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Rural Gardening: Trying to find a wholesale source to buy Bee Skeps...

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Forum: Rural GardeningReplies: 21, Views: 317
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Atlanta, GA

August 18, 2009
2:47 PM

Post #6960595

I would greatly appreciate anyone who has a whole sale source for buying bee skeps. I've attached a photo below of the bee skep style I am looking to purchase. In the photo, I prefer the skep on the right but may also be interested in the small skep as well??? The dimensions of the skep on the right are approximately 14 - 16" high X 14" wide at the bottom. I live in Atlanta and have found one source, but don't like the look of the skep. The style that I have found is more dome shaped at the top with a large sea grass loop at the top. To me it looks like a decorative skep and the photo I attached is more authentic of those used by bee keepers. I am looking for quantities of 100+ but will consider smaller quantities if available. My email is if you care to contact me direct.

Thanks for taking the time to read my request!


Thanks for taking the time to read my request!


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Richmond, TX

August 22, 2009
9:00 PM

Post #6976776

I'm afraid I have no idea where to find your bee skeps, but I am curious - what are you going to do with hundreds of bee skeps?
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

August 28, 2009
12:52 AM

Post #6996017

You might have trouble finding those, they are now illegal believe it or not! I found that out in beekeeping school.
You might be able to find decorative ones.
Opp, AL
(Zone 8a)

August 30, 2009
9:42 PM

Post #7005775

ByndweedBeth; would / could you expound on your declaration that 'they are now illegal'? What 'authority' has declared their illegality, and what geographical area(s) does this illegality cover? I don't wish to sound confrontational, I'm just curious... Sam
Richmond, TX

August 31, 2009
4:05 AM

Post #7007130

I'm with Sam, why would skeps be illegal?
Forestville, NY

August 31, 2009
10:10 AM

Post #7007533

Skeps are illegal because all beekeepers in the U.S. are require to keep bees in a hive with frames that can be removed for inspection. This is a law set up by The USDA in order to control the mite infestation. For more info check with you state's Department of Aquaculture about your state's integrated pest management laws.
Richmond, TX

August 31, 2009
2:48 PM

Post #7008335

OK, that makes sense.
Chillicothe, OH

December 21, 2009
3:40 AM

Post #7386745

I thought that in order to get the honey out of this type of hive, you had to kill the bees. Or at least had to take their home apart to get at it. They're nice for decoration, though.
Forestville, NY

December 21, 2009
5:12 AM

Post #7386955

Your right the only way to get the honey is to destroy the hive and the bees.
Halifax, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 21, 2010
8:55 PM

Post #7482821

Skeps themselves aren't illegal. It isn't legal, however to keep bees in any equipment that does not have movable frames, to allow for inspection. Movable frames don't fit in skeps, so you can't use them for bees.
Richmond, TX

January 22, 2010
3:21 AM

Post #7484326

If you can't use them for bees, what can you use them for?
Forestville, NY

January 22, 2010
9:52 AM

Post #7484792

For decoration the are sold without an entrance hole
Richmond, TX

January 22, 2010
3:29 PM

Post #7485372

Could you keep "pet" bees in them - not intending to harvest the honey, or must they also be inspected?
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

January 23, 2010
5:43 AM

Post #7487643

No, the regulation is for all bees, because they could pass mites on to other hives.
Julian, NC

January 27, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7502549

Have you thought about top bar hives? They are especially useful for gardeners and small farmers who want to ensure thorough pollination of fruits and vegetables with the added bonus of absolutely pure honey from your plants. There are many other advantages over the standard hive as well. There are several top bar hives (also known as garden hives) for sale on the internet.
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

January 29, 2010
3:41 PM

Post #7508691

There are also mason bees that live in long tubes that they sell for pollenation around here.
United Kingdom

December 3, 2011
11:56 AM

Post #8914942

In England a few colonies are still kept in skeps but the main use of skeps is for catching swarms. Most beekeepers haveone. A skep is light and can be used like an upturned bucket to get the swarm to drop into. A large cloth is placed on the ground and the skep Is then put on the cloth with one edged slightly propped up to allow the rest of the swarm to find the colony. The skep is visited later in the day and the cloth wrapped up over the skep and the whole colony taken to an apiary.
Freeman, SD

January 25, 2012
8:30 AM

Post #8981710

Bee skeps may seem to be romantic but they are not acceptable because of the risk of disease. All hives have to have removable frames to insure that the bee inspector as well as the bee keeper can get into the hive and freely inspect what is happening and the health of the bees. Too, frame hives makes it easier to get the honey out without the destruction of bees or the comb.

These new top bar hives are not up my alley. We owe a great debt to Pastor Langstroth for the development of the hive we use. I for one will continue to use it so I can extract liquid honey without destroying the comb.

As for the use of skeps, yes, you destroyed the bees by taking their foodstores away from them. However, in taking away the combs from the skep or a hollow log bee gum, you didn't necessarily destroy the bees. If these bees are not killed, they then escape and can start a colony elsewhere's and spread their disease, that's why the Dept. of Agriculture does not allow for the maintenance of colonies that are not in a hive with removable frames. It is also why we have state bee inspectors who come around and inspect hive health.

Richmond, TX

January 25, 2012
9:45 AM

Post #8981814

Good to know.
Port Charlotte, FL

May 19, 2013
8:12 PM

Post #9526545

I just watched a 7 video program on you tube - a skep apiary in northern Germany in the 1980s.
I keep reading that the hive is destroyed. Watching this videos it is clear the skep hives are over 100 years old.
They do not kill the hive but capture the swarms, plural, an then take the honey and move the bees to other prepared skeps.
Richmond, TX

May 19, 2013
8:28 PM

Post #9526554

Good to know!
Williamstown, KY

June 25, 2014
3:33 AM

Post #9876811

I make Bee Skep's in all sizes. I use Straw Rope and Jute Rope.

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