Medieval Beekeeper

While beekeeping has been going on since ancient times, few texts give indepth detail on the subject.

Some texts that do are the Geoponika and Ibn al-Awwam’s Kitab al-Filaha (The Book of Agriculture)

These texts offer information on how to properly set up a hive so that bees would flourish and how to collect honey while keeping the bees healthy.

“The study of history is the beginning of political wisdom.” – Jean Bodin, French political philosopher and jurist from the 16th century.

Here are some of their tips on beekeeping during the Middle Ages

Beekeeping is an ancient practice that was an important job in medieval times, many farms throughout the medieval period kept beehives and collected honey.

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There is little information available about how beekeeping was done in the medieval period, a text called the Geoponika, was discovered that was written by a monk named Eustathios.

This 10th-century Byzantine text gives us some insight into the processes involved.

What the Geoponika tells us about medieval beekeeping

The Geoponika tells us that a beekeeper should provide the beehive with water and honey, cover it at night to keep out predators, remove diseased bees from the hive, and harvest honey from the hives. These basic practices were sufficient enough for successful beekeeping during

medieval times.

Medieval Beekeeper
Medieval Beekeepe

The Importance of Bees in the Medieval World

Beekeeping has been practiced in many cultures since ancient times. It was especially important in the Middle Ages, when it was the most common form of sweetener. During this time, beehives could be found on almost any farm, with honey being collected by the family that owned them.

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Medieval Beekeeper – Collecting Honey

Honey collecting is probably one of the most important jobs a beekeeper has. It is done through a process called extraction, which can be done in two ways.

Medieval Beekeeping
Medieval Beekeeping

The first way is by simply skimming the honey from the surface of the frames, which can be done with a specialized shallow pan that has holes in it.

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The second way, which is more labor-intensive but yields better quality honey, is extracting honey from individual cells where it has been stored for later use.

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