The Egyptians and Bees

The Egyptians and Bees

Written by Vittoria, an Atkinson volunteer.

‘Bees do have a smell-you know and if they don’t, they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers’– Ray Bradbury

The Ancient Egyptians understood the importance of the bee and its significance to our very existence. They attached great religious and spiritual significance to the honey bee. It was held in such high regard that it was a symbol of royalty, and the bee hieroglyph was the symbol of Lower Egypt. The belief was that honey bees were formed from the tears of the sun god, Ra, which, upon falling from the sky and touching the earth transformed into bees.

Honey was used by all classes for both religious and practical purposes. Sacred animals were fed cakes sweetened with honey. It was used as a sweetener for food and wine, a wound healer, also in cosmetics. The wax was used as a binding agent for paints, in boat and ship building, to harden and strengthen plaits.

Not only was it used for the living, jars of honey were left in tombs as an offering to the dead. Wax was used in the mummification process with small body orifices being plugged with beeswax.

The importance of bees to humankind cannot be underestimated. Now just as then, we must recognise the bee’s value to life on earth. Over one third of our food supply relies on bees for pollination. Today, however, their population is in decline due to loss of habitat, climate change and the use of pesticides.

‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life, left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man’ – Albert Einstein.

 Discover Ancient Egypt.

Our stunning Egyptology museum takes visitors on a journey through what life was like in ancient Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs, showcasing Anne Goodison’s personal and wide-ranging collection in an interactive display. Mrs Goodison was one of a handful of wealthy Victorian ladies in the North West who were fascinated by ancient Egypt.

Free Entry

Monday – Saturday. 10am – 4pm.
Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays.
Plan your visit here.

Posted on 23 November 2022 under Bees, Museum

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