Monday, April 12, 2010

Rosslyn Chapel an ancient haven for bees

Roslin, Midlothian Scotland

Builders renovating the 600-year-old Rosslyn Chapel, which was made famous in The Da Vinci Code, the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar, has thrown up another unfathomable puzzle: what lies behind the secret of the bees?

The discovery was made when two pinnacles, which had been made unstable by nesting jackdaws, had to be taken down stone by stone and rebuilt. At this time builders discovered two beehives carved within the stonework of the roof, these are thought to be the first man-made stone hives ever found. Allan Gilmour, from Hunter & Clark stonemasons, the main contractors on the chapel, said: “I’ve never heard of man-made stone beehives. What I have seen is bees creating hives in stone. When we restored the Irvine Town House we found that bees had burrowed into the sandstone and created honeycombs. They had weakened the stone. Maybe at Rosslyn the monks had the same problem in the past and created the hive as a sanctuary.” It is hoped the bees will return once the renovation works are complete.

Several unusual findings have been made during the project, including two skeletons.

BBC News

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