Nov 29 2007
Archaeologists Discover Ancient Beehives in Israel [Excerpts]
Archaeologists digging in northern Israel have discovered evidence of a 3,000-year-old beekeeping industry, including remnants of ancient honeycombs, beeswax and what they believe are the oldest intact beehives ever found.
The findings in the ruins of the city of Rehov this summer include 30 intact hives dating to around 900 B.C., archaeologist Amihai Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University told The Associated Press.
He said it offers unique evidence that an advanced honey industry existed in the Holy Land at the time of the Bible.
Beekeeping was widely practiced in the ancient world, where honey used for medicinal and religious purposes as well as for food, and beeswax was used to make molds for metal and to create surfaces to write on.
While bees and beekeeping are depicted in ancient artwork, nothing similar to the Rehov hives has ever been found before, Mazar said.
[TBC: In Exodus:3:8 God told Moses that He would deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt and take them into a land "flowing with milk and honey."]