Brought to light in 1933, the dwelling takes its name from the verse inscribed in a small painting, with ducks in the background, on the the peristyle which reads “Amantes, ut apes, vitam melitam exigunt” (Like bees, lovers lead a life as sweet as honey). The house, located in the heart of Regio I, had been closed to the public since the 1980s when, following the earthquake, it was necessary to construct a web of supports for the roofs of the atrium and peristyle, which concealed and distorted the interpretation of the spaces and decorations of the domus.
Over the years, the state of conservation of the domus became such that it impeded access even to technicians. The most significant peculiarity of the dwelling lies in the presence and near complete preservation of the second floor of the peristyle (colonnaded garden), which was once accessed via a stairway in the northern portico (traces of which are visible on the back wall).
This second floor seems to have been added during the 1st century AD. The intact state in which the structures relating to the second floor were found allowed us, even right after excavation, to recover the original configuration of this space, and thus restore to our perception and understanding an architectural solution which today is unique in Pompeii (a double order peristyle).
Except for the painting of the fauces and for certain Second Style flooring, the paintings present in the domus were created in the Fourth Style during the course of the 1st century AD. In this domus, the stabilisation works also concerned the consolidation of the roofing and attic floors. The intervention of renovating the roofing of the atrium was carried out in keeping with the reconfiguration that the domus as a whole had undergone during the restoration works of the 1930s, which were concurrent with the excavation. Several objects discovered in the house (a brazier, a basin, a bronze lamp and bone hinges) are exhibited in a display cabinet located in the atrium.
The exhibition forms part of the open air musealisation project, which has been underway for some time in various buildings on the site, in order to relocate and contextualise the finds in the rooms where they were found.