As workers carefully dismantled several roof pinnacles at Rosslyn Chapel during a UK£13M renovation project, they found that one of the pinnacles was deliberately hollowed out during its fabrication to make a beehive.
The pinnacle, which is a little over 1 meter in height, is hollow and has a small hole in the center of an ornamental flower carving that allowed the bees to come and go freely, while keeping out rain and wind.
Since the hive was so high above the ground, and also could not be disassembled to extract honey, it is clear that the masons who built the chapel had no intention of providing a honey harvest. Instead, it appears they simply wanted to provide a safe location for a wild honeybee hive. The hive was still in use until recently, but when the chapel was temporarily covered with a canopy to protect it during renovation, the bees left the hive. Workers believe they or another colony will repopulate the empty hive once the work is completed an d the canopy is removed.