Humans began gathering honey thousands of years ago. The earliest record of beekeeping dates back to 7000 BC in cave paintings of Cuevas de la Araña in Spain. However, the fossils of honey bees are 150 million years old. The Mesolithic cave painting shows two hunters collecting honey from wild bee hive using ropes and ladders.
In Georgia, 4700-5500 BC years back, archeologists found honey remains in clay vessels unearthed in ruins of an ancient tomb. They used naturally extracted honey as a sweetener in cakes, biscuits, and other dishes. They also buried dead bodies with different varieties of honey for their afterlife journey.
The Egyptian used honey for purposes like embalming the dead and sacrificing to god in ancient Egypt culture. Honey is mentioned in about 900 drug remedies for treating the maximum of cures. Ancient Egyptians offered honey to their deities. The Egyptian Pharaohs featured bees frequently in their hieroglyphs as a symbol of royalty. They also offered honey to the fertility god of Egypt – Min.
In ancient Greece, Solon passed a law about Honey in Athens: “He who sets up hives of bees must put them 300 feet (91 meters) away from those already installed by another”. Archaeologists found ancient hives in excavations of pottery located in ancient sites. In the Hellenistic period, Greek beekeepers move their hives over long distances to maximize to produce honey from different vegetative regions. Honey and grape juice was used to brew beverage Oenomel in ancient times. This beverage was often used as a folk remedy to treat gout and nervous system disorders. The Greek Scientist, Hippocrates prescribed honey in the combination with water or vinegar to cure pain, thirst, and fever. They made us of honey for treating wounds, curing cough, eye diseases, and scars.
Honey was used for therapeutic purposes in ancient India and still continue to do so. It is mentioned in texts as per Vedas and Ayurveda. In China, a book written by Fan Li mentioned beekeeping practice but the ancient use of honey and its origin is untraceable. Similarly, Mayans used honey from the stingless bees for cooking purposes.