c.1430, collective noun of quails and ladies, from Anglo-Fr. bevée, of unknown origin. One supposed definition of the word is "a drinking bout," but this is perhaps a misprint of bever, from O.Fr. beivre (see beverage). Still, it's possible that the original sense could be a company of birds gathered at a puddle or pool for drinking or bathing.
Interesting that the original meaning of this word applied only to groups of girls or women, or birds (specifically quail...?)...