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Samuel Linnaeus's storified skep

Samuel Linnaeus (1718-1797), brother of Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) the taxonomist, published his book Kort men Tillförlitelig Bij-Skjötsel1 in 1768, from which the two pages presented here were scanned.2

The hive illustrated in the bottom right of the plate below is a storified skep that has been extended with circular ekes each fitted with spales  (thin wooden sticks) to provide anchorage for the comb.

vonlinne.jpg (282969 bytes)

Lithograph A
A common hive in the old style
L, L, L, L – spales
G – ring under the hive
n – the entrance or flight hole

Lit. B
Smaller hive, suitable for subsequent and small swarms, comprises upper (I) and lower (K) sections and wooden plug (h) at top.

Lit. F
Inside view of a ring showing crossed spales

Lit. O
Wooden floor with alighting area (top)

Lit. P (bottom left)
A loose bottom made of straw
p – opening of 5 inches (circa 12.5 cm) in diameter

Lit. C
h – wooden plug
D – lid or top section of hive
E, E, E – rings


1) Samuel Linnaeus, Kort men tillförlitelig bij-skjötsel (Brief but trustworthy beekeeping manual), Wexjö, 1768, reprinted in facsimile 1975.

We thank Erik Österlund for drawing our attention to this material and supplying the scan.