No - this is not my bee hive, but I think the old straw skeps look great, and would add character to the corner of any garden, even if they would not be as easy to use as my modern one. It seems these skeps are still being made in the UK as I found this fascinating website when looking for photo to include in this post.
Anyway, today I had a visit from the good friends who gave me my bees a few months ago, as it was time to check what had been happening inside and to assess when will be the best time to harvest the honey. I knew the girls had been working hard as the fragrance of honey wafts from the hive when it is warm, and they have been very visible on any flowers (particularly blue ones) or blossoms in the garden. I'm also sure the bees contributed to the very successful raspberry crop I am now enjoying by ensuring a high level of pollination when the canes were in flower. We were delighted to see the girls had been very productive, the frames are filling well so that honey harvest is likely to be at the end of next month and could provide as much as 15 kgs of the sticky stuff. Place your orders!
I was very pleased to send my friends home with some current garden bounty - a 2 litre ice cream carton full of freshly picked raspberries. I hope they enjoyed them.