by Helen Briggs
Humans have been exploiting honeybees for almost 9,000 years, according to archaeological evidence.
Traces of beeswax found on ancient pottery from Europe, the Near East and North Africa suggest the first farmers kept bees.
The research, published in Nature, shows our links with the honeybee date back to the dawn of agriculture.
Prehistoric people may have domesticated wild bees or gathered honey and wax for medicines and food.
Prof Richard Evershed of Bristol University, one of the lead scientists on the study, said: “We’ve got the earliest evidence for man’s association with the honeybee.
“Man is collecting the beeswax and the honey and perhaps even domesticating them.”
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