Bee boles were a row of recesses, often in a south-facing garden wall. Each recess was big enough to hold a skep – the coiled-straw hive used by beekeepers in Britain before the introduction of the modern wooden hives in the late 19th century.
This row of bee boles probably belonged to Palethorpe Farm which was demolished early 20th century.
Not far away were 6 other boles which were at Cuckoostone grange farm but destroyed about 2008 when the wall was incorporated into new barn; only parts of the bases remain.
According to WikiPedia –
A bee bole is a cavity or alcove in a wall (the Scots word bole means a recess in a wall). A skep is placed in the bee bole. Before the development of modern bee hives (such as the design published by Lorenzo Langstroth in 1853), the use of bee boles was a practical way of keeping bees in some parts of Britain, although most beekeepers kept their skeps in the open covered by items suitable for the purpose, such as old pots or sacking. The bee bole helped to keep the wind and rain away from the skep and the bees living inside. Bee keeping was a very common activity in the past before sugar became plentiful and affordable as a sweetener. Demand was also a high for beeswax for candles, especially from the prereformation churches, cathedrals, and abbeys; tithes and rents were often paid in honey and/or beeswax, or even bee swarms.
Bee boles and other protective structures for skeps are found across almost the whole of the British Isles.
The purpose of a bee skep was to house bees so that wax and honey could be obtained. The bees were often kept in gardens or orchards where there were flowers providing nectar and pollen.
Other names for bee boles include bee holes, bee shells (Cumbria), bee keps (Cumbria), bee niches (Derbyshire), bee walls (Gloucestershire), bee houses (Yorkshire), bee boxes (Kent) and bee garths.