A bale handling apparatus comprises a support surface, e.g. smooth elongate conveyor belt (26), for supporting a rectangular bale. The apparatus can be pivoted between a bale loading position in which the surface of the conveyor belt (26) is inclined to the horizontal and an operative, generally horizontal, position in which it can support a bale. The apparatus further comprises a plurality of pivotally mounted hooks (46) which engage and retain the bale when the apparatus is in its loading position. The apparatus is then pivoted to its operative position.