I’ve posted pictures of my Top Bar Beehive before. It’s a lovely creation which my husband made for me out of pine and alder, and for which he created probably the sturdiest, most weatherproof roof in the history of beehives. But it just needed…something.
Enter me with my woodburner. Yeah. Now hand me an English/Quenya* dictionary and an online Tengwar* translator, and stand back.
The crossbar is translated into Quenya. It reads “Laure Niernore”, which more or less means “Golden Honeybee Dwelling.” The left and right sides are not translated into Quenya, but are merely rough phonetic translations of two quotes about honeybees, minus punctuation and reformatted for space…
“Listen! O, listen!
Here come the hum the golden bees
Underneath full blossomed trees,
At once with glowing fruit and flowers crowned. “
– James Russell Lowell, The Sirens (l. 94)
“In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true
From pois’nous herbs extracts the healing dew?”
– Alexander Pope, Essay on Man (ep. I, 219)
* Quenya is a form of Elvish language from JRR Tolkein’s books about Middle Earth, including The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tengwar is the script in which the language is written. If you’re with me so far, you’ll know why I was so tickled that my town’s name translates as “Dagorlad”. If not, you’re not missing anything.