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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...:-)

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…


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.

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.

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

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!

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.

National Hive Gabled Roofs…Update

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

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

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

Feedback, as always, is very welcome.

All the best.  Nick

National Hive Gabled Roof Assembly Instructions…

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