Honey Fingers’ Beehives zine captures beekeeping around the world

The relationship between humans and bees is a close and long-running one. It’s so close that Melbourne-based creative beekeeping studio, Honey Fingers refers to it as ‘bee cultures’ – the special dynamic between honeybees and humanity. Honey Fingers is all about promoting, investigating and experimenting with bee cultures, and its Beehives zine puts a global spin on this pursuit. We asked founder Nic Dowse to share a few favourites with us.

“The Beehives zine is a sample of the collection of my images resulting from research into the history of beekeeping,” Nic explains. “In many cultures, beekeeping is much more than simply producing honey. It often is at the intersection of local craft traditions, religious or spiritual beliefs, and agriculture. Looking at these various hives reminds us that beekeeping traditions are ancient, and the relationship between honeybees and humans is a deep one.”
Beehives, in particular, presents an idea that we beekeepers may be separated by geography, language, religion, and culture – but everyone has a word for beekeeping.”
Turkey and Morocco
“I undertake beekeeping research trips. I recently travelled to Morocco with Stanislava Pinchuk and we co-wrote an article for Lindsay Magazine on the Honey Highway – which takes you up to Inzerki and the largest collective apiary in the world. And last year, photographer Sarah Pannell and I travelled to the mountains behind the Black Sea in Turkey, to visit a beekeeper who keeps her beehives on platforms in trees. So the spread of beehives in trees, taken by Sarah, and the world’s largest collective apiary in Morocco (it looks like apartments!) is a favourite.”
“Another favourite would be the Korean beehives: with their straw cowls and wooden tripods securing them in place, these modern apiaries look like something lost in time, or perhaps something from a beekeeping fairytale.”
Melbourne and Yemen
“I also like the spread of one of our own hives, in a backyard in East Brunswick, and a load of traditional hives on the back on a truck in Yemen. Both the truck and the our hive are painted in similar colours and this additional attention to detail (that has no impact on yields) reminds us that beekeeping cultures are more than honey. The Melbourne hive is in the backyard of ceramicist Zhu Ohmu and features one of her ceramics. The beekeeper pictured is Samantha McIntyre, a regular beekeeper in the Honey Fingers Collective.”
The Beehives zine is $15 plus postage and handling. Order here: honeyfingers.com.au/Shop

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