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Zosima and Savatii
The patrons of beekeeping

Since ancient times the bee is considered sacred in Ukraine. Perhaps, the reason for this was a mysterious life of bee-family, hidden from an outsider's eye. This flying small being cannot help raising curiosity, surprise, even - for somebody - fear. 
Observing the life of bee-family, the man found in it a lot of instructive pieces of information for himself. Not surprisingly, there are so many sayings about the diligence of bees, the resoluteness, with which they protect their home from invaders and, certainly, about the honey. 
As time passed, the bees became more familiar to man, and the people began to hold them in self-made dwellings, nearer to the house. According to folk beleifs, it were Saints Zosima and Savatij, who taught people to keep bees. Exactly in the times of life of the saints, in the fifteenth century, the bees were domesticated. Therefore it is not surprisingly, that on icons the saints are depicted with different beekeeping devices of that time, like a ladder, rope, even axe or knife. 
Icon, which you see above, represents the saints, which remove a swarm. Don't you think, that the icon is also a small manual for beekeeper? 
In the times passed, at the entrance to the apiary there always was an icon of Zosima and Savatij, and the beekeeper started his work only after the prayer. It remains important today as well: one should not work at the apiary not only with dirty hands or in dirty clothes but also with dirty thoughts. 

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