Skeps - Looking for a (W.Pennsylvania) Source for Long Cut Heirloom Rye [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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naturebee
07-10-2015, 05:34 AM
Hello Friends,

I am looking for a source for organic Heirloom Rye or long wheat for skep making.
I am not having much luck finding a source.
This seems to be a difficult search, so I am asking here to help on this list.

Best Wishes
Joe

DirtyLittleSecret
07-10-2015, 07:48 AM
Using skeps for?...reason I ask is because in many states it's illegal to keep bees in non removable frame hives (ie skeps). got any local breweries nearby? They might source locally.

Amasa
07-10-2015, 09:03 AM
Have you tried including basket weaving in your searches? A quick search brings up this artist (http://www.headcollection.com/)who's made some skeps from rye. Another avenue might be to try asking a local feed store that sells straw and hay.

naturebee
07-10-2015, 05:09 PM
Thanks all,

After searching all over the internet, I went on craigslist and under 'farms' 'for sale' I found several rye growers. I am making skeps for historical research. Long term I hope to keep a few colonies in side by side in skeps, box hives and modern equipment for comparison.

The days of illegal to keep bees hives with non movable frames is obsolete. Its still illegal, but the state does not bother me with my few gums sitting around. They have more important worries with varroa and ccd. An exemption can be obtained for experimental purposes.

Joe

ericweller
07-17-2015, 02:21 PM
Using skeps for?...reason I ask is because in many states it's illegal to keep bees in non removable frame hives (ie skeps). got any local breweries nearby? They might source locally.

Why would keeping bees in a skep be illegal?
Thanks!

phyber
07-17-2015, 02:42 PM
Why would keeping bees in a skep be illegal?
Thanks!

being able to easily inspect a hive for disease/pest.

I know I had to register my hives with the state and be subject to health inspections for the beehive grant in VA.

Arnie
07-17-2015, 03:35 PM
Why would keeping bees in a skep be illegal?
Thanks!

Looks like in Ga. it's not illegal.

http://kelleyhoneybees.com/2014/02/27/mythbusting-bee-skeps-in-georgia/

Arnie
07-17-2015, 03:44 PM
Joe,
You're going to post pix of the process, right?

JRG13
07-18-2015, 09:41 AM
If the rye doesn't pan out, get some triticale, Merlin is a tall variety. It's a wheat-rye cross.

JWChesnut
07-18-2015, 11:21 AM
The two sites listed below discuss alternative straws.

The step-by-step in modern farmer uses Harding Grass -- Phalaris aquatica (aka Reed Canary Grass) -- which is planted and abundant in much the northern tier of North America, look in drainage swales.

A similar but more pliable tall bunch grass, such as Calamagrostis sp., would likely work very well.

The Martina Newton site mentions the Scottish bog grass, Molinia caerulea (aka Purple Moor Grass) as making extremely attractive skeps.

In California, Deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) is used for very large baskets

In short, I am sure there is a local material nearby. Check the edges of boggy swales, an ecological zone favoring tall bunch grasses.

http://www.martinatnewton.com/page6.htm

http://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/how-to-build-a-bee-skep/


(FYI: a potent hallucinogen can be extracted from Phalaris, and arrests have been made in my county. Have an explanation ready for the big bundle in the back of the pick-up.)

naturebee
07-18-2015, 03:26 PM
Joe,
You're going to post pix of the process, right?

I will post my progress here. At this time I am making tools needed and will post on this site how I made the tools.
At this time, I am posting my progress in a event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1685601055003262/
But I will transfer the info to this site soon

Best Wishes
Joe

Arnie
07-18-2015, 04:12 PM
I like those tools!

I used to do the rush seats for old chairs using the dried and re-hydrated cattail leaves. They would not be original, but they would make nice skeps.

naturebee
07-19-2015, 07:04 AM
I like those tools!

I used to do the rush seats for old chairs using the dried and re-hydrated cattail leaves. They would not be original, but they would make nice skeps.

The Hungarians made skeps from cattails, as well as other cultures.

Joe

aunt betty
07-19-2015, 12:54 PM
This is one of the most interesting beekeeping videos I ever watched (so far).
Feel like it goes here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq5ZTtNfonM

Vance G
08-01-2015, 07:37 PM
This is of the same skep bee keeping series but their skeps were almost wicker and were undated in the spring with a fresh coat of fresh almost liquid cow dung. But maybe you aren't wanting to be that authentic. Search for Antelope variety rye. That was the common variety of the 1960's that we grew a lot of and it grew to six feet tall. Plant it anytime before the end of September and by next July you will have your supply of fiber.
▶ 14:46


www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2IjNBbLESY