The Oldest Beehive In the World

Photo Courtesy of BBC

Those of you who are fans of the Da Vinci Code movie and book, know that the medieval Scottish Rosslyn Chapel that was featured in the finale of the film, held secrets that tied the church to ancient Templar and Masonic practices.

But did you know that the Scottish Rosslyn Chapel also held another unknown secret, which dates back almost 560 years?

The Oldest Beehive In the World

Two ancient beehives have been found in the medieval Scottish Rosslyn Chapel, which have been determined to be the oldest beehives in the world. While the famous Scottish castle dates back to the mid 1400’s the beehives that have been carefully hidden in the Chapel’s roof peak for some 560 years.

Photo Courtesy of BBC

The amazing thing is that theses hives were intentionally carved in stone by the original architects of the church. While there was some honeycomb found within the pinnacles, these hives are thought to be the first man-made stone hives ever found. The inside of the hives are covered with some coating to protect the stone and stop the wild bees from eating away at it. Since the hive was so high above the ground, it is clear that no one would be able to reach it to get the honey. The ancient stone masons who built the chapel simply wanted to provide a safe location for a wild honeybee hive.

The amazing discovery was found while some stone conservation work was being done which involved dismantling the peaks of the roof. Apparently the hives were still in use until just recently when the chapel was temporarily covered with a canopy, thus forcing the bees to abandon the hive.


bees inside a flower

Playing key roles in pollinating flowering plants, bees are a very beneficial group of insects. They can be found on every continent, except Antarctica, during the warmer months—in backyard clovers, window sill flowers, garden vegetable blooms, and waste receptacle areas.

Bees that live in colonies, like the colony found in the Scottish Rosslyn Chapel, are considered to be social insects; as opposed to solitary insects. These bees live together in a caste system of sorts, which is made up of workers, males or drones, and queens.


Anthony Ball is a Content Marketing Manager with Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in nine states, including thirteen major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common pests like ants, roaches, crickets and spiders; the company's differentiating aspect is great personalized service. Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems.

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