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!

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.

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…

 

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…

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.

Observation Hive For Scotland

Here’s a National Observation Hive which has just left the workshop on it’s way to Scotland.  Taken some time in the making and I prefer to do these specials when it’s the quiet season so I can spend a little extra time on the machining and getting it just right.  Many thanks to David for his patience.  It would have left the Peak Hives workshop last week but we have had a dump of snow and the gritters don’t come up our lane these days so it had to wait until the courier van could get to us.

Observation Hive Closed

Observation Hive Closed

Observation Hive Open

Observation Hive Open

For now that’s the specials done with as we are very busy with orders for our National Hives and looking forward to a great 2015 beekeeping season.

Polycarbonate Quilt Update

Here’s an incremental improvement to a Peak Hives product.  I needed to order new material for our Polycarbonate National Hive Quilts.  The new transparent material is 3mm thick instead of the old 2mm.  It’s a small improvement that adds stiffness.  I try to look for opportunities to make changes/add products to our National Hive range when the opportunity arises.

Polycarbonate Quilt Update

Polycarbonate Quilt Update

Despite the current weather and season our National Hive order book is still full.  I will make time soon though to set up the making of a batch of frames.  DN1, SN1, DN4 and 14×12 Hoffman are our usual range and I’ll be making up around 1000 of each…repetitive and tedious work but it needs to be done ready for next season.

National Hive Double Stand in Cedar

Our customer emailed to ask if we could make a specific height double stand.  After exchanging a couple of emails we had a design and at this time of year I can fit in the odd custom job. It’s 700mm high and designed to take two National Hives.

Double Hive Stand in Cedar

Double Hive Stand in Cedar

I was only supposed to make up a flat pack but got carried away and made it up. Suppose it means I like being in the workshop at least..

 

 

Last Orders before 2014 Holidays.

Apart from a few small items to be shipped tomorrow and orders that are confirmed for when we return these two National Hives in Western Red Cedar are the last complete hives to be made up before our annual holiday.  They comprise Sloping Leg Stand with landing board, Varroa Mesh Floor with slide out yellow Correx Varroa inspection tray, 14×12 Brood Chambers, Framed Queen Excluder, 2 Supers, Ashforth Feeders and Crown Boards with Porter Bee Escapes.  The client is to keep them in his garden so has opted for the Gabled Roof rather than the standard 4″ Flat Roof.

National Hive with Gabled Roof

National Hive with Gabled Roof

We’re back in the workshop at the end of August.  Please feel free to place orders and we’ll attend to them upon our return.

Happy Beekeeping!!!   Nick & Adriana.

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 Observation Brood

This combination of a Cedar National Hive Observation Brood Chamber and Polycarbonate Quilt are to be used by a Beekeeping Association when they run their introductory beekeeping courses later in the Spring.  It should allow the novice beekeepers chance to have a very good look at the colony without actually opening up the hive and disturbing the bees.  We’re getting busier now that the days are starting to lengthen and people are beginning to think about their apiaries once again.  Here in the Peak District there’s still plenty of time for wintery weather so I won’t be going near our bee hives for ages yet.

Observation Brood Chamber

Observation Brood Chamber

 

 

Top Bar Hive

One of our existing clients requested this Top Bar Hive.  It’s been a very interesting build and having seen it I’d love to have one myself but alas this is shipping tomorrow to our client.  It’s made of Western Red Cedar and has a hinged viewing panel as well as a Varroa Mesh floor and a mechanism for counting Varroa drop.  About this time of year I can take a little time away from the bread and butter business of National Hive making and take on these ‘specials’.  It has been a bit of a labour of love.  I shouldn’t really have spent so much time on it but pride in my work led me to dedicate perhaps rather more time and effort than I should.

Top Bar Hive in Cedar

Top Bar Hive in Cedar

I can imagine the management of one of these Top Bar Hives is quite different to a National Hive and if I do get time I’ll make myself one for our apiary.  They look fun.

Top Bar Viewing Panel

Top Bar Viewing Panel

It’s near enough Christmas now and any orders received from today onwards won’t be delivered in time for Christmas Day delivery.  We wish all our customers past, present and future a merry Christmas, happy New Year and happy beekeeping for 2014

Nucleus Hive Full Set

This batch of our 6 Frame National Nucleus Hives in Western Red Cedar are going to one of our repeat customers.  They’ve ordered two 14×12 National Nuc Hives and some of our Nucleus Hive Supers to go with them.  Also Ashforth Feeders.  A new item was requested as well.  I’m always happy to accommodate special requests if there’s time and it’s a sensible idea.  This one was for Queen Excluders sized to fit on top of our Nucleus Hives.

Nucleus Hive Full Set

Nucleus Hive Full Set

Nucleus Hive Queen Excluder

Nucleus Hive Queen Excluder

Essentially our customer intends to use our Nucs for full colonies or some such similar idea.  What with the extra size of our Nucleus Hives and the Supers it should be possible.

 

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.

A Cubic Metre of Cedar

Last order of raw materials for National Hive manufacture this season.  One Cubic Metre of Canadian Western Red Cedar.

A Cubic Metre of Cedar

A Cubic Metre of Cedar

Together with what’s already in the store we should have enough for our National Hive and Nucleus Hive orders up to Christmas.  It means I can spend a bit of time at the end of each day out of the workshop on other projects and the current job is erecting our polytunnel.  54 feet by 14 feet with double doors at either end.  Should be just what we need to extend the growing season up here in the Peak District.  Apart from Strawberries etc we will also be using it to start a micro nursery of bee friendly plants.  I’ve an extensive list of plants sent us by the British Beekeepers Association and need to decide on a couple of dozen which are not too difficult to propagate to get started.

National 6″ Roof

Added to the hive options and also added into the left hand side bar of the Peak Hives site now is our new 6″ National Roof.  It’s been something asked for several times and I have made it FOC as a special but as it’s a pretty popular option I thought I’d add it to the product line up.

Bees aren’t the only creatures to ‘make increase’ and our expanding brood has ended up in my buying a new ‘people carrier’ vehicle.  Had a tear in my eye when the old Berlingo went but the new car’s been well received by the family so a good buy overall.  Had the PH logo done on the back again by Hotline Signs in Buxton.  Looks a treat.

Peak Hives New Vehicle

Peak Hives New Vehicle

Here’s the latest batch of Western Red Cedar delivered to the workshop.  We now buy it by the cubic metre.  It doesn’t sound like alot but we’ll get quite a few beehives out of the couple of cubic metres in the picture.

2 Cubes of WRC

2 Cubes of WRC

Finally,  here’s a picture of an ‘Apiguard Quilt’.  The customer suggested it and we try to please.  It should do the trick quite nicely as it would allow a quick peek to see if the treatment has been taken without disturbing the colony.

Apiguard Quilt

Apiguard Quilt

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.

National Brood Chamber Cross Section

A very cross section indeed.  I’d made this National Brood Chamber up out of first quality cedar and after sanding it and finishing with metal runners placed it upon the rest of the order I was working on.  Summat not right there!  I’d made the sides about 35mm too short!  So after a mild curse it was destined for firewood.  Makes a nice cross section of a Brood Chamber though so here’s a piccy before it went on the fire.

Brood Chamber Cross Section

Brood Chamber Cross Section

National Observation Hive

One of our school customers wanted an observation hive and sent me an image of one they had seen to see if I could make a copy.  They also wanted it to be compatible with frames taken from their existing Peak Hives National Hive so as to facilitate colony management etc.  The photo they sent me was of a hive based upon the Langstroth so it did take a bit of modifying to make it National Hive compatible but here’s the result.

National Observation Hive

National Observation Hive

 

National Observation Hive

National Observation Hive

 

National Observation Hive

National Observation Hive

As you can see with the hinged doors open and the polycarbonate quilt it will make for easy viewing of the entire colony.  I added toggle latches to hold the floor to the brood chamber and to the modified super above the brood so as to make sure there weren’t any mishaps whilst the hive was being observed.  I’m pleased with the result and think our client will be too.

 

School Apiary

Here’s the latest order being checked over in the workshop.  A complete Apiary for a school in Shropshire.  Comprising 3 fully assembled National Hives in Cedar each with a Varroa Floor, 2 Supers, 14 x 12 brood chamber, Framed Queen Excluder, Apiguard Crown Board with Porter Bee Escapes and a Gabled Roof.  PLus there’s a couple of our popular Nucleus Hives which come with Varroa Floors and a dummy board and will take up to 6 frames of bees.

School Apiary

School Apiary

We get alot of orders from schools and it’s nice to think of our products being used in educating potential future beekeepers.  Given the size of the order I’ll be putting these hives into our van and delivering in person tomorrow.

 

Order Queue

Managed to get on top of the order queue.  With 6 large orders going today it means I can mostly concentrate on a huge order that doesn’t need delivering until Jan 2013 and fit in a little time for my own projects…

National Hives aren’t the only thing made from Western Red Cedar.  It’s a bit off topic for a National Hive maker but here’s how our Freedom 15′ Cedar Strip Canadian canoe is shaping up.

Canadian Cedar Strip Canoe

Canadian Cedar Strip Canoe

I’ve been grabbing 20 mins here and there to do work on it now for over a year but now that the high season madness has subsided I can fit in a bit more time along with my son James (part of the idea is that he sees the value in taking time over – and finishing – a project).  We’ve just done fibreglassing and epoxy…When finished I’ll pop some ‘on the water’ piccys on the Peak Hives blog.

I’ve also updated the order turnaround time in the right hand column and it’s now approx 2 weeks from order to delivery for one of our Cedar or Red Deal National Hive products.

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.

Bees in the Belfry

What do you get when you cross-pollinate bees and the Church?  A Peak Hives National Hive on top of Manchester Cathedral!

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

 

Adrian (Peak Hives customer and also an Honorary Canon at the Cathedral) emailed me…

‘…The project is beginning to take shape now. Manchester Cathedral is very much a working cathedral – very involved in the city and highly active at a social level.  We have a Volunteer Project – for young people struggling to get a step on the ladder of life. The Cathedral Apiary project is part of that.  We will be training up individuals in beekeeping – but there is a level of involvement beyond that.  We will take the different elements of it – building hives/frames etc, managing the hives, extracting and selling honey, and use of other products of the hive –  as a way of getting people to learn how to start and work up a project and follow it through – so that they can use these skills in other fields.  It will be a rolling programme of development…’

Many thanks Adrian for choosing Peak Hives to supply the project.

Nick & Adriana.

Nucleus Hive Super

Time to respond to customer requests.  I’ve had numerous enquiries as to whether I’d make a ‘Super’ for a Nucleus Hive.  Well here it is (See pic below).  It’s sized to sit atop of our 6 Frame Nucleus Hive and comes with fitted metal runners.  The work involved in making one is more or less the same as for a full sized National Hive Super so unfortunately they can’t be sold for half price for the small amount of material that’s saved.  But they’ve been requested a good few times now and we try our best to satisfy demand.

Nuc Super

Nucleus Hive Super

 

They are now available to purchase in the left hand column.  All the best and happy beekeeping.  Nick and Adriana.

Baker’s Dozen

Of National Nucleus Hives in Western Red Cedar.  These 13 were ordered to rejuvenate a Channel Island Beekeeping Association’s equipment inventory.  Modesty aside I think they look a treat and hope that the clients will be as pleased with them as I am.  Our 6 Hoffman Frame plus Dummy Board (which comes supplied with the nuc) configuration is proving a popular product and the fact that Peak Hives supplies them with the option of a Varroa Floor adds further benefit.  Anyway, enough banging our drum here’s a piccy of them prior to shipping by pallet…

Jersey Nucleus Hives

Jersey Nucleus Hives

Cleaner Cuts

Since starting National Hive production at Peak Hives I’ve used my trusty Sedgwick morticing machine to cut the slots for the rails to sit into brood boxes and supers.  Cedar is an extremely light wood with air between the fibres therfore affording extra insulation to bees housed in a cedar hive, BUT that lightness means that on occasion the morticer can sometimes cut/crush it’s way through the timber rather than just cutting.  The image below illustrates the problem…

National Hive Rail Slots

National Hive Rail Slots

 

Time for a Dado head!  They’re not normally available here in the UK because of our Health and Safety laws but I’ve been searching ebay for a while and found one.  After making up a custom jig and some more fettling it’s doing a grand job.  Nice clean precise cuts every time and it’s also slightly quicker.

 

Dado Head

Dado Head

 

Custom Varroa Floors

Our client wishes to place his apiary with the back of his hives against a limestone wall.  After having picked up his original order for a National Hive in Cedar with a standard Varroa Floor he realised that the slide out Correx tray meant that his hives would have to be 1/2 metre away from the wall.  After a quick consultation with us we’ve come up with these bespoke Open Mesh Floors.  On one the tray slides out to the left and on the other it slides out to the right allowing two hives to be inspected from a central position.  We always try to meet any special requirements if we can.  If the customers happy, we’re happy.

 

Custom Varroa Floors

Custom Varroa Floors

 

6 Frame Nucleus Hive!

Here at Peak Hives we take product development seriously.  When we get National Hive suggestions from customers they are always considered carefully and incorporated into our product line if they’d be a useful addition to the beekeeping experience.  Hence the new Peak Hives Nucleus Hive.

6 Frame Nucleus Hive

6 Frame Nucleus Hive

The most noticeable improvement is our new Nucleus Hives have room for 6 frames instead of the previous 5.  But also we’ve built in room to add a dummy board (which comes included) alongside the 6 frames to make inspection easier.

As can be seen from the photos there’s the optional 7 litre Ashforth Feeder sized to sit perfectly on top of the brood area.  The other feeding option is provided by the feed hole in the crown board which allows the use of a contact feeder should you prefer.  Also optional is the Nucleus Hive stand with landing board again sized to sit perfectly under the hive.

 

6 Frame Nucleus Hive

6 Frame Nucleus Hive

We’re the only National Hive makers to incorporate a Varroa Floor with our Nucleus Hives and with the new 6 frame Nucleus Hives and that will continue.  Whether a hive is for a nuc or a large colony it’s always useful to be able to inspect for Varroa infestation.  As can be seen in the photo we use yellow correx trays in our Open Mesh Floors to aid visual identification of the mite.  The standard floor will also continue as an option should you prefer.  Both floors come with an entrance block.

 

Nucleus Hive Varroa Floor

Nucleus Hive Varroa Floor

And of course we’re offering the new product in standard National Hive brood size and 14×12.  All in Western Red Cedar or the more economical Red Deal.

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.

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.

Little 'n' large

A couple of hives finished today.  On the left is a five frame National Nucleus Hive suitable for 5 frames plus 8mm ‘wiggle’ room.  On the right a full sized National Hive also from first grade cedar.  Comes with a Stand with Landing Board, Varroa Floor, Standard Brood Chamber, A Framed wired queen excluder, two Supers, An Apiguard Crown Board and a Standard 4″ roof.

little-n-large

little-n-large

These are to go tomorrow to a repeat customer.  It is very rewarding to find that many Peak Hives customers are satisfied with their first order and purchase again.

All the best.  Nick and Adriana.

Product Improvement – Cedar Staining

Cedar is a superior timber for making hives partly because it has natural chemical constituents that protect it from insect and fungal attack.  These chemicals can cause a side effect though in that they can react with the iron content of standard nails and cause staining if the wood is wet.  I’ve been wetting the wood in picture every day for a couple of weeks and you can see the stain from the standard steel nail starting to spread.  Of course this doesn’t occur if the hive is protected with paint or Danish/Linseed Oil but some prefer to leave their woodwork untreated to age and weather naturally.

On the left you can see the stained standard nail.  On the right you can see no staining around the galvanized nail fixed in place by my new Air Nailer.

Cedar Test Piece

Cedar Test Piece

Here’s the old technology compared with the new.  Hammer vs Air Nailer.  Won’t be throwing the hammer away just yet but the Nailer certainly speeds up hive assembly leaves a neater finish and, using galvanized nails, gets rid of the staining issue.  Peak Hives assembled National Hives will from now on be constructed using the newer method.

Hammer vs Nailer

Hammer vs Nailer

First National Hive for 2011

I’ve sent out a couple of flat pack hives this week but this is the first assembled British National Hive to come out of the Peak Hives workshop in 2011.  As can be seen from the photo the stand is ‘legless’.  I believe the customer has a bench arrangement in place and will sit the hive on this so no legs required.  The hive consists of National Stand, Open Mesh Floor for Varroa control and monitoring, National Brood Box, Framed Queen Excluder, 3 National Supers, A Standard Crown Board with Porter Bee Escapes and a Standard 4 inch Flat Roof.

An Ashforth Feeder was also included with the order and a 70mm eke in Cedar to use with a plastic feeder the customer already has.  Nice bit of kit if I do say so myself.

First National Hive for 2011

First National Hive for 2011

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

Peak Hives Apiguard Crown Board

A new product for Peak Hives and a few photos of recent items that have left the workshop.

After a suggestion/request from an experienced beekeeper from the Leicestershire and Rutland BKA Peak Hives will now be offering the ‘Apiguard Crown Board’.  It incorporates a modification to the standard Crown Board adding a 3/4 inch strip round the normally flat side of the standard Crown Board.  The purpose of the extra strip is to facilitate Apiguard treatment.  Under normal use the board is placed with the beespace side downwards but when it’s time to apply Apiguard (a Thymol based product which used in conjunction with other treatments has so far proven effective against Varroa) the Apiguard Crown Board is flipped over giving the 3/4 inch extra space for the Apiguard tray to sit in.  A simple modification but effective against the Varroa mite.

As with the normal Crown Board it also doubles up as a clearer board with the supplied Porter Bee Escapes.

It can be purchased either as part of a flat pack or assembled hive or seperately from the left hand column.

Here’s a few snaps of the new product.

Apiguard Crown Board 1

Apiguard Crown Board 1

Apiguard Crown Board 2

Apiguard Crown Board 2

Apiguard Crown Board 3

Apiguard Crown Board 3

I think the photos more or less explain the way it works.  Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Now here’s a few photos of recent orders.  We’re still very busy and this is just a snapshot of a few that have been made up and shipped to hopefully happy Peak Hives customers.

Recent Cedar Hive

Recent Cedar Hive

Recent Deal Hive

Recent Deal Hive

A Couple of Flat Peak Nucleus Hives

A Couple of Flat Peak Nucleus Hives

Update complete for now.  I have a number of products in the pipeline but have to concentrate on orders for the time being.

A 14x12 and a Nucleus

Two orders made up today.  One 14×12 National with 2 Supers and a Nucleus Hive.  None of this is new but we’re proud of making our products out of locally sourced materials and both of these are constructed from Peak District Western Red Cedar.

National 14x12 In Cedar

National 14×12 In Cedar

Standard Nucleus Hive In Cedar

Standard Nucleus Hive In Cedar

14×12 Top Bee Space National Hive in Cedar

Here’s a 14×12 top bee space National Hive in Cedar.  It’s for an order but I shall also be moving my bees onto 14×12 top bee space in the coming season.  I’ve just about managed OK this year with the ‘brood and a half’ I got the bees on but I have to agree with Ted Hooper that a single brood chamber has to be better (easier) to manage and any help in making the transition from beekeeping novice to beekeeper is more than welcome!

14x12 Top Bee Space National

14x12 Top Bee Space National

This hive has been constructed using a mix of bought in and locally sourced Peak District Cedar.

Autumn?

I’ve not quite forgotten how to post articles onto the Peak Hives website but it has been a while…

There’s more than a couple of reasons why it’s been so quiet on here but one major reason is while we were away on hols the camera got dropped into the sea!  Digital cameras and salt water don’t mix it seems and no matter how much drying time I give it it refuses to take another piccy.  Took receipt the other day of a new camera and can finally take some shots to put onto the site again…One of the other reason it’s been so quiet is I’m spending as much time as possible in the workshop to make up orders.

Off the top of my head this weeks production has included…around 50 flat pack national supers, 25 flat pack national brood boxes, a dozen or so of broods and supers assembled, several Varroa Open Mesh Floors, two standard floors (yes there are still experienced beekeepers who use them), around 14 4″ roofs, 1 complete 14×12 hive in cedar and an accompanying nucleus hive (pictured) and a few ashforth feeders…phew.  There’s lots more to make up though and we certainly do thank our customers for their patience.

14x12 hive and nuc

14x12 hive and 14x12 nuc

Up here in the Peak the season’s well and truly over as regards the buzzers…they’re settling in for winter.  Started with 2 colonies and looks like we’ll end with 2.  Now to see how they fair in the Peak District winter…

Think I’ll give them a little help with some cut up Kingspan.

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

One BIG Order!

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 Hives

23 Assembled Hives!

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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