Articles/A visit to the old apiary of Al-Kharfi

A visit to the old apiary of Al-Kharfi

الهندسة المعمارية العجيبة في مقرى النحل بقرية الخرفي

08 JUL 2020


Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi

There are ancient buildings around the Kingdom considered engineering marvels because of the advanced construction techniques used to help them withstand the difficult terrain and harsh conditions. One such example is a stone apiary, known as a maqrah in Arabic, situated in Maysan governorate’s Al-Kharfi village south of Taif. The governorate is part of the Makkah region, southwest of Saudi Arabia.

Stunning architecture

You will need an SUV to reach Al-Kharfi due to the rough nature of its roads. However, it is well worth the journey because you will able to marvel at the impressive architecture dating back hundreds of years once you reach your destination.


The village was built on hard land covered with stones that were used to extract grain and grind flour. Villagers relied on agriculture as their main source of livelihood. On top of the village mountain is a 20-meter-high fortress for protection. Houses were built from huge stones and roofed using tree trunks, while inside there were huge columns of wood acting as supports.


The stone apiary is an architecturally stunning building whose main purpose was to produce honey. There are more than 1,300 beehives made from stone at different floor levels, some of which reach up to four stories. These floors have columns that are close to each other and act as foundations.