In the 1800’s there was a period when beekeeping was common for most households. It helped crop yields in kitchen gardens and the sweetness of the honey was welcome when sugar was expensive. In WW2, the same sort of logic gained a new lease of life. We needed to maximise yield of homegrown crops and with sugar imports more difficult, the sweetness of the honey became even more desirable. The benefits of honey in dealing with burns was also well known.
In the 1870’s, George Cruikshank had created an image showing all British society as a hierarchy within a beehive. Prints can still be obtained here.
I saw a tantalising mention on this page – they are working on bees? They are a young couple revelling in skills that have endured across the centuries and adding a modern twist. In fact Tom, the son of a friend, has spent many hours making four poster beds that look as though they would feel at home in the 16th century. It reminded me that although our poor bees are still struggling with mites and pesticides to say nothing of weird weather, so many people are interested enough to plant bee friendly plants and to celebrate the life of the bee.
I think I need to create a new ‘British Beehive’ print for this new age which appreciates the bee.