Register of Bee Boles

Register of Bee Boles

                       Figure 1. Eva Crane recording some of the 15 bee boles in a garden near
                           Doccombe, Devon (Register No. 0207a; photo: F.R. Alston, 1984)

One of Eva Crane’s many interests was the history of beekeeping, and in 1952 she started recording bee boles and other beekeeping structures built in the past to protect bee skeps. During her travels in the UK, Ireland and Europe, she herself visited and recorded many sites that were added to the Bee Boles Register, held by the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). In 2005, Penny Walker organised the digitisation of all the UK and Ireland records and then the introduction of a database and website: This improved online accessibility, and also encouraged conservation and further recording. To date, there are 1610 sites on the database. (Records for sites in France and other European countries were given to Apistoria in 2001.)

                           Figure 2. Eva Crane measuring bee boles near Wadebridge, Cornwall
                                             (Register No. 1129; photo: R.M. Kingdon, 1993)

In 2022, IBRA handed over the care and maintenance of the Bee Boles Register to the Eva Crane Trust, and we are planning to include the Register website on our own site. Also, we have donated the archival paper records to the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, ( will to make these archives accessible to researchers.

Figure 3. An empty skep in one of the bee boles recently recorded near
                                 Oswestry, Shropshire (Register No. 1604; photo: B. Wilcox)