We’ve had a busy beekeeping time lately. What with our honey extraction, a visit to the National Beekeeping Centre, the ABKA Photo competition and now we’ve had a chance to try our hand at some traditional beekeeping craftsmanship – We attended a Skep Making Workshop with the Aberystwyth Beekeepers Association.
As with most of the ABKA events this was a fairly informal affair and we went along for a bit of fun, a social and to see if we could get to grips with skep making. Ann and Helen were running the workshop, having already made a few skeps between them, but I’m sure they’ll be the first to admit that this was no master-class!
After the obligatory tea and cake, Ann and Helen introduced us to the tools and materials needed. There isn’t much really, some straw, some binder, a guide (made from a plastic drinks bottle in our case) and a bodkin. And we were off. It took us a little while to get to grips with it, but things did start to fall into place fairly quickly and by lunch time we had the beginnings of a skep. Some of the other skpes were a little more advanced than ours, but we’ll get there in the end, although it will take a while to finish it.
We couldn’t stay all day though as we had to recce a night hike for the scouts so we left a little early, but as usual we had a good time and it was nice to see some of the ABKA members, have a chat and of course eat cake and drink tea.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, a Skep is a straw container that traditional beekeepers used to house their bee colonies in. They are now useful receptacles for catching swarms.