Buckfast fortified tonic wine is infamous for the buzz it gives to imbibers.

Made by Benedictine monks in Devon, it has been blamed for causing crime in Scotland because it is relatively cheap to buy compared to the strength of the alcoholic kick it delivers. But the Buckfast bees installed in two hives at the Scottish Parliament have been chosen specifically for their placid nature. Raised by the very same Buckfast monks, their docile temperament is conducive to high productivity.

The irony has not been lost on some observers. It is to be hoped that there will be a Holyrood Honey to soothe nerves - and possibly sore throats - before the referendum. Sadly, it won't be more potent than that.

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Nevertheless, it is laudable that the Scottish Parliament has become the first legislature in the UK to have bees, for concern is growing about the dramatic decline in Edinburgh's - nay, Scotland's - honeybee population. The nippy insects are responsible for moere than half the annual pollination of all crops, produce, fruits and trees in Scotland. Without them, we could be facing a culinary and environmental catastrophe. So, let's hear it for the Holyrood honeybees.