Sorry for the buzzingly bad beehive pun, but we couldn't resist!
We've got some exciting news here at the Oakeley. We are proud to have hosted the first meeting of the Meirioneth Bee Boles Project last month.
The Bee Boles Project is run by the Meirioneth Historical and Record Society and the Meirioneth Bee Keepers Association, and it's a project to find the lost Bee Boles of Meirioneth.
Just what on earth is a Bee Bole, we hear you cry! Well, they are sheltered alcoves usually found in stone walls, where straw skeps (traditional conical bee hives) were hidden. The holes sheltered the delicate skeps from the elements, and were really important until the middle of the nineteenth century when the more modern and robust beehives that we know today became commonplace.
Image by Rosser1954 on wikicommons
There are thought to be Bee Boles across Wales - some are over 500 years old. The Meirioneth Bee Boles Project currently have nine sites listed, but are looking for more so they can record them before they are lost or overgrown forever. They are important historical sites because they mark a way of life and traditions that are mostly lost.
We're really lucky here at the Oakeley Arms to have some Bee Boles - just behind the dog cemetery in the garden. They were probably used to produce honey for the hotel kitchen.
You can see them in this picture below, just behind the gravestones....
Bee Boles come in all shapes and sizes. Some are simple square holes, like the ones here at the Oakeley, while others are ornate, grander and larger. So, keep your eyes peeled and give us a buzzzzzzzzzzzz if you think you've spotted a Bee Bole in your garden or have passed some while out walking.
You can contact the Meirioneth Bee Boles Project by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 01341 430 262.
Click here for more information about the The Merioneth Historical and Record Society and here for information about the Merioneth Beekeepers’ Association.