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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...:-)

The ‘art’ of hive making

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.

14×12 Eke

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).

14x12 Eke

14×12 Eke

All Season Workshop!

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.

14x12 National

14x12 National

4 different timbers?

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!

National Nucleus Hive Stands.

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

Nucleus Hive Stand