Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Oh Bee-Hive!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Beehives! Or les ruches, en français!

Flickr photo by tomyris95
Ever since I started grape stomping, I got all nostalgic and started daydreaming about the little wine cave we used to have back in our French house. How I miss that gravel floored room, even though it was a bit spooky down there. Not only was it a great place to store our wine, but it was also great for suitcases! And the perfect temperature for Samsonite!

(I know it kind of kills the romantic image, but hey, we had lots of suitcases!)

I love the different ways the French store wine. We had wire racks in ours, but some of my friends had these terra cotta blocks.

Photo from the Superior Clay Corporation
See why this reminded me of a beehive?
So does old French tile.

Flickr photo by sweta parikh
And some Chinese noodles!

Flickr photo by littleboat5
I always wonder what goes on in The Secret Life of Bees. Actually I know, since that's one of my favorite books! Read it, if you haven't already!

Usually beehives scare me a little. I don't want to disturb them.
But I do love the honey, Honey.
And I love this Emily Dickinson poem. It's great for this time of year.

Bee! I'm Expecting You
Bee! I'm expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due--

The Frogs got Home last Week--
And settled, and at work--
Birds, mostly back--
The Clover warm and thick--

You'll get my Letter by
The seventeenth; Reply,
Or better, be with me--
Yours, Fly.

I find beekeeping so interesting.

Flickr photo by hdrdoc
Aren't those boxes pretty? hdrdoc photographed those in New Zealand!

Archaeologists have found ruins in Israel of a honey industry as old as 3000 years ago!

Flickr photo by amazonprincess66
The beehives were made of straw and unbaked clay.

As time went on, beekeepers came up with other methods.
Like the skep.

Flickr photo by twinsline7
Whoops! That's not the skep. That's a calorie laden cake just calling me name! And cupcakes for all my friends. (Sorry, but it's my blog. I get the big cake.)

Okay, okay. I'll stop drooling and show you a real one. Here.

Flickr photo by yaloisr
When the honey was ready, they'd drive the bees out and squeeze the whole skep in a vice.

Beekeepers also used bee gums, hollowed out trees (usually Red gum trees, thus the name.) They would insert a stick inside, and the bees would build the honeycomb onto the stick.

Flickr photo by Museum of Folk Architecture's Rural Life (in the Ukraine)
Here's a beehive in Morocco.

Flickr photo by _dan b_
Here's another Beehive in New Zealand. It houses their Parliamentary offices. I bet those parliamentarians are busy bees!

Flickr photo by KathyJR1979
This beehive looks sweet. It's actually beehive ginger!

Flickr photo by fOrbe5
If you lived in ancient Skellig Michael, Ireland, you could live in this beehive hut.

Flickr photo by granardblue
It's a UNESCO world heritage site.

And if you're really a beehive enthusiast, you might want to be buried upright in a beehive tomb like these in Oman.

Flickr photo by chris cornelis
Maybe you wouldn't want to be caught dead in this beehive.

Flickr photo by Mandy~Gill
Not me! I'd like to try it out. It's fun! Plus it looks great with monkeys!
Have a wonder-full Tuesday, everyone!
Love, Becky


Paula Clare said...

Hi Becky!
RE: The last photo of a beehive...I've worn one. In my younger years, my bff aspired to be a beautician. So *I* got to wear all the latest "dos". THIS one not only defied gravity, but wind damage, hail, and other natural disasters due to the inordinate amount of hair spray (and beeswax) required to keep it aloft.

It took DAYS to "undo"the "do", and often left me with a terrible headache.

Anyway,thanks for the blast from the past!

Paula Clare

PS Great use of the Austin Powers quote!

Barb said...

Hi Becky,

I love honey but not a big fan of bees. I like to watch but from a great distance. We have some Texas sage in the yard that attracts them. I worry about Tommy when I am not home. He thinks bees are very interesting and would gobble one up given the chance.

Love those pictures!

Off to start the day. Have a good one.


Suzie said...

That beehive ginger is wild looking

Carrie Harris said...

Ever been to the National Beekeeping Museum in Slovenia? I have, and it's surprisingly interesting!

Love the pics!

Rosemary said...

Hi Becky,
You always have the most interesting photos!! Love the hair!
You have a good Tuesday too!

Jamie said...

Oh! I'd forgotten all about "The Secret Life of Bees" - I absolutely LOVED that book! You're right - it's great and everyone should read it! :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

But... but... what about Bee Movie? Or was it so terrible no one else watched it?

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Amazing that a bug can make such a specific design in which to live. I always marvel at abandoned nests & hives. Love the pictures today!

Nilz said...

Beehive!! Oh! I do not have a great experience about this. But for strange reason, these tiny creatures once spent lots of effort to create one in a local confectionery store only to be evicted by irritating smoke of burning charcoals.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Love your comments, folks!
Paula Clare, I'm trying to imagine you with a beehive...and you used beeswax with hair spray to keep it in place? Wow! I've never heard of that.

Hey Barb, Tanner likes to eat bees. I don't know if they sting him going down or not. He has an extremely high pain tolerance, so he never fusses.

Yep, Suzie, it does look wild. It almost looks like it's covered in syrup, or maybe I'm just wanting blueberry pancakes right now.

Carrie, you've been to the National Beekeeping Museum in Slovenia? That's amazing. Anyone who would go to a Nat. Beekeeping Museum if they find themselves in Slovenia is a friend of mine!

Hey Rosemary! And Jamie, I've read that book I don't know how many times. I've heard there is a movie being made and I'm not sure if that makes me happy or not. I love the images of the characters inside my head!

Tonggu Momma, I never saw that, but I meant to. Is it good?

Green girl, I agree. Is it in their DNA? How do they instinctively know to do it? That really is fascinating.

Nilz, I know what you're saying. At least these days beekeepers don't kill the poor things. According to the articles I read, they used to kill the bees and then extract the honey. I'd sting too if someone tried to take my honey!

May Vanderbilt said...


Did you know that I'm marrying into a family of bee keepers? My fiance's grandfather was one and many of his uncles still are!

The most interesting thing I've learned is that today most bee keepers use their bees to cross pollinate crops--and not to make honey.

For instance almond trees must be cross pollinated with one another. Weird, right?

Susan Sandmore said...

It looks great with monkeys! *snurk* Great post! That hairdo looks really, really heavy.

Liz said...

I had no idea that beekeeping dated back that far! Fascinating.

Dont shoot me, but I secretly wish I had hair like that woman. How fun. :)

Tara said...

Hi Becky!

What a bee-autiful post! Hmmm now I want some toast with honey on it.


Pocket Full of Prettys said...

You always have the greatest photos. And yes I did sell the keepsake box. I have several others that I need to photo & get on etsy but just haven't had the time. I also loved the book The Secret Life of Bees, it is a movie now, & if you haven't ever heard the audio CD then you must get it, it is shear heaven. Love that woman's voice! It drips with honey & a good ole southern accent! Hugs***Renea

Adaora A. said...

LOL Becky!

Today I was having lunch with a girlfriend on campus at uni and I kept running away from bees. It was warm outside and everyone - of course - wanted to eat outside in the sunshine near the water fountains. So we got up every five seconds running from it. How do you know your allergic to a bee until after you've been bitten? How do you know if you need that eppi pen thing? I didn't want to find out.

PS: Thanks for visiting my blog. I see you share a mutual love for dresses. They are the bees knees aren't they?

Rhondi said...

Hi Becky
You always have the most interesting photos on your blog! We have a hive very similar to the first one you showed. It's in a tree in the woods out behind our house.
Hope you are ahnving a good week.
Hugs, Rhondi

jenniferw said...

That hairdo looks like a big loaf of challah!

Love the beehive ginger. That's amazing.

I'm glad to have found your excellent blog, Rebecca, as I grazed for photos of "kudzu people" ... !

CC said...

Those are so interesting! I'm okay with a cupcake THIS time, but can I have the whole cake next time? ;)

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

The French wine rack is really great! Bet it helps with temp control too.

In this area, there haven't been many honey bees. I guess a large part of their population died out, some sort of bee disease.

I also loved The Secret Life of Bees. I read something just this week about the movie coming out this fall starring Dakota Fanning. Can't wait! Another good bee related movie is Fried Green Tomatoes. Can't remember the name of the main character, but she was a bee tamer and could reach right into their hives for the honey.


TattingChic said...

BEE-you-T-full post! I know, cheesy, I couldn't resist. That was very interesting. Love the beehive hairdo's.

Debbie Egizio said...

With a name like Deb-BEE, you have know that I'd love this post!! My favorite was the beehive hairdo. I wish I had hair long enough to get one of those.

Hey, I remember watching a program on history channel that mentioned something about the fact that honey is the only food that doesn't ever spoil. They found honey that was ???? years old from ancient somewhere and it had crystalized but not spoiled. What do you know about that? I don't remember the details but thought it was interesting and just had to share it with you. See ya buddy, Deb

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Another fun post~

K. Marie Criddle said...

Beehives! I went to university in Utah, a.k.a. "Deseret" (that's not an extra "e") a.k.a. The Beehive State! The local AAA baseball team was the Bees! (They were not very good, or one might say they were not their own knees.)