Apiaries in ART

Beauty of Bee Hives.

Through the ages artists painting scenes of rural life give reference to the association of humans and honey bees. Apiaries and domestic bee keeping can be traced back to the time of the pharaohs in Egypt and the use of honey for food and medicinal use has been well documented for centuries. Apiaries in art shows the relationship of man and nature in a peaceful co-existent way.

At orchard, field or farm, bees are the predominant means in which plants are pollinated. For their efforts in managing a hive and protecting it from disease, mites and mice the bee keeper is rewarded with a delicious nectar for home or to be sold at market. The honey that comes from fertilizing different types of flowers can range from light amber to dark brown and the flavor induced from what fields are foraged.

The peaceful scenes of apiaries that artists paint hardly hint at the vital role that bees play in agriculture and the economy. More than $15 billion a year in U.S. crops are pollinated by bees, including apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, alfalfa and almonds. In nearly  every country bee keeping contributes to the economy. Healthy bee populations keep the agricultural industry running smoothly and tables stocked with high quality produce.

 Artists creative expressions on canvas serve as an image repository of historical culture and society. In times past bees were not considered as simply an annoying summer insect. They were an integral part of the livelihood for farmers and important for a sustainable environment. Apiaries are common elements in paintings of rural life in times gone by although their importance has been largely forgotten by society today.

Bees continue to make significant contributions to the worlds economy and life as we know it. One third of the food we consume is dependent on pollination from bees. Since 2006 there has been a dramatic collapse of bee colonies in the E.U and the U.S. . Links to climate change, loss of habitat and wide spread pesticide use are the likely cause. The threat to our food supply is real and potentially catastrophic. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on this threat and take action to protect and support the planets pollinators, our food chain depends on it.

Pavel Dorel C-tin has collected 200 images of apiculture (from which the above pictures came) for an album titled Picturi Apicultura on his website; https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=474736319270859&set=a.474735805937577.1073741824.100002034849269&type=1&theater. Take a look (it’s pretty fabulous) and enjoy the Apiaries in Art and Society by clicking on each image to view the entire album.

Mahalo Pavel

A Hui Hou, Dohn

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About earthstonestation

promoting environmental education, protecting all species and preserving the wild places with art, music and storytelling.
This entry was posted in Art, food, local economy, Nature and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Apiaries in ART

  1. McEff says:

    I found that very relaxing, Dohn. As someone who grows most of his own vegetables, I am aware of the importance of insects – and especially bees – to the process of pollination. The yield from some crops, certainly peas and beans, can be increased by as much as 30 per cent if there are a few hives in the vicinity.
    My wife and I have often talked about keeping bees. In fact, just before Christmas we attended a meeting of the local bee-keepers group. One day, perhaps, we’ll take the plunge.
    Cheers, Alen

  2. The Editors of Garden Variety says:

    Love the last two paintings. Very realistic!

  3. The paintings may not all be great, but what charm and peace they all emanate… I savoured each one, and loved this post, thank you

  4. Chris says:

    These are great paintings. Can’t wait for spring to see if our bees survived. Thanks for putting these together and sharing info on these wonderful creatures.

  5. A post that is a feast indeed, a feast for the eyes, beautiful pictures.

    We have some beehives near us, no idea who they belong to. We have very large bees in Spain, I keep my distance and let them get on with enjoying my garden which is organic anyway.

  6. Cathy says:

    I looked through the entire gallery and some of those paintings are wonderful – thanks for sharing!

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