Hive Parts


Metalwork for Brood Boxes and Supers are sold seperately. Please select from the bottom of the left hand column.

Bottom bee space is standard. If you prefer top bee space then please advise.
National Varroa Floor
Comes with Yellow Correx slide out tray for Varroa inspection and entrance block.
national hive open mesh floor with slide out tray
Assembled Cedar £27.52 Assembled Red Deal £24.76
National Brood
assembled national hive brood box Assembled Cedar £48.52 Assembled Red Deal £34.89
Flat Pack National Brood
flat pack national hive brood chamber Cedar £39.96
Red Deal £25.56
National Super
cedar national hive super Assembled Cedar £37.96 Assembled Red Deal £24.21
Flat Pack National Super
flat pack national hive super Cedar £29.85
Red Deal £18.30
National 4" Roof
assembled cedar national hive roof Assembled Cedar £43.97 Assembled Red Deal £31.50
Flat Pack National 4" Roof
flat pack national hive roof Cedar £35.22
Red Deal £27.52
National 6" Roof
assembled cedar national hive 6 Assembled Cedar £56.23 Assembled Red Deal £39.90
Flat Pack National 6" Roof
flat pack national 6 Cedar £40.77
Red Deal £35.89
National Gabled Roof
national hive gabled roof Assembled Cedar £60.65 Assembled Red Deal £47.45
National Hive Stand W Splayed Legs and Large Landing Board
national hive stand w splayed legs Assembled Cedar £34.22 Assembled Red Deal £27.86
National Hive Stand W Landing Board
national hive stand Assembled Cedar £24.22 Assembled Red Deal £17.86
Flat Pack National Stand W Landing Board
flat pack national hive stand Cedar £22.96
Red Deal £16.24

Double Hive Stand
double hive stand Assembled and finished. Just attach legs to top with supplied bolts. Assembled Cedar £75.22 Assembled Red Deal £54.86
National 14x12 Brood Box
national hive 14x12 brood box Assembled Cedar £58.87 Assembled Red Deal £38.54
National Standard Floor
Made from Cedar or Red Deal with a ply floor and timber lipping. Comes with entrance block.

national hive standard floor Assembled Cedar £24.02 Assembled Red Deal £18.55

Flat Pack National 14x12 Brood Box
flat pack national hive 14x12 brood box Cedar £49.25
Red Deal £27.66

Framed Queen Excluder
Framed Queen Excluder Framed Queen Excluders suitable for both top and bottom bee space. £17.89

Apiguard Crown Board
Apiguard Crown Board Facilitates administration of 'Apiguard' and can be used as a Clearer Board with the supplied Porter Bee Escapes. £17.23

Crown Board
National Crown Board Can also be used as a Clearer Board with the supplied Porter Bee Escapes. £12.55

Polycarbonate Quilt
National Polycarbonate Quilt Transparent alternative to the Crown Board. Allows viewing bees with minimal disruption to the colony. £17.21

Snelgrove Board
National Hive Snelgrove Board Invented by Leonard Snelgrove for the purpose of effective swarm/colony splitting and management. See Snelgrove Method

Travelling Screen
National Hive Travelling Screen Allows bees to breathe/stay cool whilst being transported. When moving a hive over a long distance remove the roof and crownboard and replace with a travelling screen. Hold in place with one or two hive straps. 3mm mesh to ensure no bees escape. £16.59

14x12 Eke
Used to convert a standard brood box to take 14x12 frames. Requires metal runners or castellated spacers (below)

national hive 14x12 eke Assembled Cedar £28.96 Assembled Red Deal £22.88

National Nucleus Hive
Suitable for 6 Hoffman frames with a higher roof to take 1/4 gallon liquid feeders. Comes with dummy board for easier inspection. Choose a timber and Assembled (Assm) or Flat Pack (FP)

National Nucleus Hive



National Nucleus Hive 14x12
As above but 14x12. Choose a timber and Assembled (Assm) or Flat Pack (FP)

14x12 nucleus hive



Ashforth Feeder
Lock Jointed Cedar. Inside sealed with three coats of paint. Perspex cover over bee area. Large holds 10 litres and Nuc 5 litres.

Ashforth Feeders



Nucleus Stand W Splayed Legs & Large Landing Board
nucleus hive stand with splayed legs

Assembled Cedar £26.45 Assembled Red Deal £21.12
National Nucleus Stand W Landing Board
nucleus hive stand

Assembled Cedar £20.29 Assembled Red Deal £14.94
Nucleus Hive Super
Supplied with fitted metal runners. assembled nucleus hive super Assembled Cedar £27.52 Assembled Red Deal £21.89
Castellated Spacers and Metal Runners
metal runners Metal Runners £1.30 per pair



Castellated Spacers £2.18 per pair.

castellated spacers



Porter Bee Escapes. £1.20

porter bee escape



Hive Tools
Manufactured locally in Sheffield.

Hive Tools





Mouse Guard
Mouse Guard

£1.21



National Entrance Block
Western Red Cedar with a small and large entrance. Made slightly overlength. Cut to fit your hive.

Entrance Block £2.54

Dummy Boards
Choose from National Hive Standard Brood, National 14x12 Brood or National Super

Dummy Boards



Frames
National Hive Hoffman, DN1 and SN1 Frames are now available in Flat Packs of 10 and 50. All packs come supplied with some frame nails to get you started.

Peak Hives Frames



Foundation Wax
National BS Wired Foundation. We Stock the most popular sizes. Deep, Shallow and 14x12 wax foundation.

Peak Hives Wired Foundation



Plastic Frame Ends
Plastic frame spacers available in narrow and wide. Sold in bags of 100. Plastic ends are available in white in either a narrow or wide spacing.




Nucleus Colonies
Peak Hives Nucleus Colony

If you are interested in a top quality Nucleus Colony on 5 or 6 frames please email
nicholas@peak-hives.co.uk
and we will pass on your details to our bee breeder Helen. She's an expert with a wealth of experience and produces quality nucs with marked queens. She is also breeding now from newly arrived Buckfast Queens. The 2013 season price per Nucleus Colony is £175.00.

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

Customise to your requirements and choose either 1st grade Cedar or Red Deal. Standard Brood Box and Floor are included in the price. Bottom Bee Space is the National Hive standard so if you want Top Bee Space tick the checkbox. Don't forget to add on your metalwork requirements from the left hand column. We stock metal runners for Hoffman Frames and Castellated Spacers for SN1 etc. Please choose your hive options and extras below:

Supers:  

Roof:     

Floor:     

Crown:   

Stand:     

14x12 Brood Box + £16.20  

Framed Wired Queen Excluder + £17.89  

Top Bee Space. Free.  


red deal    Red Deal Discount.  


Total  
national hive in western red cedar



Flat Pack National Hives

Customise to your requirements and choose either 1st Grade Cedar or Red Deal. Standard Brood Box and Floor are included in the price. Bottom Bee Space is the National Hive standard so if you want Top Bee Space tick the checkbox. Don't forget to add on your metalwork requirements from the left hand column. We stock metal runners for Hoffman Frames and Castellated Spacers for SN1 etc. Please choose your hive options and extras below:

Supers:  

Roof:     

Floor:     

Crown:   

Stand:     

14x12 Brood Box + £14.53  

Framed Wired Queen Excluder + £17.89  

Top Bee Space. Free.  


red deal    Red Deal Discount.  


Total   
flat pack national hive in cedar or red deal


webcam...

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...

webcam



blog...

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...:-)




Monitoring Varroa

We’ve now got two strong looking colonies of British Black Bee (Apis Mellifera Mellifera) in the Peak Hives Apiary. On inspection the other day with our experienced beekeeping friend Carl we popped off a cap from a drone cell and there looking up at us was a fat and annoyingly healthy Varroa Destructor mite. Today I decided to start a monitoring process using the slide out trays on our Varroa floors which will be in the hives for the next seven days. When they are removed the mite drop will be counted and action taken if the mite drop is above certain suggested levels (see the Beebase page on Varroa and the very useful Varroa Calculator).

I read somewhere about putting oil onto the paper laid on the slide out trays to make sure the little buggers can’t get away or don’t blow away and in the photo you can see the two trays that went into the hives today at 4pm. On the right is just plain white paper and on the left the paper has been liberally coated with sunflower oil. I did wonder if the smell from the oil might cause fright to the bees. Perhaps someone with better knowledge could comment on that. Anyway in they went and now to wait for the results.

Varroa Mite Monitoring

Varroa Mite Monitoring

Peak District Cedar National Hive

It’s taken up most of the afternoon but I’ve just been down to Rowsley Sawmill and picked up the latest batch of locally sourced Western Red Cedar.  I’ve had a towbar fitted to the Peak Hives Berlingo this morning and then borrowed my brothers 3/4 tonne trailer to pick up the lumber.  It will now join the Chatsworth Cedar to be seasoned ready for making up into National Hives.  The Chatsworth Cedar is feeling lighter by the day now and I’ve started machining up some hive parts with it. Cedar is an incredibly good wood to work and it’s characteristics are so well suited for beehive construction.  Many thanks to Adele and Dave at the Peak Park for helping me get to the trees before they were chopped up for firewood!

Peak District Cedar

Peak District Cedar

Returning a favour

Tree Surgeon Paul Johnson kindly allowed me to harvest some local Western Red Cedar for making into British National Hives.  I’m due to pick up the Cedar from Rowsely Sawmill tomorrow after which it’ll join the Chatsworth Cedar for seasoning.  Paul’s son Perry is very keen (and very knowledgeable!) on birds and wanted a dovecote so I decided that it would be easy enough for me to return the favour.  Here’s a quick photo of the result.

Dovecote

Dovecote

Luckily Perry has found some doves locally and they are now in their garden shed awaiting a new home.  All that’s needed now is to put some felt on the roof and paint/stain and the birds can move in.

Best of luck Perry!

Peak Hives Quality Control

There’s nothing worse than woodworking for leaving you with egg on your face.  It happens in even the very best cabinet makers.  Just as this standard National Hive floor was about to leave the workshop to be sent out to the customer I decided to lay the tape measure across it and lo and behold it was 8mm short in one dimension!  The workshop air didn’t quite turn blue but I did sigh with relief that I wasn’t going to get a call in a couple of days asking why my National Hive floors were different sizes to everyone elses.

oops!

oops!

The only solution was to quickly make up another as the rest of the order was ready for delivery.

To err is human.

Peak Hives Apiary!

The idea of turning the joinery workshop into a National Hives business originally arose out of my own desire to start beekeeping and a few months ago I was lucky enough to meet Richard H who offered a couple of colonies in exchange for equipment.  Last week I travelled down (in the new Peak Hives livery) and picked up two hives bursting to the seams with British Black Bees.  After a very nervous journey up the M1 I made it back to Tideswell and with some effort in the dark managed to get the hives in place.  I was concerned that it might have been early in the year to bring colonies up here to the cold Peak but the bees were ready so delay was out of the question.

Yesterday I had a window of opportunity to do a first inspection and super the colonies.

First Bee Inspection

First Bee Inspection

So far, to my untrained eye, everything looks good.  Now to see if the combination of the often inclement (to say the least) Peak District weather and my inexperience as a beekeeper will not result in disaster.  I will do my very best.  Fortunately I’m with Chesterfield BKA who are known to be very supportive and also have a couple of aquaintances who are experienced beekeepers who might be able to lend a hand.

Peak Hives Van Graphics

I’m so busy in the workshop making up orders that I’ve not posted anything on the blog for a couple of days so here’s an update on the business…we have van graphics!

peak-hives car graphics

peak hives van graphics

To celebrate here’s a tiny competition open to all but most likely for those that live in the area and see the new car logo on the road.  The first to send in a photo of the newly decorated vehicle (not this one as that would be cheating) will be sent a free hive tool…I did say it was a tiny competition!

I’m very pleased with it.  Thanks go to Jim and Gary at Hotline Signs in Buxton for a great job done very quickly at a very reasonable price.

The Berlingo has already delivered about 20 National Hives, several Nucleus Hives and other National Hive parts to Peak-Hives customers as well as ferried the children on the inevitable school runs.  From now on we’ll do it in corporate style!

Peak Hives Delivery!

Having retired the family car last year in October and managed (with great difficulty) borrowing my parents car in the meantime I decided it was time to look round for a vehicle that would do the family runs and also help out with delivering National Hive orders in the locality when necessary.  By chance we came across a real bargain and here’s the first batch of  flat pack and assembled Peak Hives National Hive parts out for delivery this morning.  The Berlingo is already a success with the children and it’s a fantastic addition to the business too.  The next step is to add a towbar so that I can pick up and move about the locally sourced cedar that Dave and Adele at the National Park authority very kindly send my way when they can.

Peak Hives Berlingo

Peak Hives Berlingo

Jim at Hotline signs is doing me some Peak Hives window graphics,  can’t wait to see them.  I would have liked to have continued living without a vehicle but it’s just not possible where we live.  If I did then I’d be giving myself a major headache and putting both family and business under too much strain.

Stoneleigh Convention

I’ve had a few enquiries  as to whether Peak Hives will be exhibiting at Stoneleigh.  I won’t be able to attend even as a visitor this year as I’m busy with orders and can’t spare the time.  Hopefully I’ll get chance to get ahead of the game for 2011 and have a stand next year.  To all of you who can get to it this year have a great time!

Air Drying Chatsworth Western Red Cedar

Whilst the locally sourced timber is sticked and stacked in the now nice and dry spring weather I’ve been conducting a little experiment in timber drying.  I cut a piece of the Chatsworth Cedar to the dimensions of a National Hive top or bottom rail and I’ve been taking photos of how it’s gone on weight wise inside a centrally heated house…the difference is dramatic to say the least.  From a whopping 372 grammes and feeling like a truncheon it’s now a mere 145 grammes and feeling like a piece of balsa wood.  It’s incredibly light.  Part of the reason why hives are made out of cedar is that it’s light but the reason why it’s light is because there are lots of air pockets in the timber which gives it another potentially useful property.  It’s a good insulator.  Nice warm bees in nice light and comfy cedar hives…

Drying Western Red Cedar

Drying Western Red Cedar

Every now and again I go to the lumber stack and ‘heft’ a piece of the Chatsworth cedar and I can feel it getting lighter in weight almost day by day.

Fitting National Hive Metal Rails for Top and Bottom Bee Space

Hi.  Answering a few queries I’ve had about fitting metalwork to National Hive Brood Boxes and Supers here’s a quick and simple guide to correctly fitting metal rails to the woodwork.  The image is more or less self explanatory but the essence of the procedure is to turn the brood/super upside down and place some sized bits of timber (10mm for bottom bee space and 18mm for top bee space) under the metal runner to give the correct gap.  The metal runner just rests on top of the wooden spacers while you pin it into place.  Once done you are guaranteed the correct chosen bee space.

Bee Space Spacers

Bee Space Spacers

Time to squeeze in an allotment update…

Spring is finally here in the Peak District so here’s a photo (panorama of four photos stitched together) of where I’m currently up to.

Lots of red onions because my partner Adriana is from Peru and they’re used widely in Peruvian cooking.  A new area for soft fruit (Blackcurrants, more Rhubarb, Autumn and Summer Raspberries, Redcurrants, various varieties of Gooseberries and more…) replacing a nettle patch that discouraged the family from venturing down to do some weeding/fettling.

Prior to this year the plot had been one area with treaded down paths every 4 feet or so and nettles all round. I was given some weatherproof boards back end of last year and slowly started making up the raised beds in the picture.

On the far right there’s one high raised bed which will be followed by three more of which two will be given to the kids to grow what they will and two will be used for root veg or spuds.

Mi Corazon!

Amor Mio!

The panorama is perhaps a future bees eye view as I’ve taken the photos from where I’m planning on putting my two Apis Mellifera Mellifera colonies that I have coming in a few weeks.

National Hive Supers to the Rafters!

With the order book so full I decided to work through the Easter weekend. By Monday I had a stack of Red Deal National Supers reaching up to the rafters of the workshop!

National Hive Supers in Red Deal

National Hive Super Stack

Completely cleaned me out of Red Deal.  There’s more being delivered on Thursday and luckily I’ve a good stack of cedar to work on in the meantime.  It’s a good thing that Andy came up with a transit van to pick up at lunchtime today otherwise I’d have struggled for room in the workshop.

Van Full of National Hives

Van Full of National Hives

Once he’d taken away this large order I managed to squeeze out a couple of Nucleus Hives by close of play.  Phew!  Friday is holiday!  My boy James is doing very well at school and as a reward the lot of us are off to Alton Towers Water Park.  I suspect that Saturday may bring more workshop time for this blogger but I’m going to allow myself a little R and R and enjoy Friday!

Peak Hives on TV!

Well I wouldn’t call it the big time but a Peak Hives National Hive has had a minor appearance on telly.  Matthew Austin from Honey Bees At Home called me and was keen on using Peak Hives Nationals for his London based business managing beehives in the gardens of the capital city.  He came up on Sunday and picked up a standard National Hive in Western Red Cedar with a gabled roof.  The next day it was on the Alan Titchmarsh show in this brief slot…

YouTube Preview Image

Ted Hooper MBE.

I was just addressing some issues on the website and I noticed on the news feed from the BBKA that Ted Hooper has passed away.  As a new beekeeper myself his book “A Guide to Bees and Honey” is the bible on beekeeping and his passing is a sad loss to the community.

A National Hive from Peak District Cedar

Had a busy and tiring day felling two Western Red Cedar trees with tree surgeons Paul and Dan.  The trees had to come down anyway as they were about to topple the chimney stack on the house they were next to.   Once they were down I sliced them into National Hive sized logs and then as soon as possible it’s down to Simon at Rowsley Sawmill where they’ll be milled into 2″ boards ready for air drying this summer.

Peak District Western Red Cedar

Peak District Western Red Cedar

Here at Peak Hives we’re very keen to obtain locally sourced materials if at all possible and many thanks to Dave for giving the heads up on the trees and to Paul and Dan for letting me come along on the day.  Can’t wait to get one of Peak Hives National Beehives made up out of Peak District Cedar.

More locally sourced Western Red Cedar

Local tree surgeon Paul has contacted me with regard to a couple of Western Red Cedars that he has to fell.  They need to come down anyway as they are threatening the buildings nearby.  He’s been very helpful and positive about these trees being used for National Hives rather than just burning them as firewood and is in negotiation with the owners now to see if it’s possible to do a deal on their unwanted trees.

Peak District Western Red Cedar

Peak District Western Red Cedar

Many thanks to Paul!

National Hive Queen Excluder

Peak Hives are now producing framed and wired queen excluders suitable for National Hives with either top or bottom bee space.  Our metalwork supplier sent us the metal grills a few weeks back and I’ve just had the chance to set up the workshop jigs to produce high quality frames to go round the excluder grill.  As with all our other National Hive seperates they can be found in the hive parts section in the left hand column.  I’ll also add them as an option on purchasing a complete hive this evening.

Framed Wired Queen Excluder

Framed Wired Queen Excluder

Queen Excluders

My metalwork supplier has recently sent me a batch of high quality queen excluder grills.  The mission before me (…’should I choose to take it’. R.I.P. a fond childhood memory – Peter Graves) was to come up with a frame suitable for both top and bottom bee space.  To tell the truth they’ve been sitting on the shelf for a couple of weeks now irritating the hell out of me that an obvious solution wasn’t immediately at hand.  The National Hive order that I’m currently working on includes a couple of excluders so in the end I bit the bullet and spent a couple of dead (£££) hours ‘uhmming and aahing’ and making up various workshop jigs.  By five o’clock PM with the help of the new Startrite Pillar Drill I’d got this far…

Making Queen Excluders

Making Queen Excluders

By six I’d cracked it and I’ll make up the two for the order in the morning and tomorrow evening have them on the site as a Peak Hives product.

Happy beekeeping 2010.  Nick

Custom made National Nucleus Hives

These four flat pack cedar national nucleus hives were custom made to the client’s preferred dimensions.  Took a little longer than usual as I had to order special meshes for the varroa floors but they’ll be packaged and sent today and I’m sure the customer will be satisfied as will their bees…

Custom made nucleus hives

custom made nucleus hives

Machinery Upgrade.

Hi.  I’m always on the lookout for new machines and I came across this Startrite Mercury Pillar Drill.  There’s not much to be done with one of these for making National Hives but seeing as I had been coping with a much inferior machine bought from B&Q or a.n.other vendor of rubbish machinery I jumped at the chance.  The new machine is 3 phase and very good at what it’s supposed to do…the old is single phase and rubbish…easy to see which is the better machine.

Startrite Mercury

Startrite Mercury

Hive Tools from Peak Hives.

In our endeavour to provide everything for the National Hive I’m pleased to say that we’ve found a local producer of National Hive Tools.  Made in Sheffield.  They are now listed in the left hand column for purchase.  Here’s a picture.  Click on the pic to see it in higher resolution.

Hive Tools Made in Sheffield

Hive Tools Made in Sheffield

Locally sourced Cedar for National Bee Hives.

Hi.  Dave and Adele at the Peak Park have come up with another Western Red Cedar that is about to be felled.  More locally sourced timber for National Hives!  I’m very pleased and would like to thank both Dave and Adele for their support for the cottage industry that is Peak Hives.  The tree is due to be felled anyway as it’s leaning a bit too close to it’s owner’s conservatory.  My opinion is that it’s better used as timber for National Hives than put through one of those awful chipper machines and ending up as garden mulch.  I’ll have to arrange milling again into 2″ boards with Simon at Rowsley Sawmill and then it can join the Cedar from Chatsworth that is already sticked and seasoning.  It’s not really economically sensible to do this as the time and effort it takes is enormous but there’s definitely a satisfaction in knowing that the timber I’m working came from just down the road rather than the other side of the world.

Here’s a pic.

Locally Sourced Western Red Cedar

Locally Sourced Western Red Cedar

National Nucleus Hive Options.

Here’s a couple of National Nucleus Hives I’ve finished today.  On the left a flat pack National Nuc in Red Deal with a standard floor.  On the right a fully assembled Cedar National Nuc with Varroa Floor (with slide out tray).  Both take 5 Hoffman DN4 frames with an extra 8mm manipulation space.

National Nucleus Hives

National Nucleus Hive Options

National Hives from Chatsworth Cedar

The first batch of locally sourced Chatsworth Western Red Cedar has been milled up by Simon at Rowsley Sawmill and I’ve just stacked and ‘sticked’ it to air dry.  Simon’s milled it into 2″ waney edge boards which I can then machine up into either national hive rails or slice down the middle for hive ends/sides.   Kiln drying would be too expensive so we’ll stick it cover it to protect it from the rain and wait…

Chatworth Western Red Cedar

Air Drying Chatworth Western Red Cedar

Top and Bottom bee space National Hive

I’ve had quite a few requests to produce top bee space national hives.  Got an order finished this morning so just before my lunchbreak I decided to ‘jig up’ for offering top bee space nationals.  Basically the difference in machining requires the production of a deeper top rail for supers and brood boxes and a suitable mortice in the brood/super sides to accommodate the deeper rails.  Anyway to cut a not very long story shorter here’s a couple of pics showing the standard British National Hive option of bottom bee space and the new optional top bee space…

Bottom Bee Space National Hive

Bottom Bee Space National Hive

Top Bee Space National Hive

Top Bee Space National Hive

I’ve also put together a little page on the debate between top and bottom bee space…here

I’ll update the site to allow choosing top bee space as an option later tonight.

Flat Pack National Hives picked up from the Workshop

Hi.  Rich came up on Wednesday to the Peak Hives workshop and picked up his flat packed national hives.  Was good to see him again and Steve who came along too.  Rich is an experienced beekeeper so by agreement (and the fact that they wouldn’t fit into his car otherwise) I didn’t seperate them out into individual units.

Here’s the kit he took…

Flat Packed National Hives

Rich's Hives

I’m getting plenty of enquiries about making up batches of frames and will endeavour to have a go this weekend (I do have to make a special meal for the oldies though on Saturday as it’s their golden wedding anniversary).  The other thing that I need to respond to is enquiries about ‘top bee space’ national hives.  It’s technically sorted but I want to have a go at machining some up before offering it as an option.  Coming soon, probably tomorrow.

Allotment news is that I made some space this afternoon for another fruit tree in the garden…it’s getting tight on space and I’ve another two trees to plant.  I wonder if the farmer who owns the field across the road would mind.

All the best and as usual, happy beekeeping 2010!

National Hive Roof Detail

A quick post to show a detailed view of our lock joints on a standard national hive roof.  Originally I was using a dovetail jig but thought it was worth while investing in the required tooling to make the roofs as per the specification laid down by the British Beekeepers Association Modified National Hive plans which are the mainstay of all Peak Hives products.  I’m hoping to find some time in the next couple of weeks to make up a few observation hives…those dratted orders keep getting in the way though.

Happy beekeeping 2010!

Lock Jointed National Hive Roof

Lock Jointed National Hive Roof

Cedar National Hives ready for shipping

Here’s a couple of cedar national hives ready in the workshop for shipping on Monday.  Here at Peak Hives we’re busy working away in spite of the cold weather that just doesn’t want to go away.  When Spring actually comes I’ll be one happy camper although the local allotment association reckons we’re ‘at least a month behind’ everywhere else…I do wonder if that means I’m going to have a hard time of it keeping bees here in Tideswell…seems likely.

Assembled Cedar National Hives

Assembled Cedar National Hives

Cedar National Hive with Gabled Roof

This national hive in western red cedar with a 14×12 brood box, 3 supers and a gabled roof is only going 10 minutes down the road so collection from the Peak-Hives workshop is on the cards.

cedar national hive with gabled roof

cedar national hive with gabled roof

Our gabled roofs are now made with a single piece cover of galvanized metal sheet providing the same protection as the single piece cover for the standard roofs and our nucleus hive roofs.

British National Hive in Red Deal

Now that the big freeze is over (at least for the moment it looks that way) we’re back in production.  Here’s a British National Hive with 2 Supers in Red Deal.

British National Hive in Red Deal

British National Hive in Red Deal

Here’s to a successful beekeeping 2010.  I’m long overdue to start frame making and I’m compiling a list of potential customers for DN4, SN1 etc.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get that thin kerf blade in use soon…

Allotment news is that I’ve just planted 2 out of 6 trees supplied by Rogers of Pickering.  1 Bramleys Seedling and 1 Spartan apple (recommended by Carl with thanks).  I’ve a couple of pear trees to plant next (Buerre Hardy and Conference) and 20 odd raspberry canes along with some plum trees and gooseberry bushes.  When we moved here as a family in the early 60s all these things were here and producing fruit.  Somehow they’ve been left to grow old and wither…(I blame the supermarkets..grrr).  With some luck and cultivation we’ll be back to picking our own fruit in a couple of seasons…

National Hive Varroa Floors...

Phew.  Now that the worst of the big freeze appears to be over I can start working away in the workshop again…Next winter I’ll have dry lined it with kingspan insulation (if the temp goes below 5 deg C then glues don’t set which as things stand pretty much closes the workshop down!!!).  Apart from the difficulties that the extreme weather has caused work wise it’s been hard enough just keeping warm at home…Managed thanks to the Husqvarna and a beautiful Jotul 602N.  Best thing my Dad ever bought!!!

Any road up…here’s a couple of Open Mesh Floors…One for a full size British National Hive and one for a National Nucleus Hive…One in Cedar and the other in Red Deal…

I do find the Nuc one cute…there again I need to get out more…

British National Open Mesh Floor with Slide out Tray

British National Open Mesh Floor with Slide out Tray

British National Nucleus Open Mesh Floor

British National Nucleus Open Mesh Floor

Btw,  the jury’s still out for me on the OMF versus Standard Floor…

Enduring the Cold Snap...

View from the kitchen window…

Winter 2009

Winter 2009

It is very pretty (and the children are loving it!!!) but it’s becoming a chore now…my current best friend is…

husqvarna...keeping the little ones warm...

husqvarna...keeping us warm...

…to keep the home fires burning…if only the home (my parents home) were better insulated, then I wouldn’t have to be out so often with the chain saw looking for fuel.  It’s a long story but the short version is that the house was built during the war when materials were scarce.  Nick.

National Hive Stand Assembly Instructions

As requested here are the assembly instructions for Peak Hives flat pack National Hive Stand…

National Stand Assembly

Happy new year to all Peak Hives customers!!!

Peak Hives recommended kit for new beekeepers.

For new beekeepers (and there’s plenty, including me) I thought it might be worth while suggesting what I would think of buying as a first apiary set up.

If you’re good with a hammer, nails, glue, flat surface and *JOINERS SQUARE* then:

2 x Flat Pack of the default national hive configuration you see when you load up this page.  Add on a crown board and choose which type of metalwork you require for the brood box and supers (I’d recommend metal runners throughout and then use frame spacers to start off with – this can be changed over later to castellated spacers for the super easily enough should you wish)

And then choose which floor you want.  Most go for the Varroa Floor with slide out tray but many experienced beekeepers go for a standard floor.

Then timber.  Cedar is good for two reasons…1. it’s light.  A national super full of honey is already heavy enough.  2. Cedar is naturally resistant to rot.  Red Deal on the other hand is notably cheaper and will make a robust hive (provided you take care of it, which is easily done.  There’s plenty of houses round here built in the victorian era with original Red Deal doors because they’ve been well maintained).

That recommendation is to go with 1 nucleus colony.  The nucleus goes into hive number 1 and then when (possibly) a month later it swarms you have hive number 2 in which to put the swarm.  It’s said that it’s easier to manage two hives than 1.  And safer too.  1 Hive + 1 Disaster = No Bees!

Of course if you’re not entirely confident about your assembly skills then perhaps choose the same set up but pre-assembled here at Peak Hives.  Assembling a hive when you’ve done it lots of times is one thing but doing it for the first time can be a bit daunting.

Happy beekeeping 2010!

Nick

peak hives workshop...

Hi. I thought it might be informative to show the workshop (or the ground floor machining area at least).  This is where all our national hives are made.  Upstairs there’s an assembly area and shelving for hive parts.  As you can see it’s an old building which in it’s time has been a cow shed, a hen shed, a joiner’s workshop, an electricians workshop (The whole of Tideswell was electrified from here), an artists studio, a joiner’s workshop again and now peak-hives.

The image is several shots stitched together using ‘hugin’.

All the best and happy beekeeping for 2010!

Peak Hives Workshop

Peak Hives Workshop

National Hive Gabled Roofs...Update

I’ve just updated the prices/availability regarding the National Hive Gabled Roofs reflecting the fact that we’ve decided not to do them any more in flat pack.  The reason is that the roof structure with the top finishing piece is, I think, a weakness (given that its the most exposed part of a hive) and it’s better to have a single one-piece metal roof cover which, thanks to Swift Engineering of Buxton, we can now provide.  It means it’s not feasible to send them out as flat pack as the metalwork will get spoiled in transit.

We want you to get the best use out of our products for many seasons and this decision was made to ensure that’s the case.

My own view is that for practical beekeeping the flat roof might be the better solution as you can turn it upside down and put supers on it etc but I understand the desire for the aesthetics that the gabled roof provides.

Feedback, as always, is very welcome.

All the best.  Nick

national hive nucleus roofs

Quick post while I’m having lunch…Here’s a shot of this morning’s activity.  National Hive Nucleus Roofs with the new lock joints.  These are for a couple of orders for 14×12 nucs and standard nucs in red deal.

back to the workshop…

national hive nucleus roof

national hive nucleus roof

14×12 Nucleus Hive dry assembly

Just working on orders and there’s a couple of 14×12 nucs in there in red deal so I’m making up a batch of 5.  Here’s the brood chamber dry assembled.  Back to the workshop now to start on the roofs.

14x12 nucleus hive

14x12 nucleus hive

Repairing my Wadkin BAOS Planer/Thicknesser

Our Wadkin BAOS, my favourite machine, died the other day as the wormwheel on the thicknessing feed motor lost it’s thread.  Fortunately there are plenty of these machines about and you can still buy spares from places like Advanced Machinery.  Very good company to deal with!!!

Here’s the BAOS on it’s side hanging from a block and tackle whilst I effected the repair.  Remarkable how much weight can be packed into a smallish machine.  Took all day (sorry if it’s put your order back) but by the end of the day my fav machine was doing the business again and had been oiled up and greased to boot.  Now tomorrow has to be back to production and building up stock of British National Hive parts.

Wadkin BAOS under repair

Wadkin BAOS under repair

lock joint for national hive roof.

As a quick break from making up a batch of national nucleus hives today I had the chance to test out my new gear for making lock joints for national roofs.  previously I’d been using dovetails (which are perfectly suitable and in my opinion in some ways better) but given that all the big boys use lock joints I felt it necessary to follow suit and so here’s the test pic on a couple of bits of scrap western red cedar…

testing a lock joint for national hive roof construction

testing a lock joint for national hive roof construction

National Hive Gabled Roof Assembly Instructions...

Assembly Instructions for Peak-Hives Flat Pack National Hive Gabled Roof

here

national hive parts on ebay…

I’m getting too busy now to do a listing every Sunday and Wednesday so it’ll just be Sunday from now on.  At least for the time being anyway.

fighting orders...then machines!!!

it’s twenty to twelve at night and I’ve just got back from the workshop…covered in grease and mess from trying to resuscitate a machine.  tomorrow’s national hive making is going to be pushed back while I try to get the part needed for my Wadkin BAO/S planer thicknesser.  If all else fails then I’ll use the older machine that we have in the workshop (thanks to neil) to do the thicknessing but the BAO/S will still need that part and it’s a matter of sourcing it without being stung (no pun intended) for too much cash by the parts dealers.

ugh! 2009 has been an ‘interesting‘ year.  roll on 2010!

sunday ebay…flat pack western red cedar national hive super.

Another listing for a national hive super on ebay….here

Thin kerf blade for making National Hive frames.

Arrived today.  One pricey blade!  A quick break from making up orders and stock to perform a test with the new blade.  Cuts like a dream.  Finishes as if it’s been through a planer.  The cut width is a tiny 1.7mm!!  This will certainly do the trick of getting the maximum number of National Hive frames out of the timber used.  I’ll be making up a batch of frames next week probably starting with DN4 Hoffman’s to be supplied with our brood boxes or sold as flat packs.

Thin Kerf Blade used for making National Hive Frames

Thin Kerf Blade used for making National Hive Frames

National Hives just in time ordering...binned!!!

Not sure how M and T are doing but we’re snowed under with orders.  Initially I was working on a just in time ordering system.  That’s been binned as I can see that if I don’t have stocked shelves of National Hive parts then I won’t be able to cope.  So every order that comes in now is being made up but doubled…one for the customer and one for the shelves…

I’m also fretting about delivery times…Adriana is taking charge of running the business as regards that so I shouldn’t be so concerned given that she’s a background in managing businesses very sucessfully…

worries gone?  not quite but almost…

Cheers and here’s to a good beekeeping 2010!

Nick

National Hive Roof and Frames...

We’ve just purchased some tooling to improve upon our National Hive Roof design.  Now roofs will be constructed using 1/2″ lock joints.  Frames wise I decided that it was worth investing in a thin kerf saw blade for our table saw.  Each cut will only waste 1.7mm instead of the usual 3.2mm.  When machining up lots and lots of little parts (ie. frame bits) it will be much more economical if each rip through the timber only consumes 1.7mm….that’s the theory anyway and it’s backed up by me getting the plastic out to pay for an expensive saw blade…

We hope your bees will be happy in our hives and would welcome feedback in the new season…photos or comments please and we’ll set up a gallery area on the site.

All the best

Nick

national hive super in western red cedar on ebay…

Wednesday listing…here

peak hives will be making national hive frames

here’s the first of perhaps many thousand…a quick bit of jig making and we’re producing Hoffman DN4 frames.  More tests to do but the initial test was today and if we can make the Hoffman self spacing frame then the others shouldn’t be a problem.  if you’ve a request for a frame type then please mail me.

DN4 Hoffman Frame for National Hive

DN4 Hoffman Frame for National Hive

National Hive Frames coming soon…

As we want to make everything for the National Hive here in the Peak District we’ve decided to start making frames…it’ll be tedious work (11 frames per brood…9, 10 or 11 frames per super etc etc ad infinitum) but hey, work is work!  We’ll be starting off with Hoffman DN4 standard National Brood Frames,  then SN1 super frames and as many of the other types that seem to be in demand.  More soon…

All the best.

Nick

another cedar national super on ebay…

ebay keeps things ticking over I suppose…getting busy now though so might reduce it to one promo a week…

flat pack cedar national super