Historical Background

Primates of a lineage now identified as human, diverged from the great apes about 6 million years ago.[1] Not until 10,000 to 15,000 years ago was there an example of animal domestication.[2'3] This is purported to be domestication of the dog's wolflike ancestor during the hunter gatherer period of human cultural development. The primary event initiating livestock domestication was the formation of large, relatively stable agricultural societies some 9000 to 10,000 years ago when cultivation of plants began.[2,4,5] Why it took so long is uncertain, but it has been suggested that events in the late Pleistocene may have played an important role.[1] Improved hunting skills may have depleted the supply of available prey. Discoveries in the technology of collecting, processing, and storing foods allowed societies with more effective technologies to prevail over others. Human populations were growing, and more efficient food production was required to meet increasing needs. Further, the end of the Pleistocene (11,000 b.c.) was coincident with the end of the Ice Age, and the climatic circumstances that followed were more favorable for permanent agricultural settlements and the extension of such settlements into other relatively unpopulated areas.

Beginning in about 8500 b.c., domestication of cattle, sheep, and goats began in the Near East, particularly in the Fertile Crescent, an arc of land from present-day western Syria and southern Turkey, through northeastern Iraq, to Iran.[1,2,5] Domestication of pigs took place about 9000 years ago both in Europe and in Asia.[2] Chickens were domesticated from jungle fowl in Thailand and adjacent regions about 8000 years ago, and remains of domesticated chickens have been found in neolithic sites in China dating to 6000 b.c. Llamas and alpacas were domesticated about 6000 years ago in South America.[2] Concurrently, horses were being domesticated for meat and transportation in the Ukraine.[2] Archeological evidence associating humans and silkworms dates back to about 2500 b.c. in China. Guinea pigs were domesticated about 3000 to 4000 years ago by the indigenous people of Peru for use as food and in religious ceremonies.[2] About 2500 years ago, rabbits were domesticated in southern Europe. Wild turkeys, native to North America, were transported to Europe and domesticated there about 500 years ago.[2] Additional animal species, domesticated before the time of Christ, include asses, Bactrian and dromedary camels, honey bees, bantengs, water buffalos, ducks, yaks, cats, geese, and reindeer.[5,6]

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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