My father must have been reading the dictionary again to send me this:
"Just accidently came across an interesting use of the word eke, when used as a noun.
eke (plural ekes)
(beekeeping, archaic) A very small addition to the bottom of a beehive, often merely of a few bands of straw, on which the hive is raised temporarily.
It looks like the term is still in use. http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/nateke.html