Appiaria vel in civitate vel in villa: apiculture in the early medieval West

Martínez Jiménez, Javier  ORCID logo

Change log

This chapter explores the socio-economic role and nature of apiculture in the post-Roman Latin West, assessing the scarce archaeological evidence, the anecdotal mentions in literary sources, and the unexpectedly thorough legislation of the successor kingdoms. With this scant information it is possible to reach three preliminary conclusions. First, that honey and wax were probably more relevant in the early Medieval centuries than in the preceding Roman centuries. Second, that there was a shift in the legal status of bees from wild to domesticated animals, and thus considered private property of the beekeeper. And third, that while beekeeping and honey hunting remained a mostly rural activity, it is possible that beekeeping flourished in the less-dense urban contexts of the post-Roman centuries, perhaps playing a role in the emerging garden economy of the period

beekeeping, early middle ages
European Research Council (693418)