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British National Beehives

Based in a small workshop in Tideswell in the Peak District we make Highest Quality British National Beehives out of 1st grade American Western Red Cedar or High Quality Red Deal according to the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) Modified National Hive Plans. Everything we sell we make here in the Peak District. We also stock other items of Beekeeping Supplies including Frames, Foundation Wax and Hive Tools. The driving forces behind peak-hives.co.uk are sustainability and quality workmanship. Sustainability because, well it matters quite a bit we think and quality workmanship because customer satisfaction is paramount.

Cedar Scarcity.

Unfortunately building materials are extremely scarce at the moment and pricing is highly volatile. This goes for Western Red Cedar too. I have decided that until the market settles down I will not be making up any Cedar hives or hive parts. We'll be back in operation once the supply issues have been resolved. Many thanks.


Want to see your National Hive being made? Here's what's going on in the workshop right now. The image is updated every 10 minutes during working hours. Click to see full size...



The rest of the centre column is an ongoing blog of what's new at peak-hives.co.uk and other items of interest...veg garden...renewables etc, but please don't let reading about the allotment distract you from placing your order...:-)

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

National Nucleus Hive Options.

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

National Nucleus Hives

National Nucleus Hive Options

National Hives from Chatsworth Cedar

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

Chatworth Western Red Cedar

Air Drying Chatworth Western Red Cedar

Cedar National Hives ready for shipping

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

Assembled Cedar National Hives

Assembled Cedar National Hives

Cedar National Hive with Gabled Roof

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

cedar national hive with gabled roof

cedar national hive with gabled roof

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

Peak District Western Red Cedar, National Hives

Up early to pick up my brother’s 1 tonne van and 3/4 tonne trailer (thanks Neil!)…then off to Chatsworth.  The forresters were already working on the tree when I arrived.  Even though Western Red Cedar is a ‘light’ wood…it’s bloomin heavy when it’s wet and in big logs!!!  The rough sawn lumber was then transported to be resawn into 2″ waney edge planks.  I’ll then stick them for a good while and monitor the moisture levels.  Here at Peak-Hives we’re trying our best to source local timbers and once again many thanks to all involved for this timber.

Peak District Western Red Cedar for Peak-Hives

Peak District Western Red Cedar for Peak-Hives

peak district western red cedar for national hive

peak district western red cedar for national hives

Was this tree planted by Capability Brown?…Now that’d make a National Hive!!!

Chatsworth Western Red Cedar for Peak National Hive!

As promised by Dave the Head Forrester at Chatsworth and a day earlier than expected. Our tree has mostly already been felled and will be transported on friday for milling. Then it’ll be put in storage for air drying. The waiting process then begins, checking frequently with the moisture meter for suitability for use in our national hives.  The timber will be resawn in 2″ planks at Rowsley Sawmill (thanks to Simon).  Here’s a quick shot of one of the logs…

Chatsworth Western Red Cedar for Peak-Hives

Chatsworth Western Red Cedar for Peak-Hives

Many thanks to Dave and all involved.

26th november…Peak District Western Red Cedar!

just a quick reminder that on the 26th November we’ll be milling up about 1 1/2 square metres of Peak District sourced Western Red Cedar for use in our national hives (thanks to the Peak Park ‘live and work rural’ team and Adele in particular.  between cutting down, resawing, natural air drying and other tasks related to preparing the timber it’ll be some time before we can use the timber for our hive ‘micro’ production line but will keep the blog posted with how the timber is preparing itself for use as bee houses (nationals of course)…if you’re interested in having a hive constructed from this premium material then please register your interest by mailing me at nicholas@localhost

I suppose it’ll be done on a first come first served basis…

…now where’s that moisture meter?

assembled cedar national hive brood box on ebay…

have to keep pluggin away with the old fleabay wednesday sunday thing…

assembled cedar national hive brood box