Home » Events » Skep Making

Skep Making

Skeps have been used in the UK for hundreds of years for housing colonies of honey bees.

Constructing skeps would have been one of many rural crafts, but with the advent of moveable frame hives this has become something of a lost art. So we felt it would be a good idea to learn from someone who has been making skeps for twenty years or more.

Mick Male from Newton Abbott branch kindly accepted our invitation. Mick is well known to Devon beekeepers as he gives demonstrations at many of the local shows. Over two weekend sessions we learned how to prepare the materials, start the skep (most people found this the trickiest part), turn the corner to make the sides and finally to finish off in a professional manner.

The straw we used is from triticale wheat, an old fashioned, long stemmed variety that would have been used in the past. Thatchers still use triticale straw so it is readily available.

The binding was rattan lapping cane from Indonesia, widely used in furniture and basket making. The photos show the process from start to finish.

The first few stitches
The inside of the base
The base taking shape
Turning the corner
The Master tidies up the loose ends
Concentration required

Latest update = 2018 Honiton Show schedule

Recent update = Asian hornet page

Recent update = Home page

News & Events

BEE HEALTH DAY – Saturday 28th July 2018
The Kenn Centre, Exeter Road, Kennford, Devon EX6 7UE.Organised by Devon Beekeepers’ Association, Exeter Branch.

Sponsored by Bee Diseases Insurance Limited.

Visit http://www.devonbeekeepers.org.uk/ for further information. Places restricted to 60 so book early to be sure of a place.

Asian hornet information
The June edition of the BBKA News has extensive information about the Asian hornet threat. In particular, pages 209 and 210 have full colour reproductions of the Asian hornet alert document issued by the Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) for you to cut out and use as your personal guide to identification of this invasive species.
Get ready for Honiton Show
Download the Honiton Show schedule below and start planning your entries for the competition. Make sure you are ready for August 2nd:
EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides
More information can be found at:          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/eu-agrees-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
LATEST ASIAN HORNET WARNING
The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of a single Asian hornet in Lancashire. More information can be found in the Defra Press release:   https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-lancashire