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Thread: Making a skep

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,489

    Default Re: Making a skep

    If you get AFB (and you won't know it, since you cannot inspect) and spread it to other beeks in the area, you are going to get an earful.

    Skeps will be burned at once by the bee inspector in Indiana if found, ditto for gums, box hives, and any other bee container without removable frames. This is to prevent AFB from decimating the beekeeping industry as it did in the 1920s and 30s, before antibiotics. Still a good law as far as I'm concerned. Plenty of wild hives to
    "play" with, if you have them as "domestic" bees they should be properly maintained in a proper hive.

    Peter

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southbury, CT
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    84

    Default Re: Making a skep

    I have never been visited by a state inspector without calling them myself and requesting they stop by. That is in multiple States over 20 years with all yards being registered with the State. State Apiarist is one of those jobs that most States just do not fund well anymore. States like CT that had 4-5 inspectors 30 years ago... now barely have 1 full timer to cover the whole State.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,476

    Default Re: Making a skep

    I think there are 4 in Virginia. And each hive is supposed to be inspected twice a year. And the inspectors do this as well as other stuff, not just bee inspectors. Not saying you should keep a skep, but if you do, it isn't like the bee cops are going to come crashing through your door.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,701

    Default Re: Making a skep

    If you or your bee keeping neighbors get AFB/EFB, bet you will be seeing the inspector plenty. Bet they will make up for all that time they didn't come see ya Not directing the comment just sayin.
    Rick

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
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    430

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Careful you may get caught in a sting!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    proctorsville, vermont
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    152

    Default Re: Making a skep

    well there ya go ! that about covers it. feeling like like ya got more sand than the average beekeeper. go ahead build yourself a skep, build two. start a gang. leather jackets, dark sunglasses, and lucky strikes. local beeks will wish they had the courage to step out of line like you. and when they see ya with that chick with a 18 inch beehive hair doo. they will know your leading the pack.
    thats the way i roll.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Quote Originally Posted by curios1 View Post
    well there ya go ! that about covers it. feeling like like ya got more sand than the average beekeeper. go ahead build yourself a skep, build two. start a gang. leather jackets, dark sunglasses, and lucky strikes. local beeks will wish they had the courage to step out of line like you. and when they see ya with that chick with a 18 inch beehive hair doo. they will know your leading the pack.
    A lot of good points in the replies. Thanks for the input. The above quote takes the cake for the most comical though. I got a chuckle out of it

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,701

    Default Re: Making a skep

    KP,,,,,,,you are sounding,,,SKEPticle,,,,,

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Making a skep

    In case anyone was curious about this topic,Ii found this how-to video on skep making. This is the most complete video i have come across thus far.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwLTl0i83tM

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Berlin, Germany
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Quote Originally Posted by KPeacock View Post
    In case anyone was curious about this topic,Ii found this how-to video on skep making. This is the most complete video i have come across thus far.
    You had this already in post #2 of this thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by KMP
    Here some more video links: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC8B3EEFA0E4A7A4B
    The last entry (unfortunately in German) specifically is about weaving a skep.
    But you've found the English-language version, which certainly should be more helpful.

    -K
    Kevin M. Pfeiffer -- Berlin, Germany

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Build a skep put a couple of frames in it. It's not illegal to have a skep with removable frames in it.
    Im really not that serious

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinal, AZ, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    The last thing I read on the matter I had read that AZ was the only state that allowed bees to be kept in a hive without removable combs... I don't remember my source on that now though.
    Not exactly true.. It was on the books a while back but fo some reason all "state" laws reguarding bee's have been removed and local govrenments have been filling in when and where they want.

    Some interesting bee laws have come up around AZ. One City requires you to get permission in writting from every one within a mile of you. Few have outlaw'd bee keeping altogether. Where I live, beekeeping has been clasified as argi-business thus it falls under a city code not allowing the city to put any restrictions to agriculture. So it really depend on the city you live in.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
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    1,476

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Holy cow! I wonder how the feral hives get written permission to move in!

    Whey don't people need written permission when moving in within one mile of someone else. They are likely to cause more problems than bees.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Making a skep

    KMP, you're right. Ii recognized the gentlement from the link you provided, but I took a lot more away from it with English narration than the German.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Well, here is my first try at a skep. I don't like the dimensions of it, or the transitions at the top, but for never having tried to weave anything, I think it's passable. I think it might be a bit on the large side with a diameter of about 18" and a height of about 15." It works out to a volume of around 60 Litres. If I had it to do over again, I'd try to keep it closer to 40 litres with a smaller diameter. Maybe I'll make another over winter. All thats left is the addition of the cow dung coating.






  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Wow, pretty nice for the first shot. Even if you don't hive it with any bees, it certainly makes for a nice conversation piece and decoration....just my thoughts. Me likey.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Skep apiary visit in the Luneburg heathland

    Right where Georg Klindworth has had his skep apiary with up to 3,000 skep hives in summer (nowadays the young Klindworth doesn't run any hives anymore), I visited a friend in the Luneburg heathland who runs skeps in the heath.

    I took some pictures of him demonstrating skep beekeeping.

    First row of pictures: the applying of cow **** to create a nice and snug cover for the skep.


    Provide a convenient height of the work bench.


    Thinned or worn out patches get refilled with straw, chapped seams get re-sewn or stapled with a wooden staple (sort of).


    The most important ingredient is cow dung. Cow ****. (Actually it is called Kuh-Schiet in a German slang.) It should be

    absolutely fresh - because if there a small dandruffs of dried patches it'll disturb the applying of the dung onto the skep.
    Best is fresh cow **** in Spring, because no hard fibres means a smooth skep cover that doesn't come off (cracking) when dried.
    Only dung from cows off the yard, no shed. Needs to be grass fed, no soy, no silage.

    The cow **** preserves the skep from moisture and keeps it nice and warm. Also there might be some lactic acid bacteria in the

    **** being beneficial to the bees' health?! Maybe.


    First skep is turned upside down and the bottom ring gets covered. With long strokes.


    The inside of the skep gets a cow dung cover up to the height of one or two rings.


    Work thoroughly, dear "heatherman"!


    The skep is turned back into original position and first the "eye" of the skep, the flight entrace, gets closed with shiet.


    Apply the dung onto the cap next.


    It has to be nice and smooth.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Then the sides get their shiet..


    stroke by stroke...


    ...all the way round.


    The seams shall stay visible. That prevents the dung cover from getting to thick (which would crack up the cover later when

    drying). Also the cow dung cover is more flexible when thin.


    Checking the work...


    ...fine tuning.


    ...and then the skep goes into the drying. The skeps stands on two sticks and is rotated continously, so the sun dries the

    skep's sides evenly.


    Pure cow **** is used - no clay. Although some regions do use clay and cow dung as a mixture, or even use clay only, the clay

    would make the cover more likely to draw water or to crack up. Especially when moving the skep it'll make the cover come loose.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Making a skep

    Bees are feeded in skeps with the help of shallow wooden dishes (with floating swimming aids). The dish is put right under the

    skep and refilled daily.


    The wooden dish has small feet - so bees don't get crushed when placing the dish. And it prevents the bees from glueing down the

    dish to the floor. (Dark bees do use more propolis.)


    Alternatively there is an outside feeder that can be stuck to the outside of the skep. It has small nails. The entrance is from

    the back.


    The small case is fixed right under the flight entrance and refilled in the evening. The bees usually use up the food overnight.


    The feeder is refilled through a lid.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Making a skep

    In winter a small wooden board gets pinned to the entrance, so it prevents the sun from shining into the skep and baiting the

    bees out of the hive. Which will then freeze to death. It also prevents the wind a little from blowing into the entrance, and snow from blocking it.



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