World Bee Day

Bee Hive Art

Slovenian Bee Hive Art Depicting Anton Janša
Photo: Sl-Ziga

Slovenia has declared May 20, “World Bee Day” to draw attention to the importance of bees in our ecosystems and agro-ecosystems. Why May 20? May 20 is the date of baptism (his birthday was not recorded) of Anton Janša, a pioneer in beekeeping and author of books about bee biology. He lectured in Austria during the 1700s, and was recognized as the leading authority on bees.  Anton Janša specialized in the Carniolan bees and is credited with changing the shape of beehives to rectangular boxes that could be stacked. Anton Janša also recommended placing hive in fields where bees could forage more efficiently rather than located for the convenience of the beekeeper.

Anton Janša started work as an artist, but switched to beekeeping and the study of bees as a career. He used his artistic talents to paint his beehives. Slovenia is known for its “bee hive art”. Traditionally, the boards of the hives were painted as a form of folk art. The practice has mostly discontinued, but some of the boards are preserved in Slovenia museums.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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