Three generations of skilled beekeepers tended the bee hive at Hogg Hall until the 6th Earl’s daughter Lady Celestia May was stung in 2011 and almost died from a severe allergic reaction. As a result of this incident Countess Isabella ordered the hive to be set alight, and it was assumed that the bees perished in the fire.
But this was far from the truth. In fact, amid all the smoke, flames and confusion, the bees performed a well-practiced fire drill and escaped. Two days later, all 30,000 of them were discovered by the butler Mr. O’Donnell living in the feather mattress in his bedroom.
The servant was awakened at 6am by an alarming droning sound, and not really knowing what else to do, he drove into town and purchased a small bee hive. As soon as he installed it under his bed the bees moved in, and their vast colony had lived there ever since.
In the privacy of his room, O’Donnell dined on fresh honey every morning and he was never stung once – the creatures seeming to know instinctively that he had saved their lives. As far as he knew he was the only man in the world with a bee hive under his bed and he found the buzzing quite comforting when he was trying to get to sleep.