Egypt is one of the oldest countries in the world in beekeeping sector. The oldest drawings and paintings on tombs and other monuments in Egypt clearly show how beekeeping is old in Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians kept bees from about 2400 B.C. where the earliest drawings of beekeeping and honey preparation have been seen in Egyptian temples. Beekeeping in ancient Egypt was characterized by using cylindrical hives, migratory beekeeping using rafts down the Nile River and production of huge amounts of honey. Ramses III was able to offer the Nile god some 14000 Kg of honey as a sacrifice about 1180 B.C.
Features that favor beekeeping
Egypt today is considered the most important country in beekeeping sector in the Middle East, among Arab nations and Africa. The beekeeping seasons begin in March and last in November, while the winter season lasts from December to March. Egypt has three primary seasons: citrus season in the first two weeks of April, clover season from May to the first week of June, and cotton season in August and September. Egypt exports honey to several countries. Egypt additionally exports beekeeping tools and swarms to many Arab and African countries.
Beekeeping Products in Egypt
At least 80 percent of the beekeeper's community in Egypt consider beekeeping to be a family business, and the most popular saying among veteran beekeepers is that the beekeeping industry is inherited, not taught. Apiculture is considered an essential activity that helps rural communities boost their income and way of living. In addition, it is an environmentally benign and sustainable form of agriculture.
The main products they produce are honey, royal jelly, pollen and nucleus. Marketing activities are carried out by self-efforts or by relying on an intermediate dealer who purchases the quantity produced in its raw form, provided he carries out the packaging and marketing operations, which has a significant impact on the beekeeper's low financial return.
Bee honey is the most popular product among all beekeepers, as the beekeeper relies on the production of honey in its raw form without clear interference in the packaging containers, which are plastic containers that do not correspond to standards in most cases. From the foregoing, it can be concluded that beekeepers have limited experience in finding added value for the honey they produce.