Traditional Skep Making Workshop

Modern beekeeping involves the Langstroth-type framed hive in which frames carrying a pre-prepared wax foundation sheets are inserted into the hive. The bees to draw out the honeycomb cells in which to store the honey and pollen overwinter reserves - these frames can be reused year after year.

Before the introduction of the frames hive in the 1850s, beekeepers used a variety of containers including hollowed tree logs or 'bee gums' and, common in Britain, a variety of skeps fashioned from different natural materials, including straw, thatch, etc.

This two-day workshop is for absolute beginners: It starts with a short tour of the Apiary then settles into a classroom to prepare the materials for and to start lipworking these into the familiar skep shape, following which Workshop participants complete the skep at home.

Some weeks later, the class reconvenes for a second day to compare how the lipwork and fashioning of each skep has progressed over the interim.

In around mid-May you are welcome to return to the Apiary with your own skep so that we can install into your skep a colony of bees headed by a new Queen raised in the Oxleas Wood Apiary - this can remain in the Apiary to late July-August by which time there should be some honey ready to be harvested.

Fully supervised with all materials and tools supplied, the workshop takes up a weekend day of each of two weekends in January-February and then in March-April - the actual weekend dates are determined by a straw poll amongst the final registrants of the Traditional Skep Making Workshop.

All inclusive fees for the workshop, including materials, will be between £30 to £60 depending upon the final numbers registered for the course.

Interested in this Skepmaking Course then email for Further Details

oxleaswoodapiary@oxleaswoodapiary.com