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Author Topic: Biomass for crafts ?  (Read 2494 times)
clivejo
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« on: February 20, 2012, 09:13:16 PM »

Anyone make use of biomass for crafts such as willow baskets, straw bee hive(skeps) etc?
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martin
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 10:26:18 PM »

When I was at the Natural Beekeeping Conference this year Phil Chandler was talking about making skeps using a cow horn and a chicken leg bone (I gather you feed it through the cow horn using the chicken bone, and somehow make it into a "rope" which is then formed into a skep......). From what I can remember, bees apparently are very "at home" in a skep, and contrary to what many people think, you can keep bees satisfactorily in them (I've also heard nonsense about having to kill the bees to get the honey from a skep hive, which I gather is untrue)......... garden
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clivejo
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 10:20:26 AM »

I've heard the same Martin.  Apparent, it lets the hive breathe and is warmer in winter while being cool in the summer.  If constructed in sections, with a queen excluder plate, there is no reason to destroy the hive, just set on a new cap and let them fill it up.  The comb wont be in nice square frames, but in a natural shape with the contours of the skep.

I remember going to see a beekeeper who used them, he said his bees were a lot happier, as the skep was more like their natural habitat.  He was of the option that modern hives are too roomy and square frames make the bees work harder and get stressed out!  This guy was amazing with bees, he never wore a vale or suite.  Just walked up to them with a smoker, knife and lifted the caps off !!!

Even capturing a swarm he laid a white sheet under the branch, went down wind of them and clapped like an idiot!  But the swarm just dropped out of the tree onto the sheet and he folded them up.  This is the way bee keeping should be!
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martin
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 10:25:58 AM »

The "natural beekeeping brigade" sound right up your street - there's loads of people trying many methods of keeping their bees in gentler, more natural ways - I met a great many of them at the Natural Beekeeping Conference in August last year-  here's a video of my friend Heidi catching a swarm

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/GUTyYdCoRSM?version=3&amp;amp" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/GUTyYdCoRSM?version=3&amp;amp</a>

and here's a load of footage I took at the above - http://www.dailymotion.com/organnyx

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clivejo
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 07:32:51 PM »

Isn't it amazing how they make their way into the hive.  They must have some amazing senses to know where they are all supposed to be going!
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Greenbeast
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 03:08:08 PM »

Yes they are fascinating creatures, mine died off last year but i'm hoping now the hive is sited on my parents farm (10 hives) that it'll get repopulated as if by magic this spring/summer Wink
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