Sugar cane was unknown in Medieval Europe, nor was the technology yet developed to obtain suger from suger beets, thus honey was the only sweetener. There was also some understanding that honey bees had something to do with the success of some crops (pollination), a matter which appears to have been discovered by monks, who disseminated throughout Christendom While honey was something of a luxury, much of it was also fermented into a heady drink known as mead.