[Archive] Wanted: Historical Beekeping Images


Would you please share any images of historical beekeeping you know of? Natural beehives, hornet’s nests and information is also appreciated. I’m mainly looking for pre-19th century beekeeping gear and beehives, as reference pictures for sculpting a Halfling beehive flinger sometime in the future. (See this brainstorming thread on Halflings.) The sculpt isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, although a single bystanding crewman or stockpiled ammunition might happen on the sideline while enslaving Orcs.

Bees and honey have been of much importance to humans for millennia. Honey is anti-bacterial (though in the wild not free from loose limbs and other small remnants of bees), is nutritious, a natural sweetener and can be fermented into mead. Beeswax, another produce from beekeeping, has had many uses including seals and lost wax moulds. In antiquity, we even find mentions of biological warfare, namely beehives flung into enemy ranks.

Here are some beekeeping images of interest I’ve been able to find on the quick, but I know there are others out there. European examples are of particular interest, but ones from other cultures are welcome as well. Please share your own finds!

Hornet’s nest:

Ancient Greek beehive pots:

Egyptian mud beehives, used since antiquity. More here in lecture.

Cameroon straw suits:

Apart from such reference material, ideas in general for beekeeper/beehive flinger miniatures are welcome. My brother came up with the brilliant idea of a panicked Halfling running around with a beehive on his head. Too hungry a sweet tooth for his own good!


I love this thread! Fantastic!

I love mead and I’ve brewed hundres of litres of the stuff! I’ve made mead with pure honey, licorice (extracted with schnapps - so it was a strong one), wild berries and once using birch tree sap instead of water.

Honey is great anti-bacterial stuff. Here’s some good info: Don’t put it into your warm tea. The anti-bacterial, medical stuff in honey stops working if heated above 40C.

And honey can last forever (the only known food that does). Archaeologist have found honey jars 1000s of years old - not turned bad. The sugar might seperate and go on the top of the honey (you see it on your own honey jars as well).

Bee hive catapult - amazing!


If you sculpt one, this is the type I would recognise as a classic beehive more than most of the others.


Fuggit Khan:

Medieval bee keeping:




Roman beehive apiary’s:


Ancient Malta:


Ancient Egyptian:


Ancient Mayan (vendors carried the beehive in a woven backpack, selling honey door to door):



Mayan bee God, Ah-Muzen-Cab


Not ancient…but amazing! Chinese beehives on a cliff face:


The Mayan beekeepr carried the hive on his back!? :o

AHHhhh man I dont want that job.

Fuggit Khan:

The Mayan beekeepr carried the hive on his back!? :o

AHHhhh man I dont want that job.

Native Central American bee species don't sting (hornets and wasps yes, but not the bee's)...they can bite you though :mad
Honey was a major food staple in Mayan culture (although affordable only among upper class caste)
And yellow honey was sold door to door as a food, but Mayan red honey (the nectar from certain flowers in higher elevations) reportedly had an intoxicating effect, and was sold both as a medicine and a hallucinogenic :o

Door to door honey drug dealers.

And I think Admiral should sculpt flinger ammo crew, guys with beehive "ammunition" strapped to their backs :cheers


Ahh alright, I’m sure the biting was unpleasent but it sounds allot more doable then being stung all the time.

Loly you know if anyone in the old world is able to walk door to door with a hive of whatever kind of ferocious bees breed in the Darklands its a determined Dawi Zharr Merchant who stands to make a small fortune selling it to lordly masters of evil.


And I think Admiral should sculpt flinger ammo crew, guys with beehive "ammunition" strapped to their backs :cheers

Fuggit Khan
This is a must! :idea


Very minor contribution here: you see a lot of beekeepers using smoke to calm/chase out the bees. If you want to fling the hive as a weapon, then I think you absolutely don’t want to use smoke beforehand.

I’m intrigued how you plan to sculpt masses of tiny, flying insects…


Smoke is indeed an old calmer for bees. I hadn’t planned to sculpt an unleashed bee swarm, since the beehives would be plugged in, but this is such a good idea that an accident in the hands of a halfling just might have to be sculpted… Such intricacy would be best 3D-sculpted, but I think it might be possible to capture an erupting beeswarm just as it emerges from the hive. We’ll see. :slight_smile:

Besides, during the Battle of Tanga in German East Africa (Tanzania), British naval artillery unwittingly wrecked their landing operations, because their shelling into the thick shrubbery disturbed millions of murder bees. Such air support thwarted the British that day.