Bee skep making



(It was a lot darker than this – it’s a barn.  More like this:

I’m just back from a bee skep making session.  As you can see this is very concentrated work.  These are all members of the association I belong to Airedale Bee Keepers Association.  This was taken at about half time, the floor got much messier than that.

Here’s my workstation.

SAMSUNG CSCFor the tricky start at the top the straw had to have been soaked for 24 hours, and the binding cane is just soaked for half an hour.  The needle is included in the very reasonable £20 for the whole course, including the session still to come in February.  By the end on the session I was just starting to turn down the corners and start building the walls.  But at half-time it looked like this:

SAMSUNG CSCThis will be jolly useful for taking swarms, should any appear this Summer.


Here’s what we’re aiming for:


4 thoughts on “Bee skep making

  1. What kind of a needle is used? I’m in Oregon, USA, and I never heard of this before. It is very interesting and also looks fun. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi!

      The needle is a hollow aluminium tube cut at about 45 degrees in a beech handle. It’s in the next to last photo. You push (well wiggle) the sharp end of the needle through the straw, push the end of the cane into the hollow of the tube/needle and withdraw the needle which brings the cane through with it. The really good part is you know where the stitch will come through as you work from the outside, any misalignment of the stitch is on the inside where it doesn’t get seen.

      There is an amazing video relating to bee skep making here:

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