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Beekeeping skeps

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Comment from Nicola


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Hi all - I was quite excited by the skeps (image at the bottom) I saw yesterday at Hampton Court's A Beekeepers Garden.

I have just spoken to the British Beekeepers Association about domestic use of skeps, and they have said that you can have them in your garden as a decorative addition, but if you notice a bee swarm coming into nest there, you should contact your local beekeeper right away to collect them. If you can commit to this, then it is helpful to have skeps in your garden as it will then prevent them landing in someone's roof or chimney etc. However, skeps are not suitable for cultivating honey, or allowing a permanent nest to establish in them, as they cannot be opened and inspected for diseases.

When thinking about your garden planting, blue is attractive to bees. But the BBA also said to bear in mind that bees need a large block of colour to land on and little tiny groups of plants are unlikely to really help.

The BBKA's bee friendly flowering trees are:

February: Acacia dealbata
March: Alnus cordata
April: Amelanchier lamarckii
May: Sorbus x arnoldiana
June: Sorbus aria .Tilia tomentosa
July: Castanea sativa
August: Koelreuteria paniculata
September: Tetradium daniellii

Hope this is useful!

All the best Nicola

Beekeeping skeps

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  • Views: 1401
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Tue. 7th July 2009 12:46

Size is everything!

Reply from Fi

It's good to know the trees they will enjoy, however most of these grow to about 100 ft with the same spread! Not good for the average garden. The only one I would recommend is the Amelanchier Lamarkii. Other than that, lots of grasses, bergamot, herbs, single petal varieties and wild flowers - blue, purple, pink.

  • Posted: Tue. 7th July 2009 22:15

Good point!!

Reply from Nicola

Hi Fi, That is a very good point. Their selection means only the few with large grounds are able to really make use of them. I really like your other suggestions too. :-) Nicola

  • Posted: Wed. 8th July 2009 06:58