Bee Boles at Ballingarry Castle

In the bawn of Ballingarry castle on a south-facing wall are 18 arched recessed arches, known as bee boles. Only a dozen or so of these rare 16th bee boles are recorded in Ireland. In these recesses or boles were placed the straw beehives or skeps. The boles are in three tiers, the lowest 18 inches off the ground, the highest 9 ft. They are believed to have been in use until the last century. Bees have always been important in the Irish rural economy.