Painted beehive Panels

On 22.05.2003 Post Slovenia issued a stamp with the value 218 Sit. On the stamp is pictured a painted beehive panel.

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On the left is pictured a Slovenian beehouse and a pipe smoking beekeeper; on the right two men are catching a swarm directly in a hive.

In the second half of the 18th Century beekeeping in Slovenia made significant progress. Beehives at that time, referred to as "kranjici' were horizontal and mostly made of wooden boards fixed together. They were the home of today's world famous Carniolan bee which is the indigenous bee of Slovenia.

The beehive fronts were often decorated. The first examples of painted beehive front panels, knovm as "panjske koncnice" (panj = hive; konc = ending), appeared in the mid 18th Century and -influenced by the golden age of Baroque art - continued to be decorated until the beginning öf the 20th Century.

The themes of the beehive front panel paintings differ greatly. The earliest paintings depict religious themes with saints and scenes from the Old and New Testament. The themes of later paintings during the golden age of this unique form of Slovenian folk art between the years 1820 and 1860 were more of secular nature, depicting satirical scenes, animals, fairy tale, exotic motife and - see the stamp - beekeeper practices.

The front panel of the stamp is found at the apiary of the Ledinek farm in Zagrad. Today it is kept in the Carinthian Regional Museum of Slovenj Gradec as a part of the Carf Codection. Matev Carf collected more than 300 painted panels, which mostly originated from the Me2a Valley in Carinthia.

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On May 22, 2004 Slovenia will issue another beehive front depicting a miller and bis wife.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 4/2003 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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