Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

September 26, 2012

Origin of the American Honey Bees

It was brought to my attention that not all beekeepers and especially the general public really knows just where the American Honey Bee originated. Welllll – Let me ‘splain’ what I know and what I suspect.

There is speculation as to who discovered America: Amerigo Vespusi (sp),  Christoper Columbus, or the Vikings. Lets just agree it was Columbus. After he went back to England, the king decided to send some troublemakers to the new world to send back some goods that were reportedly found there.

This group of people was the first Pilgrims. When they came, they brought seeds, goats, sheep, cows, and probably some dogs and cats. (Horses came later with the Spanish Conquistadors.) Also, the pilgrims brought some honey bees. These are what we call European Honey Bee today. Honey was the only kind of sweetening they had in that time period.

The pilgrims had the bees housed in Skeps. As you know, the only way to rob the honey from a skep was to destroy the comb. At that time some of the bees decided that that was all she wrote and absconded to the woods. That was the beginning of the feral (wild) bees. When the pilgrims wanted to make another hive, they would watch the bees and follow them to the bee tree and cut it down and put some of the bees in a skep and that would be the beginning of another colony in the bee yard.

Now for the rest of the story: You know that the bees also pollinate our food crops. About 33% of the food we eat is from the seeds that the pilgrims brought over with them. Okra, squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries, all the fruits, and almonds. There is more money in pollination than all the other products of the hive combined.

But don’t forget the medical aspects of the honey bees and their products that have been used for the last 200 years here in the U. S. Some of those aspects have been replaced by the pharmaceutical companies in the way of pills and liquid drugs. There have been some physicians and medical establishments that are looking into Nature’s natural healing herbs and that includes Honey Bees and their products.

I am sure that I have left some information out, but I think that I have given enough for you to digest and think about.

Until next time, get your colonies ready for Winter and read, read, read. It is getting time to catch up on your chores—.

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