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...:-)




2017 Cedar.

The first delivery of 1st Grade Western Red Cedar to arrive at Peak Hives this year. Because of steeply rising material prices we have had a choice to make. The options were to continue to make our National Hives using the same First Quality Western Red Cedar or to buy in an inferior Cedar that is currently being offered far cheaper. We have chosen to stick with our high quality material and not to think only of short term profit. Whether it’s Brexit or some other economic factor that has pushed prices up I don’t know but when the latest material invoice arrived I had to sit down and think a while…

Western Red Cedar 2017

Western Red Cedar 2017

Conclusion…

Customer satisfaction comes first.

Happy Beekeeping to all our customers for 2017!

2017 Nucleus Colonies and Courses

Helen our bee breeder has just sent me some updates regarding her super nucleus colonies for the upcoming season and also the courses she runs for new beekeepers.

Click the links below for further information…

Bees for Sale – 2017

Keeping Honey Bees – Course info

As for Peak Hives we’re busy making our Cedar National Hives and the occasional special request and looking forward to a few days off between Christmas and New Year.

Seasons Greetings to all.

 

Peak Hives on the Radio

Melvyn Bragg is currently presenting a radio programme on the history of t’ North…

Our National Hives are the ones Melvyn talks to Adrian about at the start of the Programme.   It was only after completing the hives for the project that I found that the worker bee was the symbol of Manchester.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07synwj

We’re still very busy in the workshop but have afforded ourselves a few days off during the summer and would like to thank our customers for their patience.

An item that will soon be added to the Peak Hives product line is the Top Bar Hive.  They are proving very popular and despite them not being National Hives we will happily add them to the Peak Hives family.

Eat Natural Hives…

As a Winter project I was asked to make the 50 first Eat Natural Hives.  Quite good fun and using recycled pallets the specially designed hive looks a treat…

There’s a video of me making them at

http://eatnatural.co.uk/pollenation

Observation National Hive

Usamah from the East London Mosque sent me this image of their Peak Hives Observation Hive a couple of days ago.  It’s sat in a courtyard in the Mosque.  They seem to have it set up as Brood, Super then Brood.  Must be a reason but it’s looking good anyway.

ELM Observation Hive

ELM Observation Hive

 

We are very busy at the moment as it’s the height of the season and we get frequent calls of the nature ‘…help I have a swarm and need….’.  We do our best to help but with us being a small business it’s hard to keep up with demand sometimes and we definitely don’t like to mess with the order queue for our National Hives.

PH as Featured in the FT…

A month or so ago I was asked if we’d like to be in the FT in an article based around Artisans…

Here’s a link to the article.

https://next.ft.com/content/911e8538-1856-11e6-b197-a4af20d5575e

I’ll write more on this later but for now must get back to the workshop to make up some hives…

Nick

New Blades…

At the start of every beekeeping season I invest in new blades for all my machines. It’s not always so urgent because Cedar is a very forgiving timber to work and doesn’t cause too much wear on the TCT on a blade. But it’s more or less become a tradition in the Peak Hives workshop and it is nice when the new blades cut for the first time…hot knives through butter!!!

New Blades

New Blades

We’re now busy with our standard National Hive products so I can’t take on any ‘specials’ until the back end of this season…but I do like the odd Observation Hive or Top Bar. Nice to make a variety of things.

New Apiary…

Our customer is returning to beekeeping after a period of some years away from the hobby. Now that she has opportunity again she said she’s really looking forward to getting back into it and has ordered enough National Hives and Nucleus equipment to see her through at least the first season. There’s two full National Hives in Cedar and a Nucleus Hive also in Western Red Cedar.

The customer also bought Ashforth feeders for the full sized hives and the Nucleus.

National Hive Apiary

National Hive Apiary

I think it’s also time for me to cut a path to my hives kept in my parents garden. They were put out of the way from my father who, when a few years ago was suffering with early stage Parkinsons, would stand right next to them to show his interest. So my bees had to be hidden away from him in the bushes where they’ve remained until now. A machete may be required to beat a new path to their door.

We are getting busy again now and it’s looking like a full on beekeeping/hive making season ahead. So head down and fire up the machines for National Hive making. I do the odd special request every now and again too as can be seen from the blog entries…

 

Bees For Sale

Our bee breeder Helen has been in touch with me to say she is back making up Nucleus Colonies after moving house.

Please see the attached Flier she sent us…

Peak Hives – bees for sale

She’s also running some Beekeeping Courses.

Beekeeping Courses

Palmer Style Double Nucleus Hive

In amongst the standard National Hives in Cedar it’s nice to get the odd request for something different. Our client asked for a Palmer Style Double Nucleus Hive in 14×12 size. It took a bit of head scratching and figuring out but here’s the result. The main brood chamber is split into two with two mesh floors pointing in opposite directions so the bees know which entrance is theirs. The brood then has two 14×12 height but half width ‘supers’ on top which each have their own crown board with ventialtion holes and porter bee escapes. This is then topped off with a 6 inch roof. I hope our client Simon has a great season with it and we’ll be shipping it out today.

Palmer Style Nucleus Hive

Palmer Style Nucleus Hive

Of course our bread and butter standard product is the top quality National Hive and it’s so nice to see that we already have plenty of repeat customers placing orders for this beekeeping season.

Here’s to a successful 2016!

Happy New Year

And a Happy Beekeeping Season for 2016 from Peak Hives!

I hope this current unseasonal weather gives way to some more normal sharp frosts and perhaps a bit of snow to keep the children happy. our bees should be fine as we left on a full super of honey and unless there’s some significant cold weather heading our way that should see them through.

Meantime here’s a picture of a custom National Hive in Cedar built with half sized Supers. The customer didn’t want to be hefting full National Supers around and asked if I could make them 230mm wide instead of the standard National size of 460mm. At peak production times it would be harder to accomodate special requests as we are so busy with Standard National Hive orders there’s little time to find for anything out of the ordinary but in the quieter parts of the year we’re always happy to make non standard orders.

National Hive w Half Supers

National Hive w Half Supers

Here’s to 2016…

Snelgrove Board

Snelgrove Board

Snelgrove Board

We’ve had many requests for these and now the beekeeping season has quietened down I’ve finally got round to making the required jigs so they can be made consistently to a high standard. The Snelgrove method of swarm control is well documented and a very good description can be found from the Barnsley Beekeepers website Snelgrove Method

As with all our standard products they are made to National Hive size.

pour les abeilles françaises…

These two Top Bar Hives were ordered some time ago and are now ready to be shipped out to our customer Richard who lives in France.  Apparently once our previous Top Bar Hive had been seen on the Peak Hives website no other would do.  Nice to know our quality workmanship is appreciated.  They are Cedar and have hinged viewing panels for less intrusive inspections.  It’s a nice change to make a ‘special’ but our customer was also very patient and understood that we had to get on with our standard National Hive orders and work on these as and when we could.  One day I’ll make one for myself as they do look an interesting way of beekeeping.

Top Bar Hives in Cedar

Top Bar Hives in Cedar

We are about to have our annual holiday so enquiries and orders for our National Hive products received while we are away will be dealt with upon our return.  All the best.  Nick and Adriana.

Foundation Wax

After many many requests from our customers I’m pleased to announce that we now stock foundation wax.  British Standard in Deep, Shallow and 14×12.  We can’t hold a full gamut of wax but we’ve selected the most useful sizes of the wired foundation to stock.  Our mainstay is of course National Hives in Cedar and the more economical Red Deal but we want to be able to offer everything you’ll need to get a hive up and running so adding foundation to the Peak Hives product line is a big step forwards for us.

Peak Hives Foundation Wax

Peak Hives Foundation Wax

It can be found near the frames and plastic frame ends lower down the left hand column.

All the best and happy beekeeping for the upcoming season.

Plastic Ends

We now stock plastic frame ends to fit on to SN1 or DN1 frames.  Many beekeepers use self spacing Hoffman Style DN4 or 14×12 Frames in their National Hives but there is an argument that the shoulders of the Hoffman frames can pose a risk to the queen when removing the frames as she could be squished between the frame shoulders.  So we have decided to stock plastic frame ends to help those using DN1 or SN1 frames.  Many experienced beekeepers don’t bother with the spacers and just space by eye.

The Plastic Frame Ends can be found in the left hand column near the bottom.

We’ve started the new year with a flood of orders for our National Hive products so it looks like a busy year ahead.  Happy New year to all our customers past and future and happy beekeeping for 2015.

Holidays 2014

From today 26th July all Peak Hives orders will be made up and dispatched after we return from our annual holiday.  We thank all our customers and hope you all have had a great beekeeping season.  There’s been plenty of swarming but it also looks like a good honey crop is coming.

Please feel free to place orders for our National Hive and Nucleus Hives.  We will be returning to full production again upon our return.

All the best

Nick, Adriana and Fam.

Gearing up…

For the growing season 2014!  The Polytunnel is now up and running after a lot of hard graft.  54 feet by 14 feet so lots of room to grow in.  Apart from the usual toms, cukes, strawberries and peppers the plan is to propagate bee friendly plants for sale through the Peak Hives website.  I’ve started off with Cotoneaster which are now coming on nicely.  We’ve got 8 raised beds each 8ft by 4ft and a couple of smaller ones for the children to learn a bit of horticulture.  One worry is it’s near to our apiary so I’m hoping we don’t have problems with bees getting caught inside.

Peak Hives Polytunnel

Peak Hives Polytunnel

Here’s a picture of recent products coming out of the workshop.  A couple of our popular 6 Frame plus a Dummy Board National Nucleus Hives in Western Red Cedar.  The customer asked for extra height on the stands and also ordered Nucleus Hives sized queen excluders and supers.   We’re getting busier and busier now that the weather seems to be picking up and I’ll probably have to change the turnaround time soon.

Two Nucleus Hives

Two Nucleus Hives

National Hive – 2014

Here at Peak Hives we’re gearing up for the 2014 season here’s the latest delivery of first grade Western Red Cedar delivered to us by our timber supplier.  It really does look super quality material.  After briefly changing suppliers for a cheap deal on short lengths it’s a relief to be back with the supplier who has provided us with top quality timber for a number of years.  We’ve always found that quality of relationship is very important with those who we deal with.

Cedar Delivery

Cedar Delivery

I’ve been asked a few times about whether it’s best to buy Assembled hives or Flat Pack.  I would say that the flat pack option should only be chosen if you’re a competent woodworker with the right tools and a suitable place to assemble.  It’s also useful to have seen a National Hive before or better still already own one.  So if in doubt choose an Assembled National Hive as a safer option and then perhaps if you need to expand your apiary later try a flat pack.

Last year we managed to get approx 120lb of honey from our small apiary and that included leaving 2 full supers on each hive as we nearly lost colonies through starvation due to the late cold snap in April.  Hopefully with the extra stores all our colonies with go through this years winter and we’ll get as good a honey crop as 2013.

National Hive Travelling Screen

After having had several customers request these I finally found time to seek out the right mesh and make some up so they’re now added as a Peak Hives product in the left hand column.  In the past I’ve seen some of these done with quite a wide mesh hole.  We’ve chosen to use a small mesh hole to reassure that no bees are going to escape on that journey up the M1.

travelling screen

travelling screen

I’ve also added the National Hive 6″ Roof as a flat pack option.

Carnival Float

Here’s our entry for Tideswell and Eyam Carnivals this year.  A friend suggested the theme of bees and beekeeping and I was happy to make up a WBC for a change.  The colony reached about 15 bees in the end and there were a few of us as beekeepers with smokers etc.  All good fun but we didn’t win a prize.  I wasn’t expecting to when we saw the floats other teams had put in.  They spend months in barns making amazing floats.  One lot had converted ride on lawnmowers into the Whacky Races.  Dick Dastardly, Penelope Pitstop, Red Baron, Pat Pending etc…

Peak Hives Carnival Float

Peak Hives Carnival Float

It’s back to the workshop tomorrow.  We still have a large order book for our National Hive products and it will be hard going after the holiday but customers are waiting.

Neonicotinoids on Horizon

Beekeeper and journalist Bill Turnbull has made an interesting program for Horizon re bee decline.

Amongst other reasons for the problems our bees are experiencing presented in the piece was the role of the controvertial pesticide ‘Neonicotinoids’.  They act on the insect nervous system and a compelling piece of evidence was submitted when they showed bee disorientation after exposure to ‘Neonics’.

I’ve grabbed the screen from iplayer showing the flight path of bees exposed to the pesticide and bees who haven’t been exposed. According to the program the test results have been validated using hundreds of bees.

1.  Flight path of bee not exposed to Neonics (found hive through landmark recognition)
Neonicotinoids Free Bee Finds Hive

2.  Flight path of ‘lost bee’ after exposure to Neonics

Neonicotinoids Lost Bee
The program did say that there might be more than one cause for the problems including varroa, intensive farming etc etc but as an interested amateur beekeeper concerned for the environment after seeing this program I think we need to reconsider the use of such chemicals.  After all if it is actually affecting the bees brains might it not be rewiring our own…

Once again at the centre of the controversy is big money.  Bayer/Monsanto.  The UK government lobbied heavily and voted against the current EU 2 year moratorium on the use of Neonicotinoids.

2013 Holiday

Hi.

After a very busy season making our Cedar National Hive beekeeping equipment our annual holidays are coming up so any orders placed from today 02/08/2013 will be made up upon our return in the first week of September.  Many thanks to all our clients new and old.

Nick & Adriana.

Swarm

Got a call today from one of the local Youth Hostels.  They have a healthy colony that for some years has resided in a roof and it had swarmed.  Nick, the manager, called and asked if I could capture the swarm as he was concerned about the youngsters in the hostel.

As quick as I could I got together all the requisite National Hive items and donned my bee suit and headed down there.  Lovely swarm of bees hanging in a tree bough at chest height that was easily pulled down into the hive and snipped off with secateurs.  New colony for our apiary!!!  Tomorrow I’ll be off down to the apiary to put a feeder on and open up the entrance.  With a bit of luck and sugar they’ll build up for the winter and won’t be ‘chasers’.  Last swarm we had were chasing me out of the veg garden.

France hols (2 weeks) beckons and after a busy season we’re all ready for a break.

Two National Hives and a 14×12 Nucleus

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.

Sunday-Sup

 

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!

66 National Hives – One Order!

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.

Merry Christmas 2012!

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

Double Brood Nucleus Hive

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

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.

The Honey Man – Tideswell Theatre

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:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/mar/22/the-honey-man-review?INTCMP=SRCH

Splayed Legs Hive Stand

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

Splayed Legs Hive Stand

Christmas orders 2011

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.

Frames and Dummy Boards

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.

Dummy Boards

Dummy Boards

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

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.

Peak Hives Nucleus Colonies

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…

2011 Photo Competition Winners.

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.

Paul-M-1st

Paul-M-1st

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.

Cora-M-2nd

Cora-M-2nd

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.

Stephen-S-3rd

Stephen-S-3rd

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.

Too busy to post!!!

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…

 

14x12 National Hives

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

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.

Peak Hives Photo Competition

Peak Hives Photography Competition.

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 nicholas@peak-hives.co.uk

All the best for the 2011 beekeeping season!

Nick and Adriana

Product Improvement

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

Ashforth Feeder Improvement

Ashforth Feeders

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.

Ashforth Feeders

Ashforth Feeders

An inspector calls...

Regional FERA Bee Inspector Tim Roper called round under the FERA free inspection offer (you need to register with Beebase in order to qualify for a free inspection and it’s definitely worth it.  My opinion is that it in these times registration should be obligatory.  Anyway, after looking at Peak Hives 2 colonies he pronounced them in good health.  There was some evidence of chalk brood but not enough to cause too much concern.

The bees are now filling up the new super with drawn comb and there’s the ‘old socks’ smell of Dandelion honey.  Tim says it’s quite nice to eat though.

Fera Bee Inspector Tim Roper Inspecting Peak Hives Apiary

Fera Inspecting Peak Hives Apiary

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.

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!

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.