and the answer is………………

………..a Bee Shelter

This Bee Shelter is regarded by the International Bee Research Association as unique. Containing 28 bee boles built to house straw bee skeps, it dates to around 1850. 

Here are some more examples of Bee Boles

Bee Bole on a cottage wall behind Quebec House, NT in Kent courtesy Oast House archive

Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall courtesy wikipedia

Kellie Castle garden, Fife, Scotland  courtesy Gwen and James Anderson

West Linton, Scotland courtesy Walter baxter

Thank you to everyone who gave it a go. It may be that this has introduced you to a new architectural feature to watch out for in the future!!!



  1. Brilliant!

  2. Fascinating! Yes, indeed – a whole new branch of design .. 🙂

    1. This type of bee shelter fell into disuse when wooden hives were introduced.

      1. Shame – even wooden hives have need of warm shelter in some weather.

  3. They are certainly not as robust as the stone and brick boles.

  4. It’s so beautiful. Thanks.

    1. Yes, I think so too.

  5. Never would have guessed

    1. They are unique little structures.

  6. my late paternal grandfather kept bees in the Cotswolds but not in anything as fancy as these

    1. I expect that your grandfather probably had a wooden hive! Most of these Bee Bols for holding a Skep seem to have died out at the turn of the 20th century. However, I do believe that they are making a comeback, I have found someone who is making them in the Cotswolds and as I have a suitable hole in a wall I am considering having one. Thanks for your comment.

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