After the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, the Operation London Bridge plan was put in motion which described those who should be informed after her death and in what particular order.
While most of the people included politicians and the press, there was one other exchange that was set out to happen. After the passage of the monarch, the official Palace beekeeper had to carry out the tradition of “telling the bees” where the royal bees kept at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House had to be inform of their master’s passing.
79-year-old royal beekeeper, John Chapple, has been the royal beekeeper for 15 years, tied black ribbons around each of the hives as tradition. Chapple knocked on the hives and said while speaking in a soft hush tone, “The mistress is dead, but don't you go. Your master will be a good master to you.”
This might seem like a very strange custom to follow, however, this has been an age-old tradition being followed out for several centuries. It is believed that when these bees are not informed, that they might stop producing honey. This superstition dates back to Celtic mythology, where bees were viewed as messengers between the living and spirit world.