Ancient Honey Huntress

Before there was beekeeping, there was honey hunting. Humans’ relationship with honeybees has been in existence for thousands of years. The idea of ancient honey hunters and huntresses fascinates me, and is a large motivator for me to learn more about bees. While I was researching images I wanted to use for my logo, this 15,000 year old cave painting appeared. It is known as the Bicorp Man of Valencia, Spain in the Cuevas de la Araña (Spider Caves). 

Though it is referred to as an ancient honey hunter, the androgynous form inspired me to think of it as the Honey Huntress. Whether the actual drawing is depicting a man or a woman, a hunter or a huntress, the amazement to me is the prehistoric relationship between the person and the bees.

Imagine the first person ever to discover honey! Was it dripping down a tree, the golden nectar overflowing from the comb? Who was brave enough to make that first ascent into a hive? A hive protected by thousands of fierce lady warriors armed with painful weapons they use in exchange for their lives? To defend their queen, their babies, and their gold! Who would dare risk their own lives to capture a taste of this ambrosia?

I would love to say it would have been me! But… it takes a special relationship with nature to approach wild bees in order to take their honey… unharmed. I would have happily sat back and watched one of the elders of the tribe work their magic, masterfully approaching the colony with a harmonious vibration, so as to blend in with the buzz of the hive. I see this person equally as either an ancient priestess or shaman, both with the ability of oneness with all living things. Both with the wisdom that this precious gold was not just mother earth’s best sweetener, but also her medicine.

Today, with the commercialization of beekeeping, that indigenous spirit of oneness has been lost. The medicine is only seen as money, and the bees are the cheapest labor in the world. My vision for the Honey Huntress is to follow the roots of this relationship between honeybees and humans back to when this cave painting was conceived. I hope to connect with beekeepers all over the world who still understand the sacredness of the honeybee’s unconditional contribution to our living planet. I believe if all humans could once again remember how to sit in harmony with a honeybee hive, this sweet meditation could heal the whole world.