There's a random painted highway
April 15, 2005 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Painted beehive panels (accompanying article here) from the Museum of Apiculture [virtual tour, flash] in Radovljica, Slovenia.
posted by Wolfdog (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've always wanted to have some bees. Only, I've always had an unnatural fear of bee-stings. I've got a three foot spectacled caiman who regularly puts his back teeth through my thumb meat, and that doesn't bother me too much, but the thought of a bee getting me turns me into a flailing 6-year old girl.
Excellent article, just one more example of humans adding art where before was only...utility. Utility + Art...and all that.
If I had bee-hives, I would totally paint them up. To look like WW2 hangars.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:48 AM on April 15, 2005

Not knowing much about apiaries, I'm wondering where these panels are normally mounted. Are they on the outside of the box, or the inside, where the bees are? At any rate, wonderful post, Wolfdog. I'd absolutely love to get the chance to visit the museum.
posted by iconomy at 6:10 AM on April 15, 2005

I'm a beekeeper... these panels -- really, one side of a four-sided box, or "super" -- would have been located at the front of the hive, where the bees enter and exit. The notch at the bottom is the opening used by the bees.

Baby_Balrog, I've been keeping bees for four years now and have only been stung three times. We need more beekeepers. The population in the US has declined by half in just the last several years.
posted by mania at 6:27 AM on April 15, 2005

They're on the outside, to welcome the little ladies home to the dance. It looks like the hive entrance is at the bottom of the panels.

I once kept a bee. Enforced Zen.
Why isn't apis mellifera all abuzz about this thread?
posted by Floydd at 6:27 AM on April 15, 2005

Thanks for the explanation. I think I'd like to keep bees. Will have to look into it. Any tips on how to start would be appreciated.

I think the site is getting are taking several minutes to download on broadband. Nevertheless, very charming. This is my favorite, if anyone can see it.
posted by iconomy at 7:14 AM on April 15, 2005

posted by apis mellifera at 7:25 AM on April 15, 2005

I've always wanted to keep bees, too. Apartment living has made this impossible so far, though. Beautiful post. Thanks, Wolfdog.
posted by apis mellifera at 7:36 AM on April 15, 2005

This is a sign. I can't see the site, and I'm going to start my bee training (for my research) first thing monday.
posted by dhruva at 7:39 AM on April 15, 2005

Man, I'm killing nice sites left and right these days. If I'd done a half-assed Google search to make my post look more meaty it would have included this site.

iconomy, there's a picture of some panels in situ.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:41 AM on April 15, 2005

Thanks, Wolfdog - your post is now 36% more meaty! I think a tiny bit of the reason I want to raise bees now is so that I can paint the panels. I had no idea these existed until today, which makes today a very good day.

I promise I won't comment in this thread again, but I had to say hey for the Muzzle of Bees reference in the post title.
posted by iconomy at 8:02 AM on April 15, 2005

iconomy, when I get a little more time I'll send you some information on becoming a beekeeper. Wolfdog, thanks for the links... that bee house is extraordinary.

Excellent article, just one more example of humans adding art where before was only...utility. Utility + Art...and all that.

I have been to several lectures on bees and met a man who has a building constructed in a similar way to Wolfdog's situ link in order to study bees. He added basic symbols above the individual hive openings and noticed a marked decrease in "drifting", a term used to describe a shift in close-proximity hive populations due to bees entering -- and then being adopted by -- the wrong hive. No doubt these paintings were "read" by bees and helped them orient themselves so they made their way back into the proper hive. So, utility + art.
posted by mania at 8:25 AM on April 15, 2005

If I had a time machine and a shotgun, Warwick Kerr would be victim number one.
posted by trharlan at 8:56 AM on April 15, 2005

Thanks for the post.

I, too, would love to keep bees; I'm utterly fascinated by them and adore them. But. Sadly, I am terribly allergic to their stings. So I admire them carefully.
posted by Specklet at 11:51 AM on April 15, 2005

These bee box paintings are so beautiful. And, of course bees are cool. Is it expensive to get started keeping bees in the USA?
posted by chai-rista at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2005

iconomy: In case you were curious, the words on the panel you like say: "The bird of death that appeared in Turkey." I think so, anyway. It's written in old Slovene. I'm guessing it has to do with some military defeat of the Turks.

Some of them are a bit tough to decipher, like this female joust or the devil at the confessional booth.

A truly wonderful post, Wolfdog!
posted by Ljubljana at 8:06 AM on April 16, 2005

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