In just a few easy steps, you can create this cute DIY Bee Skep Craft. Of course, no real bees will move in but this simple project brings a buzz to your Summer decor. These bee crafts can be used inside for a long lasting display, or sprayed with acrylic sealer to last a season in your bee friendly garden.
What is a Bee Skep?
Before we begin our project, let’s take just a moment to understand the term “bee skep”. What do these objects have to do with beekeeping?
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Skeps in their most basic form are straw baskets that are placed with their open end down.
Early European beekeepers would house bee colonies inside the basket with only a small hole in the side to allow bees access.
In some regions of the world, Skeps were made of mud or clay. However, coils of grass or straw was most commonly used in Europe.
Once bees arrived in the New World, beekeepers did not have the skilled craftsmen needed to create skeps of straw. Then, beekeeping in wooden hives became more popular.
Due to the inability to inspect the colony for disease, bee skeps are not used by most modern beekeepers. However, they remain a beautiful reminder of mankind’s long relationship with the honey bee.
How to Make a Craft Bee Skep
- 50 feet of 1/4″ jute cord
- 2 small plastic flower pots in oval shape
- hot glue sticks
- black paint marker
- Hot Glue Gun
- Exacto Knife or Drill Bit
Time needed: 1 hour.
Step by step instructions to make a craft bee skep
- Make a hole in bottom pot
Punch a small hole in the bottom of one of your plastic pots. This can be done with a drill bit, scissors or exacto knife – depending on the thickness of the pot.
The hole should be near the same size as the jute cord you plan to use for the project.
- Anchor Jute cord
Insert one end of the jute cord (I’m using ¼” diameter) into the hole in the bottom of the pot. Have about 3” of excess inside the pot.
Using a hot glue glue to apply a generous amount of glue to around the hole with the jute. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- Wrap pot in jute
Continue winding the jute cord around the surface of the pot, adding glue as you go to attach the cord to the pot and the previous strand.
- Finish bottom and anchor cord
Once you reach the bottom, cut the cord and glue the end tightly against the previous row.
- Create bee skep door circle
Measure and cut a piece of jute 5 inches long. Shape it into a circle and glue in place to the front of the bee skep.
- Create handle at top of skep
Skeps often have a loop at the top to make the easy to move. Cut a 3” piece of jute and form a loop to serve as a handle. Glue this to the top of the bee skep craft.
- Color in door opening
Use a black paint marker to color the cord inside the circle black. This simulates the opening to the skep.
- Trim off the frizzies
Use scissors to snip off any excess strands of jute that may be sticking out and you are done!
Creating bee themed projects is a fun way to introduce bees into your home and life. It provides and engaging way to talk to others about the importance of bees.
This encourages people to develop more bee habitat by providing water sources for bees and planting flowers that bees like.
Help promote the bee and all pollinators. Perhaps your bee skep craft could use some cute Golf Ball Bees or maybe a larger Clay Pot Honey Bee project? And if you want a nice indoor bee gift – a candy dish made using a terra cotta pot is delightful.