The Royal beekeeper at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House has informed the bees kept on the grounds that Queen Elizabeth II has died and was succeeded by his son King Charles III.
The royal beekeeper, 79-year-old John Chapple, in an exclusive interview with MailOnline, said that following the queen’s death on Friday, he rushed to Buckingham Palace and Clarence House to carry out the ritual.
Mr Chapple placed black ribbon bows on the hives, home to thousands of bees, before announcing with great sadness that their mistress has passed over to the afterlife and that they will be under the service of a new master.
MailOnline reports that Mr Chapple also urged the bees “to be good to their new master”.
“I’m at the hives now and it is traditional when someone dies that you go to the hives and say a little prayer and put a black ribbon on the hive,” Mr Chapple said.
“I drape the hives with black ribbon with a bow. The person who has died is the master or mistress of the hives, someone important in the family who dies and you don’t get any more important than the Queen, do you?” asked Mr Chapple.
“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.'” he said.
“I’ve done the hives at Clarence House and I’m now in Buckingham Palace doing their hives,” he said.
Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, died at the age of 96 on Friday. She reigned for 70 years.
Her son Charles has now succeeded her as the new King of Britain.