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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 12 11:52 PM

June 13th, 2016: Bee-Loved Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel, in Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, was built in 1446 and owned by the same family ever since,
currently The Earl and Countess of Rosslyn. It’s still used today as a place of worship, as well as a popular
tourist destination. As you would expect, it’s needed some maintenance now and then.

Back in 2010, when the chapel was being restored, workers found surprises among its pinnacles. When
they took the pinnacles apart for repair, two of them enclosed hollow spaces the size of a gas tank.
One of them also had an entrance through a carved stone flower on its exterior. And inside that pinnacle
was a deserted bee hive. (The other hollow pinnacle had no stone-flower entrance.) No-one knows why
this sanctuary was purposefully built in a place where the bees and their honey are inaccessible.
I'm guessing it was something the stone mason did on his own, and nobody but he and his bros knew.

One stonemason, Allan Gilmour, said that he had seen bees create hives within soft sandstone.
They burrowed into the sandstone and created honeycombs. This weakened the stone. In the 15th century,
hives were usually woven skeps. Did the monks hope that if they provided a haven in the pinnacle the bees
would not colonize and weaken other stone in the building?
The pinnacles had been covered for a while and that may be why the bees left.
Don't be silly, the monks didn't even know it was there.
In early 2105, Rosslyn Chapel reported that the pinnacle is now restored, “and since the construction work at
the chapel stopped we’ve seen the bees return”.

From the buzz it sounds like they’re back in beesness.


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