Medieval Bee Yard: Take 2... I won't be able to keep the bees in skeps because it is illegal. The combs need to be on moveable bars or frames to facilitate pest and disease management. I still want to make a couple of full-size skeps and build the associated shelter for them.
Instead, I'm going to build medieval Italian box hives. They are very similar to the Top Bar Hive I had before. I have very little documentation, so this will be a bit of a challenge. Bonus to the Italian hives over the skeps.... more honey!
A friend has been working on a Medieval garden in her yard. She is clearing space for me to build my bee shelter to place the skeps in. This may be a long-term project that will be set-up next Spring. I need to gather the materials to build the skeps as well as the shelter.
I'm going to use reclaimed pallets for the shelter. There's a paint company around the corner that always has free pallets available. I need to look through my pictures for the shelters and draw up plans. I'd like to use hand-forged nails and I think I have a local source for those.
I'd like to be able to make at least two skeps 100% using period tools and techniques. This will include making a cleave to strip bramble for the binder, neither of which I have done before. I have a horn girth and a turkey-bone awl. I'd like to make an awl from a goose or other animal that would have been available in period. I need to collect the straw as well. A friend has offered me all the weeds I want from her backyard in the country.