Israel’s biblical bees came from Turkey

By Jennifer Lipman, June 8, 2010

Israel has long been known as a land flowing with milk and honey, and now scientists have discovered exactly where the bees came from.

Researchers at the Hebrew University have found that the biblical bees almost certainly came from Turkey and were transferred hundreds of miles to Israel. The findings, the earliest examples of bringing animals such a long way, suggest the ancient Israelites were involved in sophisticated agricultural practices.

In 2007 scientists came across the remains of clay beehives dating back 3000 years in the Jordan Valley.

Israel is described as a land flowing with milk and honey 17 times in the Bible.

"This is a very special discovery,” said Amihai Mazar, author of the report on the findings.

He added: “It throws new light on the economy of the biblical period."

Last updated: 2:32pm, June 8 2010