Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Skep Bees

I spent a very enjoyable day with Chris Parks of Acorn Education last weekend. Chris teaches prehistoric technology and builds Iron Age roundhouses. As you do.

We started with a bit of wattling, then in the afternoon helped him with his bees. He keeps some of them in skeps, as was the old way. The cluster of bees on the outside meant that they were getting ready to swarm. By tapping the old skep we encouraged the swarm to crawl up into their new home.

I risked getting stung and slipped the camera into the new skep. The bees hung together in bridges, selflessly providing their fellow citizens with a way into the new hive. Bees were everywhere, the sound overwhelming and more than a little scary.

I wasn't prepared for the sheer force of the bees. They weren't aggressive, just ferocious. We didn't 'tell' them, but Chris sang to them. It was all rather magical.

Andy xxx


  1. Wow Andy, this is marvellous!!
    Love the skeps :)
    I am hoping you and Nomi will be Telling the Bees about your September Nuptuals :))
    Love to all you lot in this lovely summering xx R

  2. It's grand to see people taking care of bees...they make the world go round! Lovely photos as well...cheers.

  3. Wonderful post... I always wondered how those old bee skeps worked. Lovely to see inside where the combs are... cool... thanks!