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An article from the UK Times Online tells about renovators finding bee hives built in to the architecture of the Scottish Rosslyn Chapel. They were located near the roof when the church was first built. The reason for attracting bees there, however, remains a mystery.From the article:
Allan Gilmour, from Hunter & Clark stonemasons, the main contractors on the chapel, said: ?I?ve never heard of man-made stone beehives. ...?Maybe at Rosslyn the monks had the same problem in the past and created the hive as a sanctuary.?There is anecdotal evidence that visitors to the chapel, which dates back to 1446, used to be disturbed by bees. Mr Mitchell said some of the staff at the Rosslyn Trust were aware some years ago that there had been bees going into the cavity. The hives have now been reinstated within the rebuilt pinnacles on the roof of the chapel.
Interesting. Reasons for the hives? As the story suggests, perhaps to draw the bees away from burrowing in other areas of the church where they would be more of a nuisance to worshipers. The only other reason I could think of offhand is if they were desired to cross-pollinate nearby orchards, but I doubt that farmers of the 15th century would have known about the role bees play in that process.scout1067Participant
I would say the Templars put them there and used the bees in some strange demonic ritual they did after partaking of the grail which is also stored there somewhere. ;D 😉 😉mikeeParticipant
Bees were a symbol used by certain groups of individuals. Napolian Bonaparte had them painted in one of his portraits.The Bee stood for M.Ask a Mason and he won't know. It's like the G - no idea. Its like the bare breast and knee - all is like chimpanzees copy but not know.The M was considered to be very special.regardsmikeeParticipant
no one came back? bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzAethelingParticipant
Golden bees were possibly pagan symbols. The tomb of Childeric, a Merovingian king of the Salian Franks from 457 until his death, and the father of Clovis , was discovered in 1653 in Tournai, a city in modern Belgium. Numerous precious objects were found, including a richly ornamented sword, a torse-like bracelet, jewels of gold and garnet cloisonn?, gold coins, a gold bull's head and a ring with the inscription CHILDERICI REGIS ("of Childeric the king"), which identified the tomb. Some 300 golden bees were also found.Napoleon was impressed with Childeric's bees and when he was looking for a heraldic symbol to trump the Bourbon fleur-de-lys, he settled on Childeric's bees as symbols of the French Empire.scout1067Participant
If you think about it, a stylized bee could very closely resemble the Fleur-de-lis. Not a bad choice on Napoleon's part actually.