Bee skep making is a centuries-old tradition that dates back to the first beekeepers. But today, many craft lovers make bee skeps to add a nice, rustic decorative quality to their home or garden. However, if you do not plan on harvesting any honey, bee skeps can make an inviting home for your neighborhood bees. Enjoy!
Things You'll Need
Rubber or plastic gloves
40-lb. bag of mortar mix
Straw or hay
10-inch flower pot
Spray concrete sealant
Plastic grocery bag
Mix approximately half of the bag of mortar mix and water. The amount of water varies on the brand, but your final product should be thick like cookie dough.
Cut the straw into pieces.
Add a few handfuls of straw and approximately two cups of peat moss to your mortar. Use your hands to mix them in thoroughly.
Place your flower pot on a flat surface, upside down. Cover it with a plastic grocery bag (tuck the excess underneath the pot). Take handfuls of mortar and press it onto your mold. Blend the seams together with your hands. Once the flower pot is completely covered, smooth out any bumps with your hands.
Shape the rings of the bee skep with your fingers, a stick or spoon. Start from the top and work your way down, making them as wide as you like. Finally, scoop out a hole for the opening of the bee skep.
Rub a few handfuls of peat moss over your bee skep.
Leave the bee skep to set for a day or two. Be aware that cooler weather means longer drying time.
Spray your dried bee skep all over with concrete sealer.
Once the concrete sealer has dried (check the manufacturer's instructions for drying time), simply lift the bee skep off of the flower pot. Then, peel the plastic bag from the inside of the bee skep.
This is a messy project. Consider working outside over spread newspaper. If you would like to reuse your mold, cover it with cooking spray or a plastic bag first. If you would like to use a larger flower pot, keep in mind that you will need more mortar mix. Avoid using too much straw or peat moss. Too many additives will weaken the mortar and cause it to crumble.