When Meredith Turk, a Fulbright scholar in Slovenia, talked to local beekeepers about their colonies, she found that their bees hadn’t been mysteriously dying off in the same way that American bees have been. Now, there’s probably a scientific explanation for this, but we’d like to believe that the gorgeous painted beehives that Slovenes provide for their colonies also have something to do with it.
Turk explains at Soiled and Seeded:
Slovenians have painted their beehive panels for centuries, with the idea that bees have better orientation when panels are painted bright colors. When the paintings first appeared, the themes were drawn from Biblical imagery, held in high regard by a strongly Catholic population. After Slovenia’s entry into Yugoslavia, organized religion was banned and panel images depicted more cultural and landscape scenes rather than religious ones prior.
Here are some older examples:
Turk’s got some great shots of more modern panels, too. If you were a bee, wouldn’t you be happier to return to one of these beautifully decorated homes, as opposed to some plain old crate? Brooklyn beekeepers, take note.