Navigate / search

Wintertime projects: skeps and honey pots

Over many years of blogging, certain beekeepers have kept me entertained by sending photos of their latest creative masterpieces. One of those is Michael Skeels of Frenchtown, Montana. Like others with a creative streak, Michael uses the long winters to prepare for bee season.

This year he writes:

You know how winter can be long for northern beekeepers. After a few years, you’ve read most of the books, read the magazines the first day they come, and weary of the forums. So I took up ceramics and have been having a lot of fun with it all winter. Naturally some of my projects were bee related—honey pots and mini skep hives. I figured the skeps are twofers: decoration and, with a little burr comb glued to the top inside and sprayed with Swarm Commander, they might attract a small family looking for a new home this spring. As you can see, I have filled the storage side of the house, and the skeps are not nearly as impressive as Evert Jan van Tongeren’s were, but they will do.

What will you build?

Michael’s bee house continues to evolve and looks pretty good to me, and that top-bar hive with stand looks great, too. If you’re curious, past progress on the bee house can be seen here (A Montana Bee House) and here (Revisiting).

Remember, it’s not too soon to start thinking about next year’s wintertime beekeeping projects. On second thought, maybe I should just commission one of those honey pots. So much easier.

Rusty
Honey Bee Suite

The honey house design was inspired by a beekeeper in the Netherlands. © Michael Skeels.
The honey house design was inspired by a beekeeper in the Netherlands, Evert Jan van Tongeren. © Michael Skeels.
A useful and beautiful wintertime beekeeping project: ceramic honey pots. Pots and photo © Michael Skeels.
A useful and beautiful wintertime beekeeping project: ceramic honey pots. Pots and photo © Michael Skeels.
Bees in art: minature skep hives by Michael Skeels of Montana.
Bees in art: miniature skep hives. Skeps and photo by Michael Skeels.
A minature skep hive on display in the honey house. © Michael Skeels.
A minature skep hive on display in the honey house. © Michael Skeels.

Comments

Ray
Reply

Fantastic creations Michael!

Susan Knilans
Reply

Any time I see the word “skep,” I get excited. All of my bees are in very thick-walled skeps that I weave myself each winter. I love keeping bees this way!

Leave a comment

name*

email* (not published)

website

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.