This first weekend of March 2021 the Financial Times Magazine published a beautiful photographic and written essay of Hives, 2400 B.C.E. – 1852 C.E. The article was written by Edwin Heathcote architecture and design critic at Financial Times and the photo edit was made by Emma Bowkett director of Photography at FT Weekend Magazine.
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First double spread of the Financial Times Magazine – 6-7th March 2021. Most of the page is filled with archive pictures of beehives on a white background. On the left there is a yellow strip with the essay by Edwin Heathcote. In capital lettre we can read the title of the essay:
Second double spread. Most of the page is filled with archive pictures of beehives on a white background. On the left there is a yellow strip with the essay which at this size cannot be read.
The metaphor of the beehive standing for the industrious society is, perhaps, a little overused. This self-contained city of Stakhanovite workers toiling together to harvest and produce, each with their defined role, has served as an idealised model for capitalism, the Protestant work ethic, communism, banking, freemasonry, Mormonism and much more. Beehive ornaments — little ribbed baskets shaped like a bishop’s mitre — adorn buildings across the world, from churches to stock exchanges, town halls to temples. What these decorations show is a skep, a traditional ribbed, woven bulbous basket. To extract the honey, a keeper would probably have had to kill the hive — which does sound like a metaphor for extreme capitalism, though not one our own queen bees of industry might choose. […]
(Edwin Heathcote 2021)
You can read the entire article, if you have a subscription, here: Financial Times Magazine!
Or buy the weekend issue in your newsagents if you are in the UK!