Honey hunter with a crossbow

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The beekeeper with a crossbow in Nuremberg, Germany

At first glance, this inn sign in Nuremberg didn’t seem special. But then I discovered the silhouette of a man wearing a crossbow right behind the dull-looking puppet of a witch. Locals told me this symbolizes a honey hunter.

Honey hunters with a crossbow

Honey hunting or honey harvesting is different to modern forms of apiculture. The honey harvesters walked through the forests and prepared trees to attract wild bees to nest there. If the honey hunter was successful, he could harvest some honey from these wild beehives.

Of course, only if the bears have not been faster. Therefore, the guys dealing with wild beehives in the forests owned the privilege of using a crossbow to repel wild animals.

Honey hunters around Nuremberg

Nuremberg had an extensive demand for honey as the city became famous for its gingerbread production. So many honey hunters used to work in the forests around the medieval town. In German, these guys were called Zeidler or Zeitler. The coat of arms of Feucht or the Zeidlerschloss (Zeidler Manor) still refers to this profession.

Note about close bear encounters

Have you ever come across bears in a city? I did it twice. So I met jovial bears in the streets of Nuremberg and found a friendly bear in Vienna waving at me.

Sources / More info

  • Link Article about honey hunting on Wikipedia
Categorized as Signs