Where does the time go?? Spring will be here—with bees swarming—before I know it! This winter I’ve been weaving, of course. I’ve wanted to make three new skeps before the bee season, and I have two done and the third in the making.
I’ve begun making my skeps a full 2-inches thick. It is harder to weave–like wrestling a boa constrictor–but in all the old photos I see of ancient skeps, they are fat, and I want mine fat, too…
I’ve included a small video here to show you what I’ve done so far this winter, and the skills I’m still needing to practice so that I get better at weaving these:
Winter has been kind here in the NorthWest, and we’ve only had one hard freezing/snowing spell here over the holidays. The rest of the time, it’s been in the 40s day and night. I have three colonies in skeps, and one in my Cathedral Top Bar Hive. In the skeps, I am able to peer in through the entrances and see bee activity, even on our freezing days. I am believing that means the skeps keep my bees warm enough that they needn’t go into energy-sapping, honey-burning torpor. Thanks to my sweet skeps, I believe this may be the first winter that I will have NO hive losses!
I was planning to keep my Cathedral Hive, but I am thinking of moving those bees–the RainTree girls–into a skep come spring after they have swarmed. I really don’t want any other kind of hive anymore. I’m skep smitten!