In the region of Kapandriti near Athens, a beautiful thing had happened. Ten years ago, a pious beekeeper Isidoros Timinis, got an idea to place an icon of The Crucifixion of the Lord into a hive. Soon after, when he opened the hive, he was astonished, honey bees showed respect and devotion to the icon, they have made their cells in the wax, but left the face and the body of the Lord uncovered. Since then, he places icons of the Savior, the Mother of God and the saints, into a hive every spring, and the result always remains the same.
Once I brought a hand painted icon from the monastery, which represented the Calvary with the three crosses. Bees have waxed the whole surface of the composition, except the Christ and the repentant robber on his right side, while the robber on his left side was covered with the thick layer of wax.
The last time when I came, we have put an icon of the Saint Stephen the First Martyr and Archdeacon into one hive, whose name our modest publishing house bears. As you may see in this picture here, the whole icon is covered with wax, but leaving the face and the body uncovered.
It seems to me that Isidoros Timinis could easily offer these icons for sale, as they represent what is contained in our liturgy, where it speaks of the wax in candles as the product of the work of bees. Churches all over the world could have a special shrine for an icon from this prayerful beekeeper, for all to see and wonder. It is a potentially intense source of contemplation -- even the bees give honor and deference to Our Lord and His saints!
This reminds me of the Agnus Dei tradition, which was a figure made of bees' wax, and decorated with silk ribbons, beads and sometimes gemstones. They were blessed by the Pope on a special day, and kept by the faithful, perhaps hung on a wall or made into a shrine in the home. There have been no Agnus Dei's blessed in something like 50 or more years. Pope Pius XII may have been the last pope to bless any. BTW they lose their papal blessing the moment they are offered for sale.
The appearance of the honeycomb surrounding the icons provides a framework that cannot be duplicated by man. The best we could do would be to use some plastic imitation of wax, complete with its inherent imperfections. But the real thing in its nearly perfect execution, is a work of art in its own right.