Friday, June 28, 2013

Bee Keeping in Cyprus 16.10.1989

Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) have been around for millions of years - they were fully developed in their present form probably even before modern mammals had evolved. The oldest recorded evidence is a bee fossil found by Poinar and Danforth in Myanmar, trapped in a piece of amber dated about 100 million years old.  The oldest evidence of apiculture was found in the Cueva de Aranja of Valencia (Spain) where a cave painting dating from the Paleolithic period depicts collection of honey produced by wild bees.
Apiculture, the art of bee cultivating in order to produce honey, is an activity well known to civilizations which had flourished in ancient times such as the Sumerians, Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians and Egyptians who had included honey in their daily diet, regarding it not only a nutritious food but a therapeutic and pharmaceutical ingredient.
Cyprus honey - Cyprus was well known for its honey since antiquity. We know that during the celebrations in favor of Goddess Aphrodite a sweet product named ‘plakountas’ was offered that was made with honey and dough (or honey, olive oil and flour). The unique Cypriot bee hive, named ‘tziverti’ is also highly praised by many foreign travelers who appear to have been impressed by the fact that Cypriots were cultivating bees literally in their houses. British beekeepers who came to Cyprus during the early colonial period introduced the more productive European hive, that gradually replaced the older traditional type.   
Thank you Dear Merja for this lip-smacking treat of an FDC with very pretty stamps showing the different stages of honey gathering in Cyprus.

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