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. 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...:-)
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.
This stack of National Hive Brood Boxes in Red Deal has just been completed and is now ready for putting on a pallet for delivery to our beekeeper customer in Herts. After sizing it up for delivery it was decided that a single pallet would be better as it would have taken 8 individual packages to be sent by the normal courier route.
National Brood Chambers
We did have a relatively quiet period in November when I managed to get more or less up to date with the order queue but with the new season that’s now history and we’re as busy as heck and I’m currently working 7 days a week in the workshop trying to get on top of the workload. Thankfully Peak Hives tends to attract customers that understand that when ordering from a cottage industry there may be a wait between clicking ‘buy now’ and delivery. We really do appreciate our clients patience. Our customer satisfaction rate suggests they think it’s worth it.
Coming to Tideswell on 10th May – The Honey Man, by New Perspectives Theatre Company, about a bee keeper.
A four star review in The Guardian today:
I’ve been asked a number of times for these so I set aside some workshop time to make up the required jigs and ensure that they could be manufactured to a consistent high standard. That done I have now added them as a product in the left hand column and they are also an option on our National Hives. Apart from looking good, the splayed legs add stability and the longer landing board should be appreciated by both bees and beekeeper alike.
Splayed Legs Hive Stand
Of National Nucleus Hives in Western Red Cedar. These 13 were ordered to rejuvenate a Channel Island Beekeeping Association’s equipment inventory. Modesty aside I think they look a treat and hope that the clients will be as pleased with them as I am. Our 6 Hoffman Frame plus Dummy Board (which comes supplied with the nuc) configuration is proving a popular product and the fact that Peak Hives supplies them with the option of a Varroa Floor adds further benefit. Anyway, enough banging our drum here’s a piccy of them prior to shipping by pallet…
Jersey Nucleus Hives
Since starting National Hive production at Peak Hives I’ve used my trusty Sedgwick morticing machine to cut the slots for the rails to sit into brood boxes and supers. Cedar is an extremely light wood with air between the fibres therfore affording extra insulation to bees housed in a cedar hive, BUT that lightness means that on occasion the morticer can sometimes cut/crush it’s way through the timber rather than just cutting. The image below illustrates the problem…
National Hive Rail Slots
Time for a Dado head! They’re not normally available here in the UK because of our Health and Safety laws but I’ve been searching ebay for a while and found one. After making up a custom jig and some more fettling it’s doing a grand job. Nice clean precise cuts every time and it’s also slightly quicker.
Our client wishes to place his apiary with the back of his hives against a limestone wall. After having picked up his original order for a National Hive in Cedar with a standard Varroa Floor he realised that the slide out Correx tray meant that his hives would have to be 1/2 metre away from the wall. After a quick consultation with us we’ve come up with these bespoke Open Mesh Floors. On one the tray slides out to the left and on the other it slides out to the right allowing two hives to be inspected from a central position. We always try to meet any special requirements if we can. If the customers happy, we’re happy.
Custom Varroa Floors
Finally got round to making all the jigs and workarounds to make the production of Hoffman Frames viable. They’re now added to the frames section in the left hand column. We’re offering our frames in flat packs of 10 or 50 and the Hoffmans are available in standard National Hive Brood Box size and 14×12. All our frame packs come supplied with frame nails.
As is the case with all our National Hive products every stage from raw material to completed frame is done in our workshop in Tideswell.
We’ve had a number of enquiries as to when is the last date for ordering Peak Hives National Hive products to ensure timely delivery for giving as Christmas presents this year. Up at the top of the page from now until around Christmas time there’ll be a ‘last order date’ which will be continually monitored and updated to ensure delivery in time.
Hope that helps.
Here at Peak Hives we take product development seriously. When we get National Hive suggestions from customers they are always considered carefully and incorporated into our product line if they’d be a useful addition to the beekeeping experience. Hence the new Peak Hives Nucleus Hive.
6 Frame Nucleus Hive
The most noticeable improvement is our new Nucleus Hives have room for 6 frames instead of the previous 5. But also we’ve built in room to add a dummy board (which comes included) alongside the 6 frames to make inspection easier.
As can be seen from the photos there’s the optional 7 litre Ashforth Feeder sized to sit perfectly on top of the brood area. The other feeding option is provided by the feed hole in the crown board which allows the use of a contact feeder should you prefer. Also optional is the Nucleus Hive stand with landing board again sized to sit perfectly under the hive.
6 Frame Nucleus Hive
We’re the only National Hive makers to incorporate a Varroa Floor with our Nucleus Hives and with the new 6 frame Nucleus Hives and that will continue. Whether a hive is for a nuc or a large colony it’s always useful to be able to inspect for Varroa infestation. As can be seen in the photo we use yellow correx trays in our Open Mesh Floors to aid visual identification of the mite. The standard floor will also continue as an option should you prefer. Both floors come with an entrance block.
Nucleus Hive Varroa Floor
And of course we’re offering the new product in standard National Hive brood size and 14×12. All in Western Red Cedar or the more economical Red Deal.
Just added Frames and Dummy Boards to the Peak Hives product list. They can now be purchased from the left hand column along with all other Peak Hives National Hive products.
These two products have been requested umpteen times. Dummy Boards present no problem it’s just that I’m so busy with existing orders it takes some time for me to fit into the work schedule making up anything new.
Frames are another matter. Each frame consists of 6 seperately machined elements and yet they command such a low selling price. I’ve been working on this problem for a while and whilst it’s been sorted some time ago for supplying my own apiary I have been wary of offering them as a PH product up until now. Various jigs have been designed and made and then remade and then again reworked but I’m now finally confident that they can be viably produced in batches meaning I’m not having to work for two penneth an hour.
DN1 Frame Pack
So far we’re offering the bread and butter DN1 and SN1 frames in packs of 10 in the flat. Hoffman brood frames will come before the new 2012 season.
Alea Iacta Est.
For the upcoming 2012 season Peak Hives has joined forces with a local bee breeder and will be supplying Nucleus Colonies of bees. We still have to cross some ‘t’s and dot some ‘i’s but if you’re interested in a ‘nuc’ then please email. Our bee breeder is very experienced and has invested recently in some Buckfast Queens to breed from for the next season. More on this soon…
The season’s nearly over here in the Peak District. Time to pop some Apiguard on the hives and get things ready for the winter. We took over 200lb of honey off our 5 colonies and we’re jarring up to sell through local outlets. James and Alexandra are already planning what to buy with their ‘honey money’.
Anyway to ease a bit of the upcoming winter gloom here’s the winning entries for our photo competition. We have had tons of entries and it’s been VERY hard work to come up with 3 winners.
1st Prize of a complete Peak Hives Nucleus Hive goes to Paul M for this shot. It’s just fantastic and I’ve even incorporated it into the PH banner at the top of the website. Many thanks Paul.
Second prize (and it was VERY VERY hard deciding between 1st and 2nd) goes to Cora M. Just a great image! PH didn’t supply the supporting cast by the way and the pyrography must be all Cora’s work too. Brilliant and thanks for the photo! An assembled cedar super will be on it’s way.
Third goes to (this was another really hard decision as there was a super Christmas image in contention) Stephen S for this image. Also on it’s way will be an assembled cedar super.
Many, many thanks to all the PH customers who participated. It was a bit of fun and it worked well so I’ll probably do something similar next season.
Bearing in mind our order queue it’d be appreciated if the winners could be patient in receiving their prizes. I promise that they will turn up in good time for the 2012 season.
Whenever I visit an experienced beekeeper I like to see how they operate and what modifications they have made to their National Hives to see if there’s an opportunity to usefully expand the Peak Hives product range. I don’t want to manufacture anything that isn’t good for practical beekeeping. On a recent visit to one of the Chesterfield BKA members apiary I noticed that he was using polycarbonate quilts. I’ve seen them before, of course, but having received the stamp of approval of a beekeeper with many years experience I decided to add them to the PH product line. Framed in Cedar here’s No 1 in our apiary…
Peak Hives polycarbonate quilts are now available to purchase in the left hand column.
We’re off on our annual holiday tomorrow. Back in 2 weeks to apply the Apiguard and resume production.
An attempt to raise some funds for a good cause. Never tried anything like it before. Click the Link below to go to the ebay page…
Auction on Ebay to raise funds for DEC East Africa Appeal
We’re very busy!!! Lots of National Hive products being made up and sent out to PH customers. I’ve had to put the mobile phone on one side to allow me to maximise time in the workshop so apologies if I don’t answer. Best bet is to email and we’ll try to answer asap.
First pic is of a machinery upgrade. I’ve had my tenoning machine for some time now and it’s served me well. It had old style cutting heads but they are now illegal and they also require sharpening quite frequently so I’ve bitten the bullet and bought some new TCT cutting heads made by Whitehill. They are the business! Nice clean cuts every time and they won’t shoot out a piece of high speed steel at 100mph to boot.
Next is an upgrade that I’ve been looking to do for a while but have only just found a supplier. Flat pack hives don’t look their best if they are made up with clout nails. I’ve been on the lookout for galvanised lost head nails for some time. Found them! So all Peak Hives flat packs will now be supplied with galvanised nails.
Galvanised Hive Nails
Frames are on the way…DN1 and SN1 are up and running. Will add as a PH product after I’ve made up a few hundred…
And as usual I like to put a piccy of some recent orders made up in the PH workshop. Here’s a load of National Hive equipment in the newly tidied storage area awaiting dispatch.
That’s it. Workshop tomorrow. Working for yourself has many benefits but one can’t shake off the feeling that you should be in there all the time.
PS. Don’t forget the photo competition!!!
No updates recently as I’m flat out in the workshop making up orders…will put a posting on here in the next few days when time permits…
From now on the slide out trays used for Varroa inspections on Peak Hives Open Mesh Floors will be made from 4mm Yellow Correx rather than the 5mm ply previously used. This change applies to full National size Varroa Floors and our Nucleus Hive Varroa Floor.
Open Mesh Floor Improvement
At Peak Hives we take suggestions/requests from our customers seriously. Generally speaking I’d say that if a customer suggests an improvement it doesn’t always register as I’m so busy working on orders that product modification isn’t foremost in my mind but if it’s asked for again then I try to stop what I’m doing and give the matter some serious consideration and come to a decision.
The main reason for this change to Yellow Correx slide out trays is better visibility as compared to the ply trays I previously manufactured. It is much easier to spot a Varroa Mite against the Yellow Correx background than against the purpleish coloured ply.
Of course if you’re a previous Peak Hives customer and would like a Yellow Correx slide out tray then just get in touch and we can sort you out with a new tray at cost.
The season is more or less upon us and I’m too busy to take photos of everything leaving the workshop and blog it but here’s another recent order. The customer is moving from standard brood box size to 14×12 brood boxes. He had two national hives from us last season but this year wishes to move to 14×12 and expand his apiary. So there’s two fully assembled hives in cedar with 14×12 broods, a nucleus hive, an ashforth feeder and two ekes to convert his standard broods purchased last year to 14×12 size.
14x12 Hives and Ekes
After cocking up the first attempt at making the ekes (my bees have to suffer once again…) I’m now very happy with them. They just drop into the standard brood box (after removing previous metalwork of course) and you have a 14×12 brood chamber…
I’ll be able to join the debate as to whether 14×12 or brood and a half is better later in the year as I’m going to be running both side by side this season.
A couple of hives finished today. On the left is a five frame National Nucleus Hive suitable for 5 frames plus 8mm ‘wiggle’ room. On the right a full sized National Hive also from first grade cedar. Comes with a Stand with Landing Board, Varroa Floor, Standard Brood Chamber, A Framed wired queen excluder, two Supers, An Apiguard Crown Board and a Standard 4″ roof.
These are to go tomorrow to a repeat customer. It is very rewarding to find that many Peak Hives customers are satisfied with their first order and purchase again.
All the best. Nick and Adriana.
A much valued Peak Hives customer has sent me this stunning photo. It’s two Peak Hives Nationals painted up in white and set in his beautiful garden. I think the white works really well here and paint is also the best protection for any outside woodwork including hives.
Aesthetically it very much puts my apiary to shame…but you know what they say… ‘cobbler’s children…’
Still busy up here and here’s a quick picture of the order made up over the weekend (Yes including Sunday)…The order was for 3 14×12 National Hives in red deal each including a Varroa floor, a 14×12 Brood Chamber, Framed Queen Excluder, Two Supers, a Standard Crown Board and a Standard 4 inch roof. Sunday working isn’t so bad when you love your job!
Isle of Wight Order
Just chipped in a few quid to
Save Our Forests
Cedar is a superior timber for making hives partly because it has natural chemical constituents that protect it from insect and fungal attack. These chemicals can cause a side effect though in that they can react with the iron content of standard nails and cause staining if the wood is wet. I’ve been wetting the wood in picture every day for a couple of weeks and you can see the stain from the standard steel nail starting to spread. Of course this doesn’t occur if the hive is protected with paint or Danish/Linseed Oil but some prefer to leave their woodwork untreated to age and weather naturally.
On the left you can see the stained standard nail. On the right you can see no staining around the galvanized nail fixed in place by my new Air Nailer.
Cedar Test Piece
Here’s the old technology compared with the new. Hammer vs Air Nailer. Won’t be throwing the hammer away just yet but the Nailer certainly speeds up hive assembly leaves a neater finish and, using galvanized nails, gets rid of the staining issue. Peak Hives assembled National Hives will from now on be constructed using the newer method.
Hammer vs Nailer
Quite a big order this one. It’s essentially an Apiary in a box. There’s 2 Flat Pack Cedar 14 x 12 National Hives with Open Mesh Floors and Framed Queen Excluders with 3 National Supers a piece, Standard 4″ National Roof, Crown Boards and National Hive Stands with Landing Boards.
Also on the right is a 14 x 12 Nucleus Hive in Cedar with Varroa Floor.
At the back you can just make out a couple of Ashforth Feeders too. One for the full sized Hives and one for the Nucleus Hive.
Flat Pack 14x12 Apiary
I think I’ll advise the customer to buy a BIG pot of glue!!!
Christmas comes but once a year and one of our clients has given permission to show this picture of a beautifully wrapped Peak Hives National Hive given as a present. We were very worried that they might not get it in time for Christmas but as you can see it arrived in time for some luxury wrapping…
There were a few customers for hives as presents and thankfully we managed to get them all out in time for giving on the big day.
I’ve sent out a couple of flat pack hives this week but this is the first assembled British National Hive to come out of the Peak Hives workshop in 2011. As can be seen from the photo the stand is ‘legless’. I believe the customer has a bench arrangement in place and will sit the hive on this so no legs required. The hive consists of National Stand, Open Mesh Floor for Varroa control and monitoring, National Brood Box, Framed Queen Excluder, 3 National Supers, A Standard Crown Board with Porter Bee Escapes and a Standard 4 inch Flat Roof.
An Ashforth Feeder was also included with the order and a 70mm eke in Cedar to use with a plastic feeder the customer already has. Nice bit of kit if I do say so myself.
First National Hive for 2011
To celebrate the New Year and upcoming beekeeping season and as a small thank you to all our customers we are offering a Fully Assembled Peak Hives Nucleus Hive in Cedar as the top prize in a photo competition open to any Peak Hives customer. Just email us a photo of your Hive/Apiary and the best shot will win the Nuc. We’ll include Hoffman frames (a new Peak Hives product). Second prize is a Cedar Brood Box and the runner up will get a Cedar Super. All we ask is permission to put the photo into a gallery section that will feature on the Peak Hives website.
The closing date is Aug 1st 2011 when the winners will be informed. So no need to go out in the bitter cold of winter…
Good luck and thank you for your custom. Mail your photos to email@example.com
All the best for the 2011 beekeeping season!
Nick and Adriana
Trying hard to keep prices competitive we originally made our Ashforth Feeders with the idea that we would do the hard work of putting it together but let the customer finish off with wax to seal the interior from leaks.
However, whilst most have appreciated the cost reduction and been happy to apply the wax finish we’ve had a couple of customers that didn’t quite see why they should shoulder the burden of ensuring their Ashforth was leak free.
Peak Hives customers always deserve the best.
So from now on we’re keeping the price the same but applying three coats of high quality paint to the interior and guaranteeing a leak free Ashforth.
All the best and happy beekeeping!
Ashforth Feeder Improvement
Arvind Mistry visited the workshop last week. He’s a friend and a professional photographer and had been asked to do a ‘shoot’ of a production environment. I was happy to oblige and here’s a PDF of some of the shots he took.
I was more than a tad worried that the sawdust and particles in the workshop would damage his very expensive gear but he didn’t seem in the least bothered so I cracked on making up a 14×12 brood box whilst he snapped away. He (and pricey cameras) got covered in shavings and dust but some nice piccys came out of it I think.
–> Here’s the link.
Thanks to Arv.
Used to convert a standard brood box to the increasing in popularity 14×12 brood box. Simply drop it into the standard brood box add new metalwork and it’s ready for 14×12 frames. I’ve just added it as a Peak Hives product in the left hand column.
Are we in for another winter like last year only much much longer??? For my bees sake I hope not (and for mine).
New for this winter is a workshop you can work in!!! Last winter’s cold snap that lasted quite a lot longer than one would think a ‘snap’ would last more or less closed Peak Hives down while the temperatures dropped far far below ‘glue setting point’. It was also physically very draining to be in there for any length of time.
So I’ve stumped up for some Kingspan and insulated the most exposed bits. It’s already a big improvement and the rest will be insulated over the coming weeks. As testament to it’s new found cosiness here’s a picture of the lastest National Hive to emerge from the new warm and snug work environment…
Bit of an odd angled view but it’s a large 14×12 National Hive in Cedar with Stand, 3 Supers and a Gabled Roof and it’s the only way I could get it all in shot.
Well no. There’s just two as can be seen in the image below. Western Red Cedar and Red Deal. In woodworking it’s not often you come across a timber that can have quite such a gamut of colouring as that of Western Red Cedar. As can be seen in the picture the leftmost timber is Red Deal but all the others are Cedar despite them looking nothing like each other.
Red Deal and Western Red Cedar have quite different characteristics.
Western Red Cedar has long been used for construction where timber is likely to come up against the elements. It has natural oils that resist insect attack and protect it from the worst the weather can throw at it. It’s also very light. This is a big advantage when one considers the weight a beekeeper has to lug around in a super full of honey. The reason it’s light is that it has a kind of honeycomb structure in the wood (i.e. lots of air pockets) which adds to it’s usefulness too in beekeeping in that it’s a good insulator keeping the precious bees warm in the winter.
Red Deal’s main advantage is price. It’s certainly cheaper and if you don’t mind the extra weight it’s perfectly good as a timber in National Hive production. It can also last a very long time IF looked after. Looking round town houses in neighbouring Buxton it’s remarkable how many still have front doors that were constructed in Victorian times. What’s made them last so long? Paint!
I’ve had a few requests for stands for our Nucleus Hives so they are a new Peak Hives product which can now be found in the left hand column under the Standard Nuc Hives and the 14×12 Nucs. The PH Nuc hives do look good when sat on one. They are (as are the Nucleus Hives) 221mm wide by the National Hive standard depth of 460mm.
Nucleus Hive Stand
A new product for Peak Hives and a few photos of recent items that have left the workshop.
After a suggestion/request from an experienced beekeeper from the Leicestershire and Rutland BKA Peak Hives will now be offering the ‘Apiguard Crown Board’. It incorporates a modification to the standard Crown Board adding a 3/4 inch strip round the normally flat side of the standard Crown Board. The purpose of the extra strip is to facilitate Apiguard treatment. Under normal use the board is placed with the beespace side downwards but when it’s time to apply Apiguard (a Thymol based product which used in conjunction with other treatments has so far proven effective against Varroa) the Apiguard Crown Board is flipped over giving the 3/4 inch extra space for the Apiguard tray to sit in. A simple modification but effective against the Varroa mite.
As with the normal Crown Board it also doubles up as a clearer board with the supplied Porter Bee Escapes.
It can be purchased either as part of a flat pack or assembled hive or seperately from the left hand column.
Here’s a few snaps of the new product.
Apiguard Crown Board 1
Apiguard Crown Board 2
Apiguard Crown Board 3
I think the photos more or less explain the way it works. Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Now here’s a few photos of recent orders. We’re still very busy and this is just a snapshot of a few that have been made up and shipped to hopefully happy Peak Hives customers.
Recent Cedar Hive
Recent Deal Hive
A Couple of Flat Peak Nucleus Hives
Update complete for now. I have a number of products in the pipeline but have to concentrate on orders for the time being.