WORLD BEE DAY INITIATIVE
In Slovenia, beekeeping is a way of life. The country is home to the indigenous Carniolan grey bee - the second most widespread bee breed in the world, which contributes to the production of honey on all continents. Slovenia initiated proceedings for a declaration of the World Bee Day in the light of the promotion of food security and biodiversity within the UN General Assembly.
Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture started to introduce “Honey Breakfast” into Slovenian schools quite some years ago when the Slovenian beekeepers offered their honey for breakfast to kindergarten and school children for the first time. In the context of this annual education and promotion action various presentations and workshops are organised to bring the importance of bees for our food supply closer to children, with emphasis on maintaining clean and healthy environment and rural areas. The focus is also on raising awareness of other target audiences about the role of breakfast as an important daily meal for healthy lifestyle.
Activities in Australia
THE STORY OF THE FIRST BEEHIVE ON THE PREMISES OF THE EMBASSY OF SLOVENIA IN CANBERRA
The Art of the Beehive Endings
Another special feature of Slovenian beekeeping is its folk art – this being the art of painting beehive panels. The smooth wooden panels on the front of bee houses posed a challenge for numerous folk artists, and this gave rise to fascinating images that turned simple bee houses into veritable open-air art galleries. The pictures on individual beehives also helped the bees in their orientation, and made it easier for the beekeeper to remember individual beehives.
The "opposite world" motif is painted on the Embassy's beehive ending. We kindly thank artist Nina Kosec to beautifully replicate this famous motif to our bee house.
The Opposite World Motif
The "opposite world" motif is illustrated by numerous examples. The fox hunts the hunter; the fox and the rabbit shave the hunter, while the bear plays double bass; or else the forest animals are carrying the hunter to his grave.
The idea of the "opposite world", in which humans and animals swap their roles and inter-relationships, originated in the 13th century (not counting some parallels from antiquity.) In folk poetry, in fables and plays, in proverbs and sayings, and also in works of figurative art; through the centuries we see, again and again, the same scenes of the rabbit chasing the dog, the sheep tearing the wolf apart, the geese roasting the hunter or hanging up a fox to dry. The literary tradition can be traced to Hans Sachs' 1550 comic play "die hasen fangen und praten den jeger" (the rabbits catch and roast the hunter). In painting, the theme is also found in the realm of high art. Pieter Bruegel uses the term "Verkeerde World" (Wrong World) in his description of the tavern depicted in his 1559 work "Netherlandish Proverbs", indicating that the opposite world is a parable for the foolishness and stupidity of human beings. The motif first appeared in medieval and early modern graphical art in the context of printed pamphlets and fliers, which is also how the motif must have made the jump to beehive panels. From all these scenes, representing the two sides of mastery and subservience - that is, an inverted hierarchy - two patterns emerge: the substitution of human and animal roles, and the reversal of master-servant relationships in society. Both depict a foolish, nonsensical world that must be put right. The opposite world, born from situational comedy, imparts a moral lesson and became meaningful in a time when societal criticism could not be expressed any other way. Although primarily depicting animals, the images symbolise relationships between people - in this case, perhaps, the relationship between the feudal lord and his serfs.
We also kindly thank Jimmy Boza Williams for his contribution of a beehive motif, which comes from the traditional of the local Ngambri Ngunnawal story telling. We will ask him to explain it to us.