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 £33.52 Assembled Red Deal £29.76
National Brood
assembled national hive brood box Assembled Cedar £54.52 Assembled Red Deal £39.89
Flat Pack National Brood
flat pack national hive brood chamber Cedar £44.96
Red Deal £33.56
National Super
cedar national hive super Assembled Cedar £42.96 Assembled Red Deal £31.21
Flat Pack National Super
flat pack national hive super Cedar £34.85
Red Deal £22.30
National 4" Roof
assembled cedar national hive roof Assembled Cedar £53.97 Assembled Red Deal £46.50
Flat Pack National 4" Roof
flat pack national hive roof Cedar £42.22
Red Deal £35.52
National 6" Roof
assembled cedar national hive 6 Assembled Cedar £56.23 Assembled Red Deal £49.90
Flat Pack National 6" Roof
flat pack national 6 Cedar £47.77
Red Deal £42.89
National Gabled Roof
national hive gabled roof Assembled Cedar £65.65 Assembled Red Deal £53.45
National Hive Stand W Splayed Legs and Large Landing Board
national hive stand w splayed legs Assembled Cedar £39.22 Assembled Red Deal £33.86
National Hive Stand W Landing Board
national hive stand Assembled Cedar £34.22 Assembled Red Deal £27.86
Flat Pack National Stand W Landing Board
flat pack national hive stand Cedar £29.96
Red Deal £21.24

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 £72.87 Assembled Red Deal £50.54
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 £34.02 Assembled Red Deal £28.55

Flat Pack National 14x12 Brood Box
flat pack national hive 14x12 brood box Cedar £59.25
Red Deal £37.66

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. £13.55

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 £31.96 Assembled Red Deal £28.88

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 £34.45 Assembled Red Deal £27.12
National Nucleus Stand W Landing Board
nucleus hive stand

Assembled Cedar £25.79 Assembled Red Deal £20.94
Nucleus Hive Super
Supplied with fitted metal runners. assembled nucleus hive super Assembled Cedar £32.52 Assembled Red Deal £29.89
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.

University

Nick is currently studying teacher training full time at University and can only work on Peak Hives orders at the weekend and school holidays. If you're happy to wait then please place your order and it will be made up in due course. Many thanks to all our customers for their patience.




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...:-)




University Course

Hi.

I’m currently doing a University course that is requiring a lot of my time. Please only place an order if it is non urgent.

Many thanks.

Nick

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

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

Peach Blossom

Not directly bee related I know but I do like to put a thing or two about our allotment and polytunnel in the blog every now and then. Peach trees blossom very early in the year even before they get leaves and before bees and other pollinating insects are around. So, a tickle with a sable paint brush around all the flowers is the way to spread the pollen and hopefully get a good crop. This is the second year for our peach trees in the polytunnel and they are doing superbly. Last year even though they were only planted the Autumn/Winter before they produced several of the most juicy and surprisingly large and tasty fruit. This year the trees are covered in blossom so it looks like we might be in for a bumper crop.

Peach Blossom

Peach Blossom

We’re very busy as usual at this time of year and have sent many Cedar National Hives out to customers. It’s very gratifying to see so many repeat customers. We’ve also sent several of our hives to Europe. Last week a Peak Hives Top Bar Hive found it’s way to the Mosel Region of Germany.  Our 6 Frame plus a Dummy Board Nucleus Hives are also selling well…must remember to put up the prices…;-)

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…

Getting Ready for 2016

These two Peak Hives products are just about to be dispatched to our customers who are getting ready for the 2016 beekeeping season.  Thanks to them for ordering during the quieter part of the season!  They are a full sized National Hive in Western Red Cedar with a 14×12 Brood Chamber and one of our popular 6 frame National Nucleus Hives along with a Nucleus Hive Super also in Cedar.  The customer for the Nucleus Hive already had one from us in 2015 and ordered another because he said it had been very useful for queen rearing in his first beekeeping season.

2016 Season Hives

2016 Season Hives

On another note…listening to Inside Science the other day I noticed an interesting piece of work on identifying the curative properties of honey.

Quote from BBC…

“Bees and antimicrobial drugs
The antibacterial properties of honey have been exploited for thousands of years, but now scientists at the University of Cardiff are using honeybees to collect and identify plant-derived drugs which could be used to treat antibiotic resistant hospital pathogens. By screening honey for these plant compounds and identifying the plant through the pollen grains in the honey, researchers can narrow down the active ingredients and even exploit this to get bees to make medicinal honey.”

An interesting part of the report stated that all plantlife in Wales had been DNA fingerprinted so pollen collected from the bees pollen sacs could be DNA matched to the plant it came from…

No doubt that debate will go on but it does lean towards there being something of substance to the Manuka Honey/Hay Fever argument.

 

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.

Season Update and Workshop Upgrade…

We’re mad mad mad busy making our Cedar National Hives. We haven’t had any quiet period this time around as we have fortunately had many returning customers which is great. I’m currently doing 7 day weeks (taking Sunday afternoons off to have a breather and do a bit in the polytunnel) and even so still struggling to fulfill all orders in good time.

One thing I have had opportunity to do though is an upgrade in the workshop. The crosscut saw is about the most used machine in the workshop and has up to now had a Beech fence with a home made fence stop. It’s been accurate but every now and then I would have to fashion a new fence stop to make sure all was working correctly. Accuracy wasn’t the problem with it though. As a home made solution it tended to be awkward at times and needed too much maintenance so last week I splashed out on a Datum FlipStop. Installed it and a new Ash fence last night with the difference that can be seen in the pictures below. Very pleased so far…

Old Fence

Old Fence

New Fence

New Fence

New Fence

New Fence

All the best to all our customers. Our National Hives are still our bread and butter product and we thank our customers for their patience.

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.

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.

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..

 

 

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.

6 Orders in One Day

We’re very busy at this time of year and things get a bit hectic.  Today I hit the machines early and worked hard to get out as many orders as possible and clear the queue down a little.  None of the orders were for full National Hives but in total I’ve made up 10 Supers, 2 14×12 Brood Chambers, 2 Travelling Screens, a Polycarbonate Quilt, an Apiguard Crown Board and 10 Queen Excluders.  Including packaging up time and booking it in with the couriers etc etc it was a good days work…

Time for a curry!!!

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

Observation Hive No2

Earlier on in the year we were approached by a visitor attraction to build an observation hive to be installed for public viewing.  We were, as usual, too busy building our National Hives so we couldn’t accommodate them at the time.  Now that the main season is over I can make up special requests and this is the result

Observation Hive 2

Observation Hive 2

It will be wall mounted and takes 3 DN1 brood frames and an SN1 super frame as specified by the customer.  I was concerned that having only 4 frames it might be too small but the client assures me that they have seen similar observation hives run successfully over long periods.  They are also quite well in with local beekeepers so should have assistance on hand should they need it.  I’m currently discussing with the customer as to whether I travel up to the lake district where the attraction is to fit the hive.  Hopefully I will be and can make a weekend of it and do my best to get up Scafell.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Snow

We’ve been having a nightmare getting deliveries out as we are well off the route the gritters and ploughs cover.  If there’s a hint of snow in the UK Tideswell always gets it bad.

One customer, Jim from Sheffield, decided to pick up his flat pack National Hive from the workshop but he had to abandon his car in the centre of the village and walk the rest of the way.  After boxing up his hive it was clear that carrying it wasn’t on so Jim’s order became the first Peak Hives product to be delivered by sledge.

Sledge Hive

Sledge Hive

Thanks for bringing the sledge back Jim and happy beekeeping!

 

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

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.

Two National Nucleus Hives

Quick shot of the order finished today.  Two Nucleus Hives in Cedar with Varroa Floors and our new Splayed Leg Hive Stands.  At Peak Hives we put as much work and attention to detail in making our Nucleus Hives as we do into making our full sized National Hives.  In fact the time it takes making one is not far off about the same as making a full sized hive as they have essentially all the same components but scaled down.  Stand, Varroa Floor, Brood Chamber, Crown Board and Roof.

Two Nucs

Two Nucs

All the best.  Nick.

National Brood Chambers

This stack of National Hive Brood Boxes in Red Deal has just been completed and is now ready for putting on a pallet for delivery to our beekeeper customer in Herts.  After sizing it up for delivery it was decided that a single pallet would be better as it would have taken 8 individual packages to be sent by the normal courier route.

National Brood Chambers

National Brood Chambers

We did have a relatively quiet period in November when I managed to get more or less up to date with the order queue but with the new season that’s now history and we’re as busy as heck and I’m currently working 7 days a week in the workshop trying to get on top of the workload.  Thankfully Peak Hives tends to attract customers that understand that when ordering from a cottage industry there may be a wait between clicking ‘buy now’ and delivery.  We really do appreciate our clients patience.  Our customer satisfaction rate suggests they think it’s worth it.

 

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

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

 

Hoffman Frames

Finally got round to making all the jigs and workarounds to make the production of Hoffman Frames viable.  They’re now added to the frames section in the left hand column.  We’re offering our frames in flat packs of 10 or 50 and the Hoffmans are available in standard National Hive Brood Box size and 14×12.  All our frame packs come supplied with frame nails.

Hoffman Frames

Hoffman Frames

As is the case with all our National Hive products every stage from raw material to completed frame is done in our workshop in Tideswell.

 

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.

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.

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…