Beekeeping with Woven Hives in Greece Through the Ages

Beekeeping with Woven Hives in Greece Through the Ages

This book is an original study on beekeeping which, apart of course from the existing modern literature, is based on four pillars:

  1. the study of the relevant ancient Roman and Byzantine literature;
  2. the study of the works by foreign travellers who visited Greece from the 17th to the 19th centuries to gather information on beekeeping and wicker hives;
  3. the study of archival, mainly unpublished, material;
  4. the results of the author’s on-the-spot investigations throughout Greece during the last seventeen years.

All types of Greek woven hives are explored, as well as the methods of practicing beekeeping by these means during the last centuries. Their construction techniques and the materials used, both by the beekeepers themselves and by professional basket weavers, are also recorded.

The proposed theses of the possible use of woven hives during the Bronze Age are examined, as well as all written sources concerning beekeeping with this sort of hive during Greco-Roman antiquity and the Middle Ages. The possible introduction of open-at-the-bottom wicker hives to the Greek region is also investigated.

Finally, the influence of a specific type of Greek woven hive, namely the open-at-the-top with movable combs, on the evolution of world beekeeping, both in the developed and the developing world, is examined.

When, some twenty years ago, I began engaging with issues related to archaeology, ethnography, and history of beekeeping, modelled on the work of the late Eva Crane, I could not imagine that she would “contribute” (in a metaphysical sense), through the Eva Crane Trust, to the publication of my study. I, therefore, wish to express my deepest gratitude to the Eva Crane Trust, both for its financial assistance, without which it would have been impossible to publish my book, and for the trust shown in me. Both are a real honour to me.

Georgios Mavrofridis

This book is available at:
Northern Bee Books
  (UK & Europe)  and  Barnes and Noble  (USA)

Ref.: ECTA_20220609_ Mavrofridis