Free Bee Art

By Jan Day

The Art Institute of Chicago has made public 82,000+ high resolution digital images of paintings, prints and other artifacts. All are completely free to download and reuse. I typed “bee” into the search engine and was delighted to find this gem of a print from hundreds of hits. This is from 1578 by Joannes Stradanus, a Flemish artist who when working in Florence was called Giovanni Stradano. Resources like these can be a real help when putting together presentations, or even making labels or greeting cards for hive products! The detail that he captured is spectacular (CLICK to see the original)! The netting over the bee catchers’ faces, the woman marveling at the swarm. See the man and child banging on pots-called “tanging” to call the bees to settle. Notice the log at the foot of the ladder, perhaps it is a bee gum? This is no random swarm. Likely it was cast from one of the six skep hives along the wall in the left of the picture.