Conferences and seminars held, derived from the project


Extraction and distribution of forestry resources in pre-modern Europe

The Bees in the Medieval World project team (Lluís Sales i Favà, Alex Sapoznik and Mark Whelan) and Albert Reixach (University of Girona) are organizing a conference that will deal with the extraction and distribution of natural resources widely used for alimentary purposes, construction, clothing and other manufacturing processes. The resources chosen for the sessions were directly obtained from nature. They were thus not harvested, but sometimes extracted from human-controlled environments. The sessions proposed will explore, at the same time, the effect on these ecological contexts.  Click here for more details:


Medieval Crafts and Guilds (London Medieval Society)

“Wax and Guilds in Late Medieval Baltic and North Sea Communities”

Wax was ubiquitous in religious life in the guilds along the Baltic and North Sea coasts. A survey of guild records from Reval, Riga, Gdansk, Lübeck, and Hamburg, makes clear that contemporaries used wax in many different forms that shed light on the flexible roles apiary products could play in medieval society, and suggest several avenues for further study and analysis hitherto neglected by historians.


Medieval Crafts and Guilds (London Medieval Society)

“The Bishop of St Davids comes to Bruges: Gift-giving, civic entries and beeswax in north-western Europe”

In this seminar, Mark, one of the members of the project, focuses on his research in Belgian archives to delve into the political and diplomatic cultures of later medieval Europe by exploring the gifting of beeswax by civic councils and political leaders to important visitors.

More information at:


Bees and beeswax – the gold of the medieval world?

by Cambridgeshire Beekeepers Association

The recent collapse of bee populations has caused concern for ecosystems worldwide. By contrast, the medieval world was teeming with bees, which were potent symbols in medieval Christianity and Islam. 

This facilitated the development of long-distance trade networks, while also encouraging widespread domestic beekeeping as a notable part of the rural economy across Europe.

This talk will explore the role that religious medieval beliefs played in the development of beekeeping, its impact on the economy and its inter-relationship with the changing climate of the time and the wider environment

More information:


‘Secondary products’: Trade the forgotten goods of pre-modern Europe

Much of the historical literature on pre-modern trade has focused on a few major items, such as grain, cloth, wool, hides and iron, which were transported in bulk for widespread and profitable markets. These products were the mainstays of medieval life. Yet they were often accompanied by a vast array of other products invaluable to pre-modern economy and society, but which were traded on a lesser scale or the product of more specialized production. Drawing attention to the production, trade and consumption of these ‘secondary’ products offers the potential to consider medieval and early modern trade in news ways, emphasizing the complexity of maritime routes; economies of scale according to value or place of production; and consideration the profit margins of merchants and companies by assessing the broad variety of goods in which they dealt. Indeed, these overlooked goods were so embedded in pre-modern trade that considering them ‘secondary’ products might itself be controversial.


Seminaris Vir(tu)als d’Estudis Medievals – Institució Milà i Fontanals – CSIC of Barcelona

Producció, distribució i consum de productes apícoles a la conca mediterrània. Fonts documentals per a una recerca en curs (segles XIV-XVI)


European History 1150-1550 Seminar – Institute of Historical Research, London

Bees in the medieval world: Economic, environmental and cultural perspectives


Centre for the History of Science Technology and Medicine seminar, King’s College London

“Bees in the medieval environment: Economy, culture and climate”


‘Money Matters’ conference, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

“Bees in the medieval Mediterranean: Jewish merchants and the trade in Maghrebi wax”


Seminario internacional: La Península Ibérica, entre el mundo Atlántico y el Mediterráneo. Mecaderes, flujos y redes Comerciales en la Europa de la primera globalización (1400-1600), University of Córdoba

“La cera. Flujos de un mercado en el occidente mediterráneo (siglos XIV-XVI)”


Symposium on bees in the medieval world, Lübeck (Germany), Hansemuseum (Organization)

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