A quick note before I head for the Cedar…news of some planned product improvements and workflow/customer service.
First of all I’m having a branding iron made for Peak Hives. It will allow me to brand all Peak Hives assembled products both inside and out with a unique serial number should the client request it. There’s been quite a few hive thefts in Derbyshire (see latest Beecraft) and as bees and hives come to the fore and increase more and more in value I think putting an indelible unique identifier on each hive is a good idea. The serial number will be the customers ‘PHXXXXXX’ order number which is unique to each customer and it can be burned into the timber as the hive is assembled so I can do it both inside and out in places that would make removal very difficult indeed whilst not affecting detrimentally the look of the hive.
Following on from that I’ve decided to implement a calendar widget on the Peak Hives web page where customers can check where their order is in the queue. We are a cottage industry striving for sustainability and mass production isn’t what Peak Hives is about. But we are a business and keeping customers happy is core to any business. The idea is that for every order received there will be a ‘PHXXXXXX’ serial number generated which would be sent to the customer. This would then be placed on a frequently updated calendar visible on the main page. The customer could then easily check where their order was in the queue and have peace of mind as to when it would be finished and despatched. There’s a bit of programming to do on the page so it won’t be done until this current busy period is over but it should be a helpful improvement in future.
Finally, I always like to put up some visuals so here’s a piccy of a couple of National Hives that recently left the workshop…
Standard National Hives from Peak Hives
The weather’s turned a bit unpleasant here in the Peak and due to my swarm control activities I have a new nucleus colony. I’ve decided to feed them up and made up a pair of Ashforth Feeders, one for a full size National Hive and one for my 5 frame Nucleus Hives. I tried the plastic contact feeders that most of the other suppliers sell and having been warned by experienced beeks that they were rubbish I can confirm from my own experience that they’re right. They are rubbish. I’ve decided to opt for the Ashforth as the best feeder. The other option would be the Miller but according to other beeks they are not as good as they require your hive to be perfectly level (and I know mine aren’t).
They are made of First Grade Cedar and have a bee space underneath to allow the bees maximum access to the syrup. The full size feeder can easily accomodate 10 litres of syrup and the nucleus size around 5 litres. I’ll be adding them as Peak Hives products as soon as the broadband arrives at the new house.
After dedicating myself to getting up at 5am and finishing in the workshop at 11pm for the last week I’ve finally finished Matthew’s 23 fully assembled Cedar National Hives. That’s 23 National Hive Stands, 23 Varroa Floors, 23 National Brood Boxes, 46 National Supers, 23 Framed and Wired Queen Excluders, 23 Crown Boards with Porter Bee Escapes, 23 National Hive Gabled Roofs and a partridge in a pear tree.
Here’s a piccy of Matthew (and Alexandra, one of mine) who runs Honey Bees At Home just about cramming it all in to a long wheel base Mercedes Sprinter Van. Many thanks to Matthew and all the best with Honey Bees At Home!
I am well and truly knackered but will be making up orders again tomorrow first thing…it’s a good job I love my workshop.
23 Assembled Hives!
Into the house next to the workshop!
Partly due to workloads and also the need for a better place for my own brood we decided to move into the house next to the workshop. Peak Hives customers will be pleased to hear that this allows me to get into work at around 6am and leave around 10pm…has to be done but I’m not sure how long I can keep it up. I’m currently awaiting a broadband connection which is due on the 10th of June. One that’s in then my plan is to install a Peak Hives Workshop Webcam so that clients can see their National Hive being machined and assembled. The move will also allow me to develop new National Hive related products when I have a bit of spare time…watch this space. First on the list is going to be Ashforth feeders for both full sized hives and nucleus hives as my own recent experience suggests that the contact feeders are rubbish.
Working from Home