Bee houses in Slovenia

Sugar has been used in Slovenia since the middl of the 18th Century. Until that time honey was the only sweetener available, and it was an important produce from the husbandry of beekeeping. It was Slovenia's beekeeping that contributed to the develop ment of apiculture in Europe.

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With the introduction of expertise into this important field Austrian Empress Maria Theresia founded an apiculture school in Vienna, and the first teacher in it was the Slovene Anton Jansa (1734-1773) from Breznica in Upper Carniola. In Slovenia during this period there was another well-known beekeeping expert Peter Pavel Glavar (1721-1784) from Komenda near Kamnik who was the first writer of a professional apiculture text, recommendations for bettering beekeeping. 

Simultaneously beekeeping lechnology, tools, equipment and gadgcts were also being developed. This also included the development of apiarv or beehive "architeclure". In the historical development of the beehive changes were made, the oldest beehives being cut out in tree trunks or tree stumps. 

Even Duke Janez Weflcard Valvasor (1689) mentioned that pieces of wood nailed together to make frame hives were placed inside beehives, and the same lying flat, wooden frame hives were mainly used in Upper Carniola and central Slovenia. In the second half of the 18th Century he got a unit of size measurement, which actualry also defined the module scape of the beehive. Thus our most widespread "national" beehive was preserved right up to modern times, and in the middle of the 19th Century it also got the name "kranjic" frora the German word "Krainer Bauernstock" (Camolia farmers hive).

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Kranjic´s, placed in beehives, were from the middle of the 18th Century until the Start of the 20th Century also painted with a wide variety of motirs. Therefore our beehives were also a unique gallery of folk art, mainly illustrations of beekeepers and man's general out look on life, his opinions, sentiments and also his extensive and unrestrained joy.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 4/2002 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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