Over and over in the Old Testament we see Israel referred to as a land flowing with milk and honey.
While in Israel a little more than 10 years ago I captured a few pictures that represent the honey portion of this statement. I have been thinking about these pictures lately since the Pool of Siloam has been in the news and it is also pollination season in the orchards here in the Great Valley. I am sharing again the contents of a post I wrote shortly after returning from my first trip to Israel.
The first picture is the Honey Bee itself. I spotted these bees at the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem. I am not sure what they are feeding on, but I was not able to capture a bee in a flower during the trip. I do have some good pictures of bees in flowers, but they are from closer to home :-). Here we definitely have Israeli Honey Bees.
The bees collect nectar from different sources and carry the nectar back to the hives.When they return to the hive, the foraging bees transfer the nectar to the worker bees in the hive who slowly process it into honey using an interesting process. You may not want to know the exact process :-). But, basically the nectar is processed and dehydrated by the worker bees until it is a yummy gooey mass of goodness.
The hives shown in the picture above are from et-Tell, which is the traditional site of Bethsaida. (But is it the actual site?) The tell is just North of the Sea of Galilee. While we were leaving the excavations we stopped the bus when we saw the hives so that we could take some pictures. One of the tour members was taking pictures of bee related items as her father is a bee keeper.
So, what does the inside of a bee hive look like?Here we have one of the honey comb frames that comes out of a hive. Having fresh honey from the comb was one of the nice things about the breakfast buffet at the Ron Beach Hotel in Tiberias. Of the hotels that we stayed at in Israel, this was my favorite.
Israel is well known for their honey production. It is also something that has been known from antiquity. In Bible times they mostly hunted wild bees and found hives in trees or even in the belly of a lion.
“Out of the eater came something to eat.
Out of the strong came something sweet.”
Judges 14:14 (ESV)
Now to go eat some honey.