Honey has been eaten by man for many thousands of years. There is a petroglyph discovered in 1919 in the Arafla Cave at Bicorp, near Valencia in Spain. In this painting a naked man stands, basket in hand, at the top of a crude grass ladder.
He appears to be gathering something from a natural hole in the rock and around him bees are in flight from their nest. Art experts think this painting may date back between 12,000 and 15,000 years. This is almost certainly a depiction of a type of ancient beekeeping. In fact the man might have been collecting combs containing not only golden sweetness, but pollen and larvae as well.
Today we might be too squeamish to eat combs containing protein rich grubs. A bear raiding a hive has no such qualms and I’m sure that early Spaniard with the ladder was no less enthusiastic.
The nectar which bees collect mixes with enzymes in the bee’s stomach and is then deposited in cells inside the hive. The nectar is comprised of 80% water. Bees evaporate this by fanning with their wings until it contains less than about 18% before capping the cells for storage.
They rarely get it wrong, if the water content is greater than 18% it can spoil by fermentation. The evaporation of this water is used in part like a swamp-cooler, to cool the hive. On a warm summer evening when the bees have been collecting nectar all day you can sometimes smell the nectar and feel a warm draft coming from the hive entrance.
Most medical experts agree that it contains completely natural antibiotic properties and an anti-microbial agent. This simply means it can stop the growth of all types of bacteria and yeast infections plus keep us so healthy we could quite possibly do away without any further visits or at least reduce dramatically our visits to the local drugstore or doctor. Click here for a wealth of information about the health benefits of honey.
Man took advantage of this, fermented mead may have been man’s first alcohol. It doesn’t ferment as readily as grape juice, which may account for the greater popularity of wine rather than mead.
The familiar liquid style seems to be the most popular in Southern California. To purchase San Diego Honey go to the Sales Page. Creamed is my favorite since it spreads on toast so well without too much dripping. The pinnacle of all the types available must be comb.
Click here to order San Diego Honey.There are as many varieties as there are different nectar producing plants The National Board has a search-able database of plant specific varieties from various locations.