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Honey in Georgia

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  • Claus
    Hi all, I recently got a question I thought did not have a very obvious answer. Maybe some of you can help me here. When reading de Soto s narrative of the
    Message 1 of 3 , May 7, 2009
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      Hi all,

      I recently got a question I thought did not have a very obvious answer. Maybe some of you can help me here. When reading de Soto's narrative of the Conquest of Florida, the following statement is made:


      On the second day of their march, they entered
      the small town of Canasauga, where they were
      met by twenty Indians, bearing baskets of mulber
      ries, a fruit which abounded in this region, as did
      likewise the nut and plum trees. Continuing for
      ward for five days, through a desert country, on the
      25th of June they came in sight of Ichiaha, thirty
      leagues from Guaxule.

      This village stood on one end of an island, more
      than five leagues in length. The Cacique came out
      to receive the Governor, and gave him a friendly
      welcome ; his warriors treated the soldiers in the
      same kind and frank manner. They crossed the
      river in many canoes, and on rafts prepared for the
      purpose, and were quartered by the Indians, in
      their houses. Most of the soldiers, however, en
      camped under the trees around the village, and their
      worn out horses enjoyed rich and abundant pastur
      age in the neighbouring meadows. The Spaniards
      found in this village a quantity of bears grease pre
      served in pots, and likewise oil made from the wal
      nut, and a pot of honey. The latter they had not
      seen before, nor did they ever again meet with it
      during their wanderings.

      The question I got was which kind of honey did they offer the soldiers? This is before the European honey bee was brought over to the Americas. There were no stingless bees at this time in Georgia as far as I know, the honey wasps are not reported from Georgia, and lastly, could this just be some mapple syrup or would there be other sources of honey in Georgia?

      Cheers,

      Claus
    • frozenbeedoc@cs.com
      What s the date on deSoto s march? I never did too well with history and dates. WE do have records of honey bees in the very first settlements in the New
      Message 2 of 3 , May 7, 2009
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        What's the date on deSoto's march?  I never did too well with history and dates.  WE do have records of honey bees in the very first settlements in the New World.  Pilgrims, Virginia settlements. They spread out beyond the European settlements rather quickly.  The indians referred to them as the White Man's Fly.  MIght they have been in Georgia from that?  A rare feral colony?  About 30 years ago there was an article by Everet Oetell (sp), a scientist at the USDA lab in Baton Rouge, who did a lot of searching of old ships registers, even back in England.  I'll see if I can put my hands on it.  Maybe in American Bee Journal?

        Anita Collins
      • Charles Guevara
            Hello Claus....I m skeptical about: a quantity of bears grease preserved in pots ...these tramping speculators had quite tunnel-vision obsession to
        Message 3 of 3 , May 10, 2009
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              Hello Claus....I'm skeptical about:"a quantity of bears grease preserved in pots"...these tramping speculators had quite tunnel-vision obsession to resources they could take...I doubt what was in that 'quantity of grease'/ wether or not it 'was preserved' could be accurately noted by the scribe/missionary-invader.  The journal entry of 'honey'...could quite naturally be processed sap of many tropical plants( honey being similar to 'mapel syrup' , especially to a beleauguered tramping invader?).  Then there was frenzy for both native vast amounts of refined gold, and for a literal 'fountain of youth'!
           
             See the widely available Klaus Kinskey film:" The Rath of A...", for quite tangible insights to  de Sotos 'mind set'.  A 'maple syrup type' processed tropical confection could easily be mistaken for  what we here call:'honey'.   charlie guevara  NJ,US
           
           


          --- On Thu, 5/7/09, Claus <alrunen@...> wrote:

          From: Claus <alrunen@...>
          Subject: [beemonitoring] Honey in Georgia
          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009, 3:06 PM

          Hi all,

          I recently got a question I thought did not have a very obvious answer. Maybe some of you can help me here. When reading de Soto's narrative of the Conquest of Florida, the following statement is made:


              On the second day of their march, they entered
              the small town of Canasauga, where they were
              met by twenty Indians, bearing baskets of mulber
              ries, a fruit which abounded in this region, as did
              likewise the nut and plum trees. Continuing for
              ward for five days, through a desert country, on the
              25th of June they came in sight of Ichiaha, thirty
              leagues from Guaxule.

              This village stood on one end of an island, more
              than five leagues in length. The Cacique came out
              to receive the Governor, and gave him a friendly
              welcome ; his warriors treated the soldiers in the
              same kind and frank manner. They crossed the
              river in many canoes, and on rafts prepared for the
              purpose, and were quartered by the Indians, in
              their houses. Most of the soldiers, however, en
              camped under the trees around the village, and their
              worn out horses enjoyed rich and abundant pastur
              age in the neighbouring meadows. The Spaniards
              found in this village a quantity of bears grease pre
              served in pots, and likewise oil made from the wal
              nut, and a pot of honey. The latter they had not
              seen before, nor did they ever again meet with it
              during their wanderings.

          The question I got was which kind of honey did they offer the soldiers? This is before the European honey bee was brought over to the Americas. There were no stingless bees at this time in Georgia as far as I know, the honey wasps are not reported from Georgia, and lastly, could this just be some mapple syrup or would there be other sources of honey in Georgia?

          Cheers,

          Claus



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