Approximately 6 000 years BC, when the climate got warmer, the territory of the present-day Latvia saw the first bees. Archaeological excavations suggest that it was already in the period from the 2nd to the 4th centuries that people consumed honey. Between the 10th and 14th centuries, honey and beeswax along with amber and cereals played an important role as exchange and market goods. At the beginning of the 19th century, many landlords set up permanent apiaries in their forests. At the end of the 19th century, every fifth farm had an apiary; however, it usually consisted of just some bee colonies since honey was used entirely for self-consumption.
Today honey in Latvia is consumed on its own, it is used in confectionery, beverages, traditional medicine, bath-house rituals, massages and cosmetics. Honey contains antioxidants and vitamins, mineral substances and trace elements, and it has antibacterial effects.
None of the bees living in a colony consisting of 30–80 thousand bees ever sleeps, each bee collects food for the colony and construction materials for the hive and breeds new generations of bees. The collected nectar and pollen are turned into honey and bee bread. Bees, which are up to one and a half centimetres long winged insects weighing about one tenth of a gram, produce a fantastic quantity of honey for people every year.
Lazybones, go to a bee
To learn its virtue.
It has neither masters nor elders
In its sweet daily job.
The image of our Dievzemīte (the Land of God) has been nurtured and cherished for years. Citizens, who are as busy as bees in their day-to-day lives, enrich their country like bees fill a hive. Therefore, the “Honey Coin” is a symbol of diligence and sweetness of work.