Maltese Beekeeping Site
Since prehistoric times, the geographical position of the Maltese Archipelago, found in the principal route of communication of the ancient world, was one of the most important meeting centres of various civilisations flourishing in the mediterranean seas (Longo, 1990).
The Islands were famous in the ancient world, for the abundance production of wild thyme honey. It was not occasionally that the Greek gave our island the name of Melite, and the Romans who conquisted the island in the year 218b.c. , named it Melita (Longo, 1992). Numerous locations of the Island have topographic testimonies of the apicultural vocation. In particular the city of Mellieha found in north of the Island, even today is still an important apicultural location principally for the gathering of wild thyme honey.
Despite the vicinity of Malta to Sicily, the traditional apiculture characteristics represent those of the Greek Islands. A significant testimony of the Greek influence is furnished in the traditional earthenware jars adapted in the Maltese Islands (Longo, 1990). These jars are of a horizontal type and present a noticeable resemblance to the jars of Crete.
Ancient Malta was known as the central precious Island of the Mediterranean, always supplying unlimited amounts of honey. This fact attracted a lot of Pirates, who used to visit the Islands. Amongst things which they used to steal was honey because they knew that it was of a very high quality. Another period was that of the Arabs in Malta. During this period Malta went through a lot of changes and adopted many beneficial foreign techniques. A particular case was that of Agriculture which advanced in a significant way. Apart from a great progress in the Olive production, Beekeeping also developed on a large scale.