycle. 

Beekeepers would then travel their hives to different regions of the nation to pollinate crops such as alfalfa, berries, and oranges, which are grown in Florida. 

In the Northeast and the Midwest, respectively due to agriculture’s reliance on large-scale monoculture operations, natural pollinating species are insufficient. Thus, honeybees are trucked in from other states to provide pollination services.


In this brief article, we answered the question “when was honey discovered?”. We discussed how Egyptians manage honeybees, and understood what modern beekeeping is. 



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.