British National Beehives
Based in a small workshop in Tideswell in the Peak District we make British National Beehives out of 1st grade Western Red Cedar, high quality Red Deal or, when available, locally sourced Western Red Cedar according to the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) Modified National Hive Plans. Everything we sell we make here in the Peak District. We also stock other items of Beekeeping Supplies including Frames, Foundation Wax and Hive Tools. The driving forces behind peak-hives.co.uk are sustainability and quality workmanship. Sustainability because, well it matters quite a bit we think and quality workmanship because customer satisfaction is paramount.
Fully Assembled National Hives
Flat Pack National Hives
Want to see your National Hive being made? Here's what's going on in the workshop right now. The image is updated every 10 minutes during working hours. Click to see full size...
The rest of the centre column is an ongoing blog of what's new at peak-hives.co.uk and other items of interest...veg garden...renewables etc, but please don't let reading about the allotment distract you from placing your order...:-)
Melvyn Bragg is currently presenting a radio programme on the history of t’ North…
Our National Hives are the ones Melvyn talks to Adrian about at the start of the Programme. It was only after completing the hives for the project that I found that the worker bee was the symbol of Manchester.
We’re still very busy in the workshop but have afforded ourselves a few days off during the summer and would like to thank our customers for their patience.
An item that will soon be added to the Peak Hives product line is the Top Bar Hive. They are proving very popular and despite them not being National Hives we will happily add them to the Peak Hives family.
As a Winter project I was asked to make the 50 first Eat Natural Hives. Quite good fun and using recycled pallets the specially designed hive looks a treat…
There’s a video of me making them at
Usamah from the East London Mosque sent me this image of their Peak Hives Observation Hive a couple of days ago. It’s sat in a courtyard in the Mosque. They seem to have it set up as Brood, Super then Brood. Must be a reason but it’s looking good anyway.
ELM Observation Hive
We are very busy at the moment as it’s the height of the season and we get frequent calls of the nature ‘…help I have a swarm and need….’. We do our best to help but with us being a small business it’s hard to keep up with demand sometimes and we definitely don’t like to mess with the order queue for our National Hives.
A month or so ago I was asked if we’d like to be in the FT in an article based around Artisans…
Here’s a link to the article.
I’ll write more on this later but for now must get back to the workshop to make up some hives…
Not directly bee related I know but I do like to put a thing or two about our allotment and polytunnel in the blog every now and then. Peach trees blossom very early in the year even before they get leaves and before bees and other pollinating insects are around. So, a tickle with a sable paint brush around all the flowers is the way to spread the pollen and hopefully get a good crop. This is the second year for our peach trees in the polytunnel and they are doing superbly. Last year even though they were only planted the Autumn/Winter before they produced several of the most juicy and surprisingly large and tasty fruit. This year the trees are covered in blossom so it looks like we might be in for a bumper crop.
We’re very busy as usual at this time of year and have sent many Cedar National Hives out to customers. It’s very gratifying to see so many repeat customers. We’ve also sent several of our hives to Europe. Last week a Peak Hives Top Bar Hive found it’s way to the Mosel Region of Germany. Our 6 Frame plus a Dummy Board Nucleus Hives are also selling well…must remember to put up the prices…;-)
At the start of every beekeeping season I invest in new blades for all my machines. It’s not always so urgent because Cedar is a very forgiving timber to work and doesn’t cause too much wear on the TCT on a blade. But it’s more or less become a tradition in the Peak Hives workshop and it is nice when the new blades cut for the first time…hot knives through butter!!!
We’re now busy with our standard National Hive products so I can’t take on any ‘specials’ until the back end of this season…but I do like the odd Observation Hive or Top Bar. Nice to make a variety of things.
Our customer is returning to beekeeping after a period of some years away from the hobby. Now that she has opportunity again she said she’s really looking forward to getting back into it and has ordered enough National Hives and Nucleus equipment to see her through at least the first season. There’s two full National Hives in Cedar and a Nucleus Hive also in Western Red Cedar.
The customer also bought Ashforth feeders for the full sized hives and the Nucleus.
National Hive Apiary
I think it’s also time for me to cut a path to my hives kept in my parents garden. They were put out of the way from my father who, when a few years ago was suffering with early stage Parkinsons, would stand right next to them to show his interest. So my bees had to be hidden away from him in the bushes where they’ve remained until now. A machete may be required to beat a new path to their door.
We are getting busy again now and it’s looking like a full on beekeeping/hive making season ahead. So head down and fire up the machines for National Hive making. I do the odd special request every now and again too as can be seen from the blog entries…
Our bee breeder Helen has been in touch with me to say she is back making up Nucleus Colonies after moving house.
Please see the attached Flier she sent us…
Peak Hives – bees for sale
She’s also running some Beekeeping Courses.
In amongst the standard National Hives in Cedar it’s nice to get the odd request for something different. Our client asked for a Palmer Style Double Nucleus Hive in 14×12 size. It took a bit of head scratching and figuring out but here’s the result. The main brood chamber is split into two with two mesh floors pointing in opposite directions so the bees know which entrance is theirs. The brood then has two 14×12 height but half width ‘supers’ on top which each have their own crown board with ventialtion holes and porter bee escapes. This is then topped off with a 6 inch roof. I hope our client Simon has a great season with it and we’ll be shipping it out today.
Palmer Style Nucleus Hive
Of course our bread and butter standard product is the top quality National Hive and it’s so nice to see that we already have plenty of repeat customers placing orders for this beekeeping season.
Here’s to a successful 2016!
And a Happy Beekeeping Season for 2016 from Peak Hives!
I hope this current unseasonal weather gives way to some more normal sharp frosts and perhaps a bit of snow to keep the children happy. our bees should be fine as we left on a full super of honey and unless there’s some significant cold weather heading our way that should see them through.
Meantime here’s a picture of a custom National Hive in Cedar built with half sized Supers. The customer didn’t want to be hefting full National Supers around and asked if I could make them 230mm wide instead of the standard National size of 460mm. At peak production times it would be harder to accomodate special requests as we are so busy with Standard National Hive orders there’s little time to find for anything out of the ordinary but in the quieter parts of the year we’re always happy to make non standard orders.
National Hive w Half Supers
Here’s to 2016…
We’ve had many requests for these and now the beekeeping season has quietened down I’ve finally got round to making the required jigs so they can be made consistently to a high standard. The Snelgrove method of swarm control is well documented and a very good description can be found from the Barnsley Beekeepers website Snelgrove Method
As with all our standard products they are made to National Hive size.
These two Peak Hives products are just about to be dispatched to our customers who are getting ready for the 2016 beekeeping season. Thanks to them for ordering during the quieter part of the season! They are a full sized National Hive in Western Red Cedar with a 14×12 Brood Chamber and one of our popular 6 frame National Nucleus Hives along with a Nucleus Hive Super also in Cedar. The customer for the Nucleus Hive already had one from us in 2015 and ordered another because he said it had been very useful for queen rearing in his first beekeeping season.
2016 Season Hives
On another note…listening to Inside Science the other day I noticed an interesting piece of work on identifying the curative properties of honey.
Quote from BBC…
“Bees and antimicrobial drugs
The antibacterial properties of honey have been exploited for thousands of years, but now scientists at the University of Cardiff are using honeybees to collect and identify plant-derived drugs which could be used to treat antibiotic resistant hospital pathogens. By screening honey for these plant compounds and identifying the plant through the pollen grains in the honey, researchers can narrow down the active ingredients and even exploit this to get bees to make medicinal honey.”
An interesting part of the report stated that all plantlife in Wales had been DNA fingerprinted so pollen collected from the bees pollen sacs could be DNA matched to the plant it came from…
No doubt that debate will go on but it does lean towards there being something of substance to the Manuka Honey/Hay Fever argument.
These two Top Bar Hives were ordered some time ago and are now ready to be shipped out to our customer Richard who lives in France. Apparently once our previous Top Bar Hive had been seen on the Peak Hives website no other would do. Nice to know our quality workmanship is appreciated. They are Cedar and have hinged viewing panels for less intrusive inspections. It’s a nice change to make a ‘special’ but our customer was also very patient and understood that we had to get on with our standard National Hive orders and work on these as and when we could. One day I’ll make one for myself as they do look an interesting way of beekeeping.
Top Bar Hives in Cedar
We are about to have our annual holiday so enquiries and orders for our National Hive products received while we are away will be dealt with upon our return. All the best. Nick and Adriana.
We’re mad mad mad busy making our Cedar National Hives. We haven’t had any quiet period this time around as we have fortunately had many returning customers which is great. I’m currently doing 7 day weeks (taking Sunday afternoons off to have a breather and do a bit in the polytunnel) and even so still struggling to fulfill all orders in good time.
One thing I have had opportunity to do though is an upgrade in the workshop. The crosscut saw is about the most used machine in the workshop and has up to now had a Beech fence with a home made fence stop. It’s been accurate but every now and then I would have to fashion a new fence stop to make sure all was working correctly. Accuracy wasn’t the problem with it though. As a home made solution it tended to be awkward at times and needed too much maintenance so last week I splashed out on a Datum FlipStop. Installed it and a new Ash fence last night with the difference that can be seen in the pictures below. Very pleased so far…
All the best to all our customers. Our National Hives are still our bread and butter product and we thank our customers for their patience.
Here’s a National Observation Hive which has just left the workshop on it’s way to Scotland. Taken some time in the making and I prefer to do these specials when it’s the quiet season so I can spend a little extra time on the machining and getting it just right. Many thanks to David for his patience. It would have left the Peak Hives workshop last week but we have had a dump of snow and the gritters don’t come up our lane these days so it had to wait until the courier van could get to us.
Observation Hive Closed
Observation Hive Open
For now that’s the specials done with as we are very busy with orders for our National Hives and looking forward to a great 2015 beekeeping season.
After many many requests from our customers I’m pleased to announce that we now stock foundation wax. British Standard in Deep, Shallow and 14×12. We can’t hold a full gamut of wax but we’ve selected the most useful sizes of the wired foundation to stock. Our mainstay is of course National Hives in Cedar and the more economical Red Deal but we want to be able to offer everything you’ll need to get a hive up and running so adding foundation to the Peak Hives product line is a big step forwards for us.
Peak Hives Foundation Wax
It can be found near the frames and plastic frame ends lower down the left hand column.
All the best and happy beekeeping for the upcoming season.
We now stock plastic frame ends to fit on to SN1 or DN1 frames. Many beekeepers use self spacing Hoffman Style DN4 or 14×12 Frames in their National Hives but there is an argument that the shoulders of the Hoffman frames can pose a risk to the queen when removing the frames as she could be squished between the frame shoulders. So we have decided to stock plastic frame ends to help those using DN1 or SN1 frames. Many experienced beekeepers don’t bother with the spacers and just space by eye.
The Plastic Frame Ends can be found in the left hand column near the bottom.
We’ve started the new year with a flood of orders for our National Hive products so it looks like a busy year ahead. Happy New year to all our customers past and future and happy beekeeping for 2015.
Here’s an incremental improvement to a Peak Hives product. I needed to order new material for our Polycarbonate National Hive Quilts. The new transparent material is 3mm thick instead of the old 2mm. It’s a small improvement that adds stiffness. I try to look for opportunities to make changes/add products to our National Hive range when the opportunity arises.
Polycarbonate Quilt Update
Despite the current weather and season our National Hive order book is still full. I will make time soon though to set up the making of a batch of frames. DN1, SN1, DN4 and 14×12 Hoffman are our usual range and I’ll be making up around 1000 of each…repetitive and tedious work but it needs to be done ready for next season.
Our customer emailed to ask if we could make a specific height double stand. After exchanging a couple of emails we had a design and at this time of year I can fit in the odd custom job. It’s 700mm high and designed to take two National Hives.
Double Hive Stand in Cedar
I was only supposed to make up a flat pack but got carried away and made it up. Suppose it means I like being in the workshop at least..
Apart from a few small items to be shipped tomorrow and orders that are confirmed for when we return these two National Hives in Western Red Cedar are the last complete hives to be made up before our annual holiday. They comprise Sloping Leg Stand with landing board, Varroa Mesh Floor with slide out yellow Correx Varroa inspection tray, 14×12 Brood Chambers, Framed Queen Excluder, 2 Supers, Ashforth Feeders and Crown Boards with Porter Bee Escapes. The client is to keep them in his garden so has opted for the Gabled Roof rather than the standard 4″ Flat Roof.
National Hive with Gabled Roof
We’re back in the workshop at the end of August. Please feel free to place orders and we’ll attend to them upon our return.
Happy Beekeeping!!! Nick & Adriana.
From today 26th July all Peak Hives orders will be made up and dispatched after we return from our annual holiday. We thank all our customers and hope you all have had a great beekeeping season. There’s been plenty of swarming but it also looks like a good honey crop is coming.
Please feel free to place orders for our National Hive and Nucleus Hives. We will be returning to full production again upon our return.
All the best
Nick, Adriana and Fam.
We’re very busy at this time of year and things get a bit hectic. Today I hit the machines early and worked hard to get out as many orders as possible and clear the queue down a little. None of the orders were for full National Hives but in total I’ve made up 10 Supers, 2 14×12 Brood Chambers, 2 Travelling Screens, a Polycarbonate Quilt, an Apiguard Crown Board and 10 Queen Excluders. Including packaging up time and booking it in with the couriers etc etc it was a good days work…
Time for a curry!!!
For the growing season 2014! The Polytunnel is now up and running after a lot of hard graft. 54 feet by 14 feet so lots of room to grow in. Apart from the usual toms, cukes, strawberries and peppers the plan is to propagate bee friendly plants for sale through the Peak Hives website. I’ve started off with Cotoneaster which are now coming on nicely. We’ve got 8 raised beds each 8ft by 4ft and a couple of smaller ones for the children to learn a bit of horticulture. One worry is it’s near to our apiary so I’m hoping we don’t have problems with bees getting caught inside.
Peak Hives Polytunnel
Here’s a picture of recent products coming out of the workshop. A couple of our popular 6 Frame plus a Dummy Board National Nucleus Hives in Western Red Cedar. The customer asked for extra height on the stands and also ordered Nucleus Hives sized queen excluders and supers. We’re getting busier and busier now that the weather seems to be picking up and I’ll probably have to change the turnaround time soon.
Two Nucleus Hives
This combination of a Cedar National Hive Observation Brood Chamber and Polycarbonate Quilt are to be used by a Beekeeping Association when they run their introductory beekeeping courses later in the Spring. It should allow the novice beekeepers chance to have a very good look at the colony without actually opening up the hive and disturbing the bees. We’re getting busier now that the days are starting to lengthen and people are beginning to think about their apiaries once again. Here in the Peak District there’s still plenty of time for wintery weather so I won’t be going near our bee hives for ages yet.
Observation Brood Chamber
Here at Peak Hives we’re gearing up for the 2014 season here’s the latest delivery of first grade Western Red Cedar delivered to us by our timber supplier. It really does look super quality material. After briefly changing suppliers for a cheap deal on short lengths it’s a relief to be back with the supplier who has provided us with top quality timber for a number of years. We’ve always found that quality of relationship is very important with those who we deal with.
I’ve been asked a few times about whether it’s best to buy Assembled hives or Flat Pack. I would say that the flat pack option should only be chosen if you’re a competent woodworker with the right tools and a suitable place to assemble. It’s also useful to have seen a National Hive before or better still already own one. So if in doubt choose an Assembled National Hive as a safer option and then perhaps if you need to expand your apiary later try a flat pack.
Last year we managed to get approx 120lb of honey from our small apiary and that included leaving 2 full supers on each hive as we nearly lost colonies through starvation due to the late cold snap in April. Hopefully with the extra stores all our colonies with go through this years winter and we’ll get as good a honey crop as 2013.
One of our existing clients requested this Top Bar Hive. It’s been a very interesting build and having seen it I’d love to have one myself but alas this is shipping tomorrow to our client. It’s made of Western Red Cedar and has a hinged viewing panel as well as a Varroa Mesh floor and a mechanism for counting Varroa drop. About this time of year I can take a little time away from the bread and butter business of National Hive making and take on these ‘specials’. It has been a bit of a labour of love. I shouldn’t really have spent so much time on it but pride in my work led me to dedicate perhaps rather more time and effort than I should.
Top Bar Hive in Cedar
I can imagine the management of one of these Top Bar Hives is quite different to a National Hive and if I do get time I’ll make myself one for our apiary. They look fun.
Top Bar Viewing Panel
It’s near enough Christmas now and any orders received from today onwards won’t be delivered in time for Christmas Day delivery. We wish all our customers past, present and future a merry Christmas, happy New Year and happy beekeeping for 2014
This batch of our 6 Frame National Nucleus Hives in Western Red Cedar are going to one of our repeat customers. They’ve ordered two 14×12 National Nuc Hives and some of our Nucleus Hive Supers to go with them. Also Ashforth Feeders. A new item was requested as well. I’m always happy to accommodate special requests if there’s time and it’s a sensible idea. This one was for Queen Excluders sized to fit on top of our Nucleus Hives.
Nucleus Hive Full Set
Nucleus Hive Queen Excluder
Essentially our customer intends to use our Nucs for full colonies or some such similar idea. What with the extra size of our Nucleus Hives and the Supers it should be possible.
Earlier on in the year we were approached by a visitor attraction to build an observation hive to be installed for public viewing. We were, as usual, too busy building our National Hives so we couldn’t accommodate them at the time. Now that the main season is over I can make up special requests and this is the result
Observation Hive 2
It will be wall mounted and takes 3 DN1 brood frames and an SN1 super frame as specified by the customer. I was concerned that having only 4 frames it might be too small but the client assures me that they have seen similar observation hives run successfully over long periods. They are also quite well in with local beekeepers so should have assistance on hand should they need it. I’m currently discussing with the customer as to whether I travel up to the lake district where the attraction is to fit the hive. Hopefully I will be and can make a weekend of it and do my best to get up Scafell.
After having had several customers request these I finally found time to seek out the right mesh and make some up so they’re now added as a Peak Hives product in the left hand column. In the past I’ve seen some of these done with quite a wide mesh hole. We’ve chosen to use a small mesh hole to reassure that no bees are going to escape on that journey up the M1.
I’ve also added the National Hive 6″ Roof as a flat pack option.
Last order of raw materials for National Hive manufacture this season. One Cubic Metre of Canadian Western Red Cedar.
A Cubic Metre of Cedar
Together with what’s already in the store we should have enough for our National Hive and Nucleus Hive orders up to Christmas. It means I can spend a bit of time at the end of each day out of the workshop on other projects and the current job is erecting our polytunnel. 54 feet by 14 feet with double doors at either end. Should be just what we need to extend the growing season up here in the Peak District. Apart from Strawberries etc we will also be using it to start a micro nursery of bee friendly plants. I’ve an extensive list of plants sent us by the British Beekeepers Association and need to decide on a couple of dozen which are not too difficult to propagate to get started.
Here’s our entry for Tideswell and Eyam Carnivals this year. A friend suggested the theme of bees and beekeeping and I was happy to make up a WBC for a change. The colony reached about 15 bees in the end and there were a few of us as beekeepers with smokers etc. All good fun but we didn’t win a prize. I wasn’t expecting to when we saw the floats other teams had put in. They spend months in barns making amazing floats. One lot had converted ride on lawnmowers into the Whacky Races. Dick Dastardly, Penelope Pitstop, Red Baron, Pat Pending etc…
Peak Hives Carnival Float
It’s back to the workshop tomorrow. We still have a large order book for our National Hive products and it will be hard going after the holiday but customers are waiting.
Beekeeper and journalist Bill Turnbull has made an interesting program for Horizon re bee decline.
Amongst other reasons for the problems our bees are experiencing presented in the piece was the role of the controvertial pesticide ‘Neonicotinoids’. They act on the insect nervous system and a compelling piece of evidence was submitted when they showed bee disorientation after exposure to ‘Neonics’.
I’ve grabbed the screen from iplayer showing the flight path of bees exposed to the pesticide and bees who haven’t been exposed. According to the program the test results have been validated using hundreds of bees.
1. Flight path of bee not exposed to Neonics (found hive through landmark recognition)
2. Flight path of ‘lost bee’ after exposure to Neonics
The program did say that there might be more than one cause for the problems including varroa, intensive farming etc etc but as an interested amateur beekeeper concerned for the environment after seeing this program I think we need to reconsider the use of such chemicals. After all if it is actually affecting the bees brains might it not be rewiring our own…
Once again at the centre of the controversy is big money. Bayer/Monsanto. The UK government lobbied heavily and voted against the current EU 2 year moratorium on the use of Neonicotinoids.
After a very busy season making our Cedar National Hive beekeeping equipment our annual holidays are coming up so any orders placed from today 02/08/2013 will be made up upon our return in the first week of September. Many thanks to all our clients new and old.
Nick & Adriana.
Got a call today from one of the local Youth Hostels. They have a healthy colony that for some years has resided in a roof and it had swarmed. Nick, the manager, called and asked if I could capture the swarm as he was concerned about the youngsters in the hostel.
As quick as I could I got together all the requisite National Hive items and donned my bee suit and headed down there. Lovely swarm of bees hanging in a tree bough at chest height that was easily pulled down into the hive and snipped off with secateurs. New colony for our apiary!!! Tomorrow I’ll be off down to the apiary to put a feeder on and open up the entrance. With a bit of luck and sugar they’ll build up for the winter and won’t be ‘chasers’. Last swarm we had were chasing me out of the veg garden.
France hols (2 weeks) beckons and after a busy season we’re all ready for a break.
Added to the hive options and also added into the left hand side bar of the Peak Hives site now is our new 6″ National Roof. It’s been something asked for several times and I have made it FOC as a special but as it’s a pretty popular option I thought I’d add it to the product line up.
Bees aren’t the only creatures to ‘make increase’ and our expanding brood has ended up in my buying a new ‘people carrier’ vehicle. Had a tear in my eye when the old Berlingo went but the new car’s been well received by the family so a good buy overall. Had the PH logo done on the back again by Hotline Signs in Buxton. Looks a treat.
Peak Hives New Vehicle
Here’s the latest batch of Western Red Cedar delivered to the workshop. We now buy it by the cubic metre. It doesn’t sound like alot but we’ll get quite a few beehives out of the couple of cubic metres in the picture.
2 Cubes of WRC
Finally, here’s a picture of an ‘Apiguard Quilt’. The customer suggested it and we try to please. It should do the trick quite nicely as it would allow a quick peek to see if the treatment has been taken without disturbing the colony.
Latest lineup finished today in the Peak Hives workshop. The customer is, I believe, writing an article on beekeeping for a National Sunday Supplement which we’re very excited about. Would be great to see some of our National Hives in a widely distributed Sunday. Apart from our website we don’t advertise and we’re always busy so the thought of a deluge of orders the Monday after publication is a little daunting but in today’s economic gloom it’s definitely better to be worried about having too much work than too little.
Each hive comprises of National Stand, National Brood Chamber, 14×12 Eke, 2 Supers, Framed Queen Excluder, Apiguard Crown Board, Gabled Roof, Ashforth Feeders, Top Bee Space, all in first grade Western Red Cedar. The Nucleus Hive is one of our own popular 6 frames plus the supplied dummy board with a varroa floor again in Cedar.
Given that we’re due about a foot of snow overnight it’s unlikely to leave the workshop tomorrow. Just have to work round them until the courier can get!
On Monday I delivered Peak Hives biggest order to date for our Cedar National Hives to our customer in South Wales. They are involved in a transnational project regarding bees and biodiversity and a part of the project involved running apiaries and educational workshops in their area. For sensible reasons I won’t say exactly where they are. They had already taken a delivery last season from us for 33 hives and were happy to then go on to order another larger order.
Many thanks to Rob, Gareth and all involved in the project for placing your orders with Peak Hives.
It’s been a big job for a small business like ours but I finished off the last Varroa Floors on Friday and can now get back to the standard order queue. Thanks to all Peak Hives customers for your orders and your patience.
A very cross section indeed. I’d made this National Brood Chamber up out of first quality cedar and after sanding it and finishing with metal runners placed it upon the rest of the order I was working on. Summat not right there! I’d made the sides about 35mm too short! So after a mild curse it was destined for firewood. Makes a nice cross section of a Brood Chamber though so here’s a piccy before it went on the fire.
Brood Chamber Cross Section
One of our school customers wanted an observation hive and sent me an image of one they had seen to see if I could make a copy. They also wanted it to be compatible with frames taken from their existing Peak Hives National Hive so as to facilitate colony management etc. The photo they sent me was of a hive based upon the Langstroth so it did take a bit of modifying to make it National Hive compatible but here’s the result.
National Observation Hive
National Observation Hive
National Observation Hive
As you can see with the hinged doors open and the polycarbonate quilt it will make for easy viewing of the entire colony. I added toggle latches to hold the floor to the brood chamber and to the modified super above the brood so as to make sure there weren’t any mishaps whilst the hive was being observed. I’m pleased with the result and think our client will be too.
We’ve been having a nightmare getting deliveries out as we are well off the route the gritters and ploughs cover. If there’s a hint of snow in the UK Tideswell always gets it bad.
One customer, Jim from Sheffield, decided to pick up his flat pack National Hive from the workshop but he had to abandon his car in the centre of the village and walk the rest of the way. After boxing up his hive it was clear that carrying it wasn’t on so Jim’s order became the first Peak Hives product to be delivered by sledge.
Thanks for bringing the sledge back Jim and happy beekeeping!
From all of us at Peak Hives to all our customers, past, present and future…have a wonderful Christmas.
Our colonies here in the cold, wet and windy Peak District have been tucked away with a kilo of baker’s fondant and a slab of insulation on top of the crown board. I’ll heft the hives in Jan 2013 and put more fondant on if needs be.
Here’s hoping all your colonies make it through the winter and ever the optimist let’s look forward to a bumper honey crop for 2013.
Nick, Adriana & Fam
Here’s the latest order being checked over in the workshop. A complete Apiary for a school in Shropshire. Comprising 3 fully assembled National Hives in Cedar each with a Varroa Floor, 2 Supers, 14 x 12 brood chamber, Framed Queen Excluder, Apiguard Crown Board with Porter Bee Escapes and a Gabled Roof. PLus there’s a couple of our popular Nucleus Hives which come with Varroa Floors and a dummy board and will take up to 6 frames of bees.
We get alot of orders from schools and it’s nice to think of our products being used in educating potential future beekeepers. Given the size of the order I’ll be putting these hives into our van and delivering in person tomorrow.
Research conducted by the USDA shows that a 2″ gap between the Varroa floor mesh and the collection tray results in none of the living Varroa mites making their way back to the hive when they drop. With only a half inch gap all of the living mites that dropped made their way back to the colony with a graduation between the two extremes.
Our Cedar National Hive Varroa Floors already had a wide gap (over 1 3/4″) but I had a request for some 2″ gap floors and have decided to make that the Peak Hives standard as shown in the picture below. From now on all Peak Hives National Hive Open Mesh Floors will come with the 2″ gap.
2 inch varroa floor drop
Managed to get on top of the order queue. With 6 large orders going today it means I can mostly concentrate on a huge order that doesn’t need delivering until Jan 2013 and fit in a little time for my own projects…
National Hives aren’t the only thing made from Western Red Cedar. It’s a bit off topic for a National Hive maker but here’s how our Freedom 15′ Cedar Strip Canadian canoe is shaping up.
Canadian Cedar Strip Canoe
I’ve been grabbing 20 mins here and there to do work on it now for over a year but now that the high season madness has subsided I can fit in a bit more time along with my son James (part of the idea is that he sees the value in taking time over – and finishing – a project). We’ve just done fibreglassing and epoxy…When finished I’ll pop some ‘on the water’ piccys on the Peak Hives blog.
I’ve also updated the order turnaround time in the right hand column and it’s now approx 2 weeks from order to delivery for one of our Cedar or Red Deal National Hive products.
We’re back from our annual family trip to the Vendee and back into the workshop.
This client likes to use a double brood chamber on his nucleus colonies and asked if we could make up an extra brood chamber in nucleus size. We’re always keen on custom orders and here’s the result…
Double Brood Nuc
As with all Peak Hives products it is manufactured to National Hive standard dimensions. But we do our Nucleus Hives for 6 frames plus a dummy board (supplied) for easier manipulation.
What do you get when you cross-pollinate bees and the Church? A Peak Hives National Hive on top of Manchester Cathedral!
Adrian (Peak Hives customer and also an Honorary Canon at the Cathedral) emailed me…
‘…The project is beginning to take shape now. Manchester Cathedral is very much a working cathedral – very involved in the city and highly active at a social level. We have a Volunteer Project – for young people struggling to get a step on the ladder of life. The Cathedral Apiary project is part of that. We will be training up individuals in beekeeping – but there is a level of involvement beyond that. We will take the different elements of it – building hives/frames etc, managing the hives, extracting and selling honey, and use of other products of the hive – as a way of getting people to learn how to start and work up a project and follow it through – so that they can use these skills in other fields. It will be a rolling programme of development…’
Many thanks Adrian for choosing Peak Hives to supply the project.
Nick & Adriana.
Quick update and a piccy. We’re still busy but will soon thankfully be taking a couple of weeks holiday in the Vendee (and really looking forward to it). The picture is of one of our 6 Frame Nucleus Hives but this time the customer ordered the full set. From the bottom up…Nucleus Hive Stand with Splayed Legs and Landing Board, Nucleus Hive Varroa Floor, Brood Chamber (which comes supplied with a Dummy Board for easier manipulation), Nucleus Hive super, Nucleus Hive Ashforth feeder, Crown Board and Deep Roof with enough space to take a feeder.
Our bee breeder Helen has some strong nucleus colonies available for pick up over the next couple of weeks. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pass on details or visit her new website at Helen’s Living Garden. The nucs are Buckfast x Caucasian bees on at least 6 frames with all stages of brood with stores and a marked home bred queen. All in accordance with FERA recommendations for nuclei sales. Each nucleus will have been treated against varroa prior to collection.
Time to respond to customer requests. I’ve had numerous enquiries as to whether I’d make a ‘Super’ for a Nucleus Hive. Well here it is (See pic below). It’s sized to sit atop of our 6 Frame Nucleus Hive and comes with fitted metal runners. The work involved in making one is more or less the same as for a full sized National Hive Super so unfortunately they can’t be sold for half price for the small amount of material that’s saved. But they’ve been requested a good few times now and we try our best to satisfy demand.
Nucleus Hive Super
They are now available to purchase in the left hand column. All the best and happy beekeeping. Nick and Adriana.
Quick shot of the order finished today. Two Nucleus Hives in Cedar with Varroa Floors and our new Splayed Leg Hive Stands. At Peak Hives we put as much work and attention to detail in making our Nucleus Hives as we do into making our full sized National Hives. In fact the time it takes making one is not far off about the same as making a full sized hive as they have essentially all the same components but scaled down. Stand, Varroa Floor, Brood Chamber, Crown Board and Roof.
All the best. Nick.