In one of the stranger rituals following the Queen’s death, the Royal Beekeeper has been sent around the Palace’s 7 hives to inform 20,000 bees of their owner’s sad demise.
“You knock on each hive and say, ‘The mistress is dead, but don’t you go. Your master will be a good master to you.”
This comes from a ancient belief that if you don’t let the bees know that they’ve got a new owner then they’re going to stop producing honey.
Fairly understandably, this particular responsibility was apparently new news to the beekeper in question. Mr. Chapple, despite his long-standing tenure.
The official palace beekeeper has worked with the bees for 15 years but did not realise informing the bees was part of the job.