The Bees of Maggieknockater

Bee Day

May 20

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Bee Day
The Bees of Maggieknockater
Show More

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour, And gather honey all the day From every opening flower!” ~Isaac Watts, 1715, "How Doth the Little Busy Bee"

There are four beehives onsite at The Scottish Parliament, situated in the Member’s Garden.  The bees have good access to all the foliage across Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, as well as the plants and flowers within the Parliament’s Gardens and wild flower meadows.  These bees are kept by longtime beekeepers Hood's Honey Bees, and their beeswax has been used to fill the Great Seal of Scotland and seal every act of the Scottish Parliament since its inception – over 200 in number!  Recipe included: Honeycake with whisky and Earl Grey flavouring.

The Bees of Maggieknockater

Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. 

Maggieknockater (Magh an Fhucadair in Scottish Gaelic) is a hamlet on the A95 road between Craigellachie and Mulben in Scotland in the Moray council area, in the former county of Banffshire.

Until the early 1970s there was large apiary which was well known in the region and has lived on in this Scottish country dance.  The meaning of Maggieknockater is "field of the fuller" or "plain of the hilly ridge" (and has nothing to do with a woman called Maggie). 

 

Depictions of humans collecting honey from wild bees date to 15,000 years ago. Simple hives and smoke were used and honey was stored in jars, some of which were found in the tombs of pharaohs such as Tutankhamun.

 

It wasn't until the 18th century that European understanding of the colonies and biology of bees allowed the construction of the moveable comb hive so that honey could be harvested without destroying the entire colony.

There are four beehives onsite at the Scottish Parliament, during the summer they are situated in the Member’s Garden.  The bees have good access to all the foliage across Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, as well as the plants and flowers within the Parliament’s Gardens and wild flower meadows.  These bees are kept by longtime beekeepers Hood's Honey Bees, and their beeswax has been used to fill the Great Seal of Scotland and seal every act of the Scottish Parliament since its inception – over 200 in number. 

The beehives produce between 80lbs to 120lbs of honey each autumn which is bottled and sold in the Scottish Parliament gift shop. 

For an interesting honey cake recipe with whisky and an Earl Grey tea flavouring, click the honey cake.

 

And for the performance of this dance by the Singapore St Andrew's Society Mixed Team, at the Singapore St. Andrew's Ball, 2011, click the video below.

The Bees of Maggieknockater
The Bees of Maggieknockater

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

Follow us on social media

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle

© 2019 Curious Magpie Designs