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Panjske končnice: Slovene Beehive Art

Well since i am beekeeper i have obligation to show you special element in slovene beekeeping tradition called panjska končnica.

Word panjska comes from word panj which has two meanigs either it can mean ritual log or beehive and word končnica means ending. Ritual panj is not subject of this thread but i will just say that it is similar tradition to badnjak. So panjska končnica means “beehive ending part”. Panjska končnica is basicaly picture on beehive. Panjske končnice were either made by farmers themself or by artisans (craftsmen).

Panjske končnice are pictured on special rectangular shaped boxes the so called panji. These “new” panji meant huge improvement of beekeeping for practical reasons shuch as transporting them on long distances and easier selling of bees to foregin lands. Infact selling of bee families to foreginers especialy germans was very profitable business, much more than selling honey. And new panji were just ideal for that. Thanks to this new invention slovenes became number one exporters of bee families in the world

However additional reason for selling of bee families on large scale is very good weather and excelent bee breed. Weather is just perfect for bee swarming and this bee breed called Kranjska Čebela (Carniolian honey bee) inherently swarms.

Example of beehive with panjska končnica;

Before arival of box shaped panji slovenes were beekeeping in logs or logs carved in shape of a man. But over time beekeeping has improved and evolved. New beehives enabled a beekeeper to easly transport bees in other areas. Logs on other hands couldnt be moved.

In old times every farmer had beehives and some even had bumblebee hives. However most of them had bees and beehives for pollination not honey. Dose who didnt have bees for honey still used bee logs and logs in shape of man.

New beehives probably evolved around 17th-18th century, posibly even sooner. They were put in “čebeljnak” which means bee house. This new style of beekeeping was so good that it spreaded into germany and some other lands. Anyway i will give more detailed information about slovene beekeeping in another thread so for now let us focus on panjske končnice.

Panjske končnice contain interesting themes. Most of surviving panjske končnice are from mid 19th century and majority themes on panjske končnice are religious, humorous, half-historic and usualy decipt everdays life and  fable stories. Here click this link where you will see how beehives and panjske končnice look outside čebelnjak;

So here are some panjske končnice;

Two devil’s sharpen women’s toungue;

Pilgrim Mary and baby Jesus;

Fox is shaving a hunter. This končnica is funny becouse in slovene language shaving can mean fooling someone. If you say dont shave me then that means dont make fool out of me;

Adam and Eve, notice unicorn on left ;

Sawing a woman on half. That means half of fasting period is over;

Pegam & Lambergar, slovene folk tale;

Snail attacks tailors, snail is not well visible but he is on the right side;


Do you like or even keep bees?

What do you think?

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