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The link did not work, so I could not see the pictures of the stone beehives. However, the July/Aug. 2008 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review p. 41ff. describes beehives found in the ruins of the city of Tel Rehov, dating back about 3,000 years. That is also reported here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/900809.html

Those beehives were made of straw, coated in clay. I would think in the wet climate of England, and other northern European locales, a stone hive would be much more weather resistant than clay covered straw. Thus could those stone hives simply be nothing more than a stone beehive, used for honey production?
Regards,
Steven
 

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Loved the linked article! I need to see if I have the BAR issue you referenced -- I have had a subscription since the magazine began, but (shamefully), I often do not have the time to do more than scan.

A guy on a Masonic site that I frequent, who has actually seen the structures - he lives in Scotland - said that there is no way to open the hives, although there is a single-hole opening in the center of a carved flower on each hive. He didn't measure the hole, as he is not a beek, so I don't know if it is an appropriate size for honeybees.
 

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hmmm link worked this time. Article said one hive could not be accessed by the bees, the other had evidence of bee habitation, but no way to harvest honey. Another of life's mysteries.
 
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