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 horizontal Langstroth 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.
Honey Bee Suite
Fantastic creations Michael!
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!