Bee keeping was popular before the days of sugar as a sweetener. Candle wax constituted an additional benefit.
They are either built into or alongside a wall and will consist of anything from one small recess containing the straw skep to several. Often these recesses are the only sign that beekeeping took place.
In Scotland they are not uncommon and superb examples can be found at Tolquhon Castle, Aberdeenshire and Pitcairlie House, Fife. Some, however, are harder to find such as those at Cathcart Castle, Renfrew (now built up).
So get buzzing and find some more for yourself!
Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle