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British National Beehives

Based in a small workshop in Tideswell in the Peak District we make Highest Quality British National Beehives out of 1st grade American Western Red Cedar or High Quality Red Deal 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.

Cedar Scarcity.

Unfortunately building materials are extremely scarce at the moment and pricing is highly volatile. This goes for Western Red Cedar too. I have decided that until the market settles down I will not be making up any Cedar hives or hive parts. We'll be back in operation once the supply issues have been resolved. Many thanks.


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...:-)

national roof assembly instructions

very busy day!  locally sourced cedar being the big event.

anyway, here’s the flat pack national hive roof assembly instructions in pdf format.

National Roof

locally sourced western red cedar!

arranged to pick up locally sourced western red cedar in november.  couldn’t contain myself and had to hop on the bike to go and see the tree and here’s a picture  (location carefully disguised).  now to find a kiln and a resaw facility…hopefully the folks at ashopton sawmill might be able to help out with the resawing and my contacts have put me in touch with someone who has a kiln.  the warning that keeps getting repeated though is ‘watch out for your costs’ as the ferrying about of timber is costly in itself and time as they say is money.  anyway, with a bit of luck and care we’ll soon be machining up national hive parts made from peak district grown western red cedar.  cool!  we’ll certainly beekeeping  (sorry, couldn’t resist) one of those for the colonies in our veg garden apiary.

western red cedar for national hives

western red cedar for national hives

bait hives…

In the veg plot here in the peak district we’re planning on putting out a couple of bait hives just to see if it’s possible to attract a swarm (or two if we’re lucky) .  Don’t hold out too much hope though as the local BKA (Chesterfield) has apparently had a bait hive out there for the last decade and not attracted anything apart from a dead mouse and plenty of wax moth so we’re told.  But one of the goals here is not to turn beekeepers by the  strength of our wallet and seeing as how the main suppliers are, in 2010, going to be charging £200 plus for a nuc then there can’t be any harm in trying a couple of hives in the spring.  Wondering if there’s any benefit from the swarm lures you can buy…but in the meantime here’s a useful information resource provided by the BBKA…

bait hives

Wintering 2 frame nucs in Manitoba

Here’s an interesting article about getting 2 frame nucs through the harsh Canadian winter.  Great use of space and resources for maximum effect.  Nice beekeeping!

open mesh floor assembly instructions

here’s a pdf of the assembly instructions for the standard national hive open mesh floor.

Open Mesh Floor

national roof to follow…

national hive brood box and super assembly instructions

assembly instructions for our flat pack national brood chambers and national supers…will upload the rest later and make a right sidebar widget for them to permanently reside there…

Brood Box and Super

local authority backs peak-hives.co.uk

‘live and work’ rural from the peak park visited our workshop today and offered it’s support to peak-hives.  it looks like there’ll be two main ways that assistance may be offered to support the business.  firstly and most importantly for peak-hives is locating sources of locally grown timber.  seems like local sawmills cutting local timber are as rare as hens teeth!  however, with the inside knowledge of the peak park it’s likely that national beehives constructed from locally sourced western red cedar isn’t such a pipe dream after all.  secondly there’s the ‘environmental quality mark’ which is a certification or award given to eco-friendly businesses.  all in all it was a very interesting visit.  more later.

flat pack national roof kit…

another flat pack part is ready to go…national roof.  with a bit of luck today I should have the paypal checkout system up and running.  please let me know if you experience any problems with it from a customer point of view…nicholas@localhost


flat pack national hives

peak hives are now producing flat pack national hive parts…so if you need a brood box or a super or any part of a national hive then we can deliver from stock to the UK.  All parts are machined by us for assembly and come with everything you need except glue.  So grab a pot of waterproof PVA woodglue and a hammer and you’re away…it could even make a nice Christmas holiday project…assembling an entire hive.


these are the same parts we use to make our hives and are machined according to BBKA specifications.

sloe gin time…

it’s sloe gin time…  the berries are nice and ripe and I’ll have to get picking before the birds beat me to it…if I’m up early enough I should have time to get some sloes and finish off some nucleus hives tomorrow.  cheers.


x marks the spot

this is where our own hives are going to go next year…hope bees like nettles..


apiary at the bottom of the veg patch…couldn’t be better!

the laughing bee



nucleus hives

just been making up some national nucleus hives.  standard deep brood with spacing for 5 hoffman frames.  next to do some 14×12 brood boxes and 14×12 nucleus boxes.  piccys coming soon as well as some sort of purchasing system for seperate parts as I’ve had quite a few requests for individual supers, brood boxes etc.


co-operative society plan bee campaign

the co-op’s always been a sound organisation and once again they’re leading the way with their ‘plan bee’ campaign…


peak-hives on youtube…

just a quick graphic to show what’s included with every national hive we make.  national stand, national varroa floor, national brood box, 2 supers, national crown board with porter bee escapes and a national roof with a galvanized cover.  all you need are some bees and frames and you’re away.  (Update- this is now a bit out of date as we now have the beehive configuration options in the centre column)


Da Vinci was into bees!

turns out Leonardo was into his bees too…

“The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee . . . gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own”

email server working…

after much faffing about managed to get the email server working… got proper email address ‘nicholas@localhost’  many thanks to ameldridge from the beekeeping forum for the heads up about Google Apps.

now, off to jig up for some Langstroths.

national hive number 1 better pic.

here’s a better pic of national hive number 1.  should be able to click on it to see a bigger version.


next to finish off the first batch of 5 nationals and then make up some national nucs and 14×12 brood boxes.