Uppvidinge beekeeping museum

In Uppvidinge we learn about beekeepers, beekeeping and bees – as well as surprising design history about a beehive that aims to satisfy the needs of the bees rather than those of the beekeeper. We talk to Peter Englén, president of Uppvidinge beekeeping society and the person behind the museum.

Can you tell us a bit more about Uppvidinge biodlarmuseum (Uppvidinge beekeeping museum)?
The museum tells the history of beekeeping since the 16th century, from Gustav Vasa to Samuel von Linné [brother of Carl] and Alexander Lundgren. I was fascinated by a German beekeeping museum and thought “If they can do it, so can we!”. And that’s the beginning of Sweden’s perhaps only museum dedicated to beekeeping, where it doesn’t just get a corner of a room. One of the society members had a building that could house the museum, we applied for funding and started to build it. The museum opened its doors in the summer of 2009 and so far we haven’t tired of it.

Would you tell us about Alexander Lundgren and the Svea hive?
Alexander Lundgren was a pioneer of modern beekeeping. In the 1920s he studied bees and developed everything from tools such as the honey extractor or queen catcher, to how to handle diseases and how beehives should be designed. Before this, beehives were mainly made of straw and based on the needs of the hive. Alexander Lundgren concluded that the hives should be designed according to the needs of the queen, how the queen best lays her eggs and what temperature the hive should have. He developed a hive, specifically for the Swedish climate, which he called the Svea hive. But he was ahead of his time, his ideas were considered nonsense and were not particularly well received to begin with.

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(Re-)learning the Archive

is a three-year long development project run by Designarkivet in Pukeberg with support from the Swedish Arts Council and Region Kalmar län (Kalmar County Council).

Christina Zetterlund
Project Manager

Maija Zetterlund
Project Coordinator

In collaboration with

Virserums konsthall
Linnaeus University
Kalmar Konstmuseum

Designer in residence:
Evelina Mohei
Design and webb:
Mika Kastner Johnson

With support from 

Region kalmar läns logotyp
Kulturrådets logotyp