I had a chat yesterday with one of my apprentices. She had the National Bee Supplies catalogue with her and wanted to know whether she needed a nucleus. Of course she does! She’s going to order one in the flat as she quite enjoyed, under my instruction at first, making up the WBC that’s in her care.
We then moved on a few pages to page 26 in the catalogue and selected a couple of large skeps. One of these will be for catching swarms (when I’ve shown her how) and the other will be for show. We will have to design and build a skep stand so that they are in the public gaze but out of the weather.
The site is Thomas Hardy’s birthplace at Lower Bockhampton where my apprentice leads the gardening team. When Hardy was born in 1840 and his Mother kept bees, thereby supposedly contributing to the cost of her child’s education, she would have done so using skeps and not the stacking wooden box system we use today.
Of course, if we get a surfeit of swarms (hmmm… Taranov) then we can get at least one of the skeps occupied. That’d be fun!