Apis mellifera carnica Pollman,painter apiarist and honey heart

image

In my last post I was writing about bees and a reader has asked me to tell some more as her father is an apiarist.It certainly is not my field ,but in My botanical garden bees always have been dear guests specially since also in Slovenia Colony collapse disorder has been recorded and it became clear that we all,as a society,should know more about bees ,to be able to act with full responsibility.Why? 

Colony collapse is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees; and ecologically, because of the major role that bees play in the reproduction of plant communities in the wild. from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder

Knowledge about bees and beekeeping is an old one in my country.The pioneer in this field is Anton Janša (1734-1773), painter and apiarist.He was a big authority in the field,becoming first royally appointed teacher of apiculture for all Austrian lands. 

I simply love what he wrote:

Bees are a type of fly, hardworking, created by God to provide man with all needed honey and wax. Amongst all God’s beings there are none so hard working and useful to man with so little attention needed for its keep as the bee.

The EmpressMaria Theresa issued a decree after Janša’s death obliging all teachers of apiculture to use his books.from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Jan%C5%A1a

The bee he was talking about is Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica Pollman).

The bee is the subspecies of the Western honey bee that has naturalized and adapted to the Kočevje (Gottschee) sub-region of Carniola (now in Slovenia), the southern part of the Austrian Alps and the northern Balkans. It is favored among beekeepers for several reasons, not the least being its ability to defend itself successfully against insect pests while at the same time being extremely gentle in its behavior toward beekeepers. from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carniolan_honey_bee

Long tradition of apiculture in Slovenia mirrors in many crafts up to today.Their products evolved from deep understanding of the nature,they were shaped trough centuries giving bread to generations.They are sustainable in their origin, but still able to reach esthetic of today.For example this modern wooden jar for honey with waxed inside I use for our Sunday breakfasts:

image

image

And of course ,the traditional wooden honey spoon-a simple but smart tool  to prevent honey dripping all over the table when preparing bread-butter-honey “sandwich”:

image

And finally the honey-hearts from Slovenia.Traditionally they are used as gifts-let this one be gift for my readers!

picture from:http://www.slovenia.info/?kulinaricno_dozivetje=3578&lng=2&redirected=1

Apis mellifera carnica from folk art to the architecture

image

image

Last time I had the opportunity to see how a beehive looks from inside.I was absolutely amazed and couldn’t stop watching laborious bees,I am still fascinated by the organisation of those little animals.And as they will always be the most welcome guests in My botanical garden let me talk about some interesting bee-topics from my country today.

Beekeeping has a long tradition in Slovenia. Our bee is Apis mellifera carnica, very laborious and non aggressive bee.Kranjska čebela (Apis mellifera carnica)

picture from:http://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8Cebele

Cultivation of buckwheat in the 15th century meant autumn pasture and possible advance in beekeeping. So already in 1689 a beehive timbered of boards is mentioned .In mid 18th century  first painted front boards of beehives, first with religious motifs, later also with profane motifs appeared, contributing a big share to the Slovene folk art.

bee house

Adam and Eve in EdenAdam and Eve in EdenPilgrims' MadonnaPilgrims’ MadonnaWeddingWeddingPegam and LambergarPegam and Lambergar

pictures from:http://web.bf.uni-lj.si/jbozic/muzej/hivefron.html

Original vintage painted front-boards can be seen in museums today, but souvenir shops have plenty of replicas tourists like to buy.And as it may look like all these aren’t very serious art  I have to admit how it surprised me to discover that bees impressed Jože Plečnik, our great archirect.Beehive he projected for his garden in Ljubljana is definitely work of art bees-laborious architects deserve!Good news-Plečnik was born 140 years ago  and this anniversary will be celebrated with restoration of his beehive !

Čebelnjak, Plečnikarchitectural beehive in architect’s garden from:http://www.rtvslo.si/kultura/drugo/tudi-cebelnjak-je-del-plecnikove-dediscine/279068

Jože Plečnik

Jože Plečnik, 1904
Born January 23, 1872
Laibach (modern-day Ljubljana),Austria-Hungary
Died January 7, 1957 (aged 84)
LjubljanaYugoslavia
Work
Buildings Prague Castle (1920–34)
Triple Bridge, Ljubljana, (1929–32)
National and University Library(1930–41)
Projects Slovene Acropolis / Cathedral of Freedom (1947)

from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo%C5%BEe_Ple%C4%8Dnik