Charles Kennard who lives in California, has recently been the subject of an article in
The American Bee Journal, showing his beautiful skepmaking and other work. And there, among pictures of him, is the photo you see on my home page, illusrating 16th century protective clothing.
The ABJ is about the oldest and most respected beekeeeping magazine in the USA.
I'm even mentioned by name! Fame at last!
Caroline's finished skep, her first, made from a kit that she received as a present
And here is a closer view, showing how much better made it is than my own first attempts!
A cloomed wicker skep made by David Dawson.
David lives in Canada and writes the "From Canada" notes in The Beekeeper's Quarterly.
Almost identical basketwork technique to my own skeps made for Robin Hood, but David's clooming looks a bit more finely finished and cow dung not quite such a major ingredient.
The same skep on its specially made stand.
The entrance comes up in the centre of the open base of the skep
Below is one of David Charles' skeps, showing the upper and lower baskets, rather like supering on a brood box. The upper skep or "cap" would tend to have most of the honey in it.
An interesting point is that the two baskets are made in opposite directiions - look at the sloping of the stitches. Were they made by the same person, I wonder, or do we have an ambidextrous skepmaker?
And here's the top skep to show the honey filled combs.
Messy job extracting from the broken combs.
A closer view of the junction of the two skeps, showing bees using the crack as an entrance.
Here's something very different.
Made by Doris Swartz, who lives in Newville, PA, USA, this skep is made from catmint stalks. It's not intended for bees but purely as art for decoration. Doris has a garden full of catmint and now has a new use for it.
Skeps made by Charles Kennard, who lives in California.
The roof is thatched with reeds from the Sacramento River. Charles also makes reed boats!
How do these people make such beautiful work?
Two more of Charles Kennard's skeps, but these are in a museum area near Chicago..
Skeps made by Sean Johnson who lives in Scotland.
Sean started with a "skep kit" I sent him by post and has rapidly progressed, following instructions on the SKEPMAKING page but solving problems for himself.
If you have messages for Sean or other contributors I will pass them on.
Use the CONTACTS page to send me an email.
David Chubb from Gloucestershire
skep making at the British Beekeepers' Spring Convention in 2006. David makes a wide variety of skeps.
Small skep as an experiment made by Joy who lives in Washington state, USA.
The skep is made from cattail and bound with brambles.
Double skep made by Charles Kennard in California.
Charles uses the Harding grass visible in this photo as his straw material. Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica) comes originally from the Mediterranean region . A double skep like this makes it possible to remove some honey from a colony without destroying the brood nest in the main body of the skep.
Another of Charles Kennard's beautiful skeps, this time a wedding-gift skep copied from one he found in a museum in the Netherlands. The pictures show three stages in the making of the skep, which has an outer cover and a special top, as well as being cloomed over a wicker frame. Incidentally, the photos also show that Charles took his time perfecting this skep - photo 1 has green leaves in the background, 2 has yellowing autumn leaves and 3 has no leaves. The skep was finished on January 2nd or 3rd 2010.