Beehives in Slovenia

Margaret  Hyde

Ulverstone, Australia

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Artist's Description

1104 viewings on 4 July, 2016.

Beekeeping has been part of the Slovenian agriculture since the 16th century. Originally bees were kept in hollow logs or baskets but the entire hive was damaged when collecting the honeycomb. With the invention of the Kranjic hive, with removable boxes resembling a chest of drawers, the problem was solved. It also led to the development of Slovenia’s most important form of folk art.
The hives have front panels above the entrance and painting and decorating these boards with religious motifs soon became popular. In the mid 18th century the panels were painted in" folk Baroque" style with subjects taken from the Old and New Testaments – especially Job, the patron of beekeepers, and history – invasions and the like. The most interesting panels depict the foibles, rivalries and humour of the human condition. The painting of the panels enjoyed its golden age between about 1820 and 1880.

As well as the panelled hives, other hives have been carved to look like people and animals – once such hive is in this photo – a bear.

The Beekeeping Museum is housed in Thurn Manor, Radovljica, which began its life as Ortenburg Castle in the middle ages.

Artwork Comments

  • Vanessa Barklay
  • Margaret  Hyde
  • Marilyn Grimble
  • Margaret  Hyde
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