Well, I love the way bee skeps look, but I'm not sure I'd actually encourage bees to nest in my garden. I'm glad when they stop by, but setting up house would probably be another thing. Plus, with my luck it would end up a Yellow Jacket's nest. If I could put one in my garden without it becoming a hive I'd get one.
Sadly, the bees used to be killed to collect the honey in the skeps. Modern day wooden hives are not so charming looking, but they are much more bee friendly.