bee hive design

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I think it looks deliberate - there are 2 of them, one on each pillar, and they both have the entrance hole drilled in through the centre of a carved flower design (and there aren't any other similar flowers on any surrounding masonry, from what I remember of the chapel). Given that the internal space is consistent in size with a skep, it seems like they did it on purpose :)

Rosslyn chapel is so full of weird and wonderful things anyway, that I wouldn't put it past either the designers or constructors!
No doubt someone will weave it into a story about a secret beekeeping society dating from 1874 BC where no one knows what's going on but Tom Hanks who received a bunch of clues in a brown envelope from Opus Bayer oops I meant Opus Dei.
The article states . . "He said there appeared to be a coating to protect the sandstone from the insects, which can damage masonry." - I can imagine them propalising the stone - any ideas on how they would damage it??
No doubt someone will weave it into a story about a secret beekeeping society dating from 1874 BC where no one knows what's going on but Tom Hanks who received a bunch of clues in a brown envelope from Opus Bayer oops I meant Opus Dei.

Made me chuckle.

There are some papers in the british museum about beekeeping at winchester around 950 AD.
Extract below:

The Art of Beekeeping Meets the Arts of Grammar: A Gloss of "Columcille's Circle"


Folio 15 verso of British Library manuscript Cotton Vitellius E.xviii, an eleventh-century codex written in all likelihood at Winchester, preserves a short item that begins with the words Pis is sancte columcille circul.
The diagram and instructions that follow are for a device meant to protect bees during a swarm. The Old English text for this beekeeping device reads Writ pysne circul mid pines cnifes orde on anum mealm stane 7 sleah aenne stacan on middan pam ymbhagan 7 lege pone stane on uppan pam stacan paet he beo eall under eordan butan pam gewritenan [Write this circle with the point of your knife on a malmstone, and drive a stake into the ground in the center of your apiary, and put the stone on top of the stake so that it is completely under the earth but for the writing].
The diagram that is included with these instructions (see figure) consists of two concentric circles; the inner circle is bisected twice to create four quarters. In the upper right-hand quarter of this inner circle, the following Latin text appears, which is the text to be etched on to the malmstone:


apes ut

salvi sint

& incorda

eorum. S a h.

[Against bees so that they may be safe and in their hearts.]

The other three quarters of the circle include a series of Roman numerals. Charles Singer has identified this arrangement to be a version of Petirosis' circle, a Greek medical prognostic device (350).

The directions and diagram for "Columcille's Circle" share a page with various items of practical wisdom, including directions for protecting bees from theft, a charm for finding a stolen possession, remedies for cattle and sheep, and charms for livestock and crops.
The bulk of the manuscript in which this brief item appears is devoted to a Gallican Psalter with Old English interlinear gloss; according to N. R. Ker, the Old English gloss and "Columcille's Circle" are written in the same hand, a hand that is also contemporary with the Psalter itself.

This brief text--a few lines of Old English mixed in with other bits of practical advice--presents a modern scholar with a small, nearly mute fragment of Anglo-Saxon Benedictine culture. Like a minuscule textual fragment from our own culture--an ad on a matchbook cover, the logo on a candy-bar wrapper, the lettering on a pencil or paper bag--"Columcille's Circle" tests the limits of our notions of the scope and appropriate object of literary criticism; these items seem to be at once too ordinary and too enigmatic for analysis. Nevertheless, these fragments--whether tucked into a Psalter or a briefcase--occupy vital spaces in the matrix of everyday life; as such, they record some of the most intimate interests and concerns of their respective cultures. An examination of "Columcille's Circle" with an eye trained to the nuances of its symbolism reveals this minute cultural artifact to be an intricate textual crystal whose multiple facets reflect an intriguing array of images of monastic life in eleventh-century Winchester, a life devoted to the love of learning and the love of God.
Even more significantly, though, a study of the systems of power encoded in this textual crystal sheds light on the interpretive and communicative mechanisms of medieval grammatica in which a specifically literate spirituality was constituted.

At the moment when some now-forgotten monk was carefully recording the directions and diagram for "Columcille's Circle" onto a sheet of parchment, the monastic community at Winchester would have been busy with the many demands of practical and devotional life. Enshrined in the cathedral not far from the scriptorium in which this monk labored, were the remains of two earlier abbots of Winchester--Saint AEthelwold and Saint Swithun--and as this monk's quill scratched parchment, pilgrims from London and from the surrounding countryside may have been milling around these shrines, praying for the beneficent intercession of these saints. Our monk's day would have been ordered by the new monastic code, the Regularis Concordia (c. 970-73), which would have divided his day into a balanced rhythm of study and manual labor. Accordingly, in the morning he may have worked on one of the many books then under production at Winchester; in the afternoon he may have helped out in the monastery's garden. If it were this monk's duty to care for the monastery's many beehives, he would perhaps have had knowledge of traditional aids ...
Fantastic post Admin, whatever it means. Thanks very much.


Personally I put a packet of Rizlas in my psalter.
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