Look carefully at this photo because honeybees are living inside a tree. The photo above is a paulownia tree in East Hanney with honeybees living inside it. Tree cavities were the original home of the honeybees.
Honeybees Living In Tree Cavaties Is Now Uncommon
At this point in history, honeybees tend to live in hives because of beekeepers for two reasons.
One reason is that they serve an agricultural and horticular purpose, that is to say they are pollinators. And to boot, they are pollinators with special traits, that is honeybees have floral fidelity. That is to say, each honeybee will only visit flowers of the same kind which makes efficient pollination, especially if you need a seed crop. Yet they are pollinators with benefits as they produce honey and beeswax.
The other reason is that trees with cavaties, at least in England, get felled for safety reasons. As such, the honeybees original habit is scarce in the UK.
Man Made Structures And Sometimes A Nuisance
Interestingly, honeybees do inhabit in man-made structures, such as wall cavities. This creates a nuisance for humans who often feel aggreived at sharing their property with scary insects. Consequently, I often get a call to help in these people and sometimes it is not possible.
Wooden hives do not possess the superior thermal properties of tree cavities, and this is why I am a proponent of polystyrene hives.