Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Beehive

There are two pubs near me called the Beehive.  This is the Beehive Hotel in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne.  You can see that the pub sign shows a bumblebee.  I decided against calling in the tell the landlord that bumblebees don't live in hives.

This one is The Beehive, between Hartley and Earsdon.  I had noticed that the sign shows a skep but it was only when I stopped to take a photo that I realised it also shows bumblebees and not honey bees.  Again I didn't call in to point out the error.

My impression is that most people - obviously including pub landlords and pub sign artists - have no idea what a honey bee looks like.  I kept track of calls I have had about "swarms" this year, my second year on the BBKA swarm collector list.  In all 12 of 14 calls I took were about bumblebees, presumably mostly tree bumblebees (Bombus hypnorum).  I don't always carry the phone so I have missed some calls as well but only two calls were about real swarms - I had more from my own hives.

I read that there are 67 pubs in the UK called The Beehive, making it the 70th most popular pub name (just ahead of Robin Hood).  It would be interesting to know how many of them accurately portray honey bees rather than bumblebees on their signs.  If I am still standing after I have checked them all I'll let you know.  (In case you are wondering, the three most popular pub names are The Red Lion, The Crown, and The Royal Oak.)

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