The apiary discovered in Stratum V at Tel Reḥov in 2005–2007 remains unique in the archaeology of the ancient Near East. Here the authors briefly summarize the data previously published in this journal and add results of new studies, mainly concerning the identification of ancient charred bees trapped in burnt honeycombs found in the hives. Measurements of two wings and one leg, and statistical work based on existing database of modern subspecies, are inconsistent with the Syrian subspecies local to Israel (Apis meliferra syriaca), but were found to be similar to the Anatolian bee (Apis meliferra anatoliaca). We discuss the implications of this result, suggesting trade relations with southern Anatolia. The authors suggest that the beeswax was perhaps related to the copper-based metallurgical industry that entailed casting in the lost wax method, at a time when the copper trade based on the Arabah mines was at its peak.
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