Skep – Sisal Rope

Update: May 2020

Below text and photos supplied by Dan from Sydney Native Bees

⋒. Every skep has a story .⋒.

& this one has just begun.. Having recently been called out to a natural habitat nest in dire need of rescuing from a disaster of a tree removal scene, being left completely removed & exposed from their once tall timber home, it was time to act quick & give this colony a new and secure place to call home.

The skep!

Last December, at the 2nd Australian Native Bee Conference, I was lucky enough to score Steve’s epic little purpose built, stingless bee skep. He was very generous to give mates rates & for me to drag it back to Sydney, put a local TC colony in it & we agreed to exhibit it together at the next ANBA conference hive display! It has been a few months since, and I couldn’t help myself to work on the internals of the skep.I’ve created an ‘observation ovoid’ out of 2 glass sections, plus a timber middle with an entrance tube that connects to the outer rope skep layer when placed on top. The glass ovoid is wrapped in a cotton layer before the skep cover placement.

The rescue!

The colony in need was to be placed into the skep later into the night of the day it was removed from the disaster site.

• Stage1 went rather quickly and cleanly, although it was extremely difficult considering the fragility, volume and intricacy of this nest. The Queen was lost, and nowhere near the two long sections of brood, although I was very lucky to find her in the dark, on some bark, with many workers protecting her.
Once everything important was secured inside the glass ovoid and skep, it was wrapped up and kept inside overnight.

• Stage2 was getting the remaining population out of the left over bits & pieces (literally) of broken log and batumen plate, & then lured into their new entrance to their new habitat. I did this a new site through out the day, away from any other hives, gently and patiently until dusk, when they can be wrapped up again and brought home to their new position.
Im now keen to watch them settle in throughout the warm weekend ahead!

Always more to come

.⋒. A collaborative effort & a Big Thank You to :
• Steve Flavel – Native Bee Hives (speak sood buddy)
www.nativebeehives.com
• Suzie – Sydney local, rescue phone caller – the neighbour of the property who felled the tree.
• Australian Native Bee Association for bringing like minded people together!
www.australiannativebee.org.au
• & every one involved in
Sydney Native Bee Rescue
www.sydneynativebees.com

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.⋒. The 2020 ovoid observation skep .⋒.
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Tetragonula carbonaria .⋒. Indigenous Honey Bees