The dome-shaped straw skep of our forefathers may be regarded as the typical bee-hive of all time and of all civilized countries; indeed, it may with truth be said that as a healthy and convenient home for the honey-bee it has no equal.
A swarm of bees hived in a straw skep, the picturesque little domicile known the world over as the personification of industry, will furnish their home with waxen combs in form and shape so admirably adapted to their requirements as to need no improvement by man.
Why the circular form was chosen for the skep need not be inquired into, beyond saying that its shape conforms to that of a swarm, as the bees usually hang clustered on the branch of a neighbouring tree or bush after issuing from the parent hive.
I i shows a straw skep in section, and explains .f h sk 4,6Mtai FIG.
The straw skep has, however, the irredeemable fault of fixed combs, and the gradual development of the movable-frame The mov- h i ve of to-day may be said to have first appeared in able-frame hive.
When this stage of swarming is reached the bee-keeper has but to take his hiving skep, hold it under the swarm, and shake the bees into it, preparatory to transferring them into a frame-hive already prepared for their re ception.
- Straw skep in section, showing arrangement of Combs (scale g).