Stories from beehive front panels

Beehive front panels are a uniquely Slovenian oddity, decorating Slovenian beehives since 18th century. The panels were painted with religious motifs and folklore, depicting true and imaginary stories and resonating the various current events of the time. Most common are motifs of countryside everyday life, celebrations, and satiric motifs making fun of human stupidity. Our company prepared several well-known stories from beehive panels as embroidered decorative panels, perfect for gifts.

We have been working with beekeeper societies for over fifty years, producing various beekeeper banners. The knowledge and experiences of embroidery have been utilised to portray classic folklore motifs of traditional beehive front panels with threads and needles.
Beehive front panel, which was originally a practical decorative element on beehives, became a unique Slovenian memorabilia. Now it gained a new form in embroidery – the traditional painted motifs became threedimensional, tangible, and colours gained warmth and life with the embroidered texture.

During our artistic collaboration with modern painters for the Ercigoj Art project, we created a series of unique embroidered stories from beehive front boards. Each artist chose one of the classic stories, common on the traditional beehive front boards, and recreated it in his own style. The result is a series of artistic embroidered stories from beehive front boards, available as a limited edition series, traditional and yet modern at the same time – an exquisite series for all art collectors.

The motifs of ‘Saint Elijah being driven to Heaven on a fiery chariot’, and the ‘Devil driving Luther and Katrca to hell’ depict stories known in Europe for several centuries. For the beehive front panels, the stories were in Slovenia adapted to feel closer to the farmer, common man.

More often than not, beehive front panels carried a satirical note – with motifs making fun of city folk, tailors, potters and human stupidity in general.
Tailors were especially common targets of contempt, and a whole series of beehive front panels was dedicated exclusively to them.

Some motifs depict simple countryside work, farming and common events, such as the grape harvest.
Several motifs speak of women (the devil steals lunch, the devil grinds a woman’s tongue,…).

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Boštjan Plesničar and Vladimir Leben chose motifs that are satirical. The devil sharpens a woman’s tongue is a classic satirical story, while the motif Animals bury the hunter is one of the Topsy Turvy World stories.

Stories based in history and everyday life were among the favorites: Uroš Weinberger recreated the motif of the Farmer rocking a French soldier, reminding us of the times when the French occupied Slovenian territories, while Aleksij Kobal selected the motif of the Distillery which is tied to the lives of the common folk.

Ecclasiastical and abstract motifs were quite common. Matej Metlikovič chose an abstract biblical motif, while Silvester Plotajs – Sicoe selected a classic motif of love and peace.

All the stories from beehive front boards are presented in our catalogue, available in PDF form on our website. You can download it by clicking on the image on the right.
If you wish to order any of the stories from beehive front panels as a gift for your loved ones, friends, colleagues, you can send us an email to info@ercigoj.com.