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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.

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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...

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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...:-)




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.

 

Isle of Wight Order

Still busy up here and here’s a quick picture of the order made up over the weekend (Yes including Sunday)…The order was for 3 14×12 National Hives in red deal each including a Varroa floor, a 14×12 Brood Chamber, Framed Queen Excluder, Two Supers, a Standard Crown Board and a Standard 4 inch roof.  Sunday working isn’t so bad when you love your job!

Isle of Wight Order

Isle of Wight Order

Christmas 2010

Christmas comes but once a year and one of our clients has given permission to show this picture of a beautifully wrapped Peak Hives National Hive given as a present.  We were very worried that they might not get it in time for Christmas but as you can see it arrived in time for some luxury wrapping…

Christmas Hive

Christmas Hive

There were a few customers for hives as presents and thankfully we managed to get them all out in time for giving on the big day.

Happy beekeeping!

4 different timbers?

Well no.  There’s just two as can be seen in the image below.  Western Red Cedar and Red Deal.  In woodworking it’s not often you come across a timber that can have quite such a gamut of colouring as that of Western Red Cedar.  As can be seen in the picture the leftmost timber is Red Deal but all the others are Cedar despite them looking nothing like each other.

timbers

timbers

Red Deal and Western Red Cedar have quite different characteristics.

Western Red Cedar has long been used for construction where timber is likely to come up against the elements.  It has natural oils that resist insect attack and protect it from the worst the weather can throw at it.  It’s also very light.  This is a big advantage when one considers the weight a beekeeper has to lug around in a super full of honey.  The reason it’s light is that it has a kind of honeycomb structure in the wood (i.e. lots of air pockets) which adds to it’s usefulness too in beekeeping in that it’s a good insulator keeping the precious bees warm in the winter.

Red Deal’s main advantage is price.  It’s certainly cheaper and if you don’t mind the extra weight it’s perfectly good as a timber in National Hive production.  It can also last a very long time IF looked after.  Looking round town houses in neighbouring Buxton it’s remarkable how many still have front doors that were constructed in Victorian times.  What’s made them last so long?  Paint!

National Hive Supers to the Rafters!

With the order book so full I decided to work through the Easter weekend. By Monday I had a stack of Red Deal National Supers reaching up to the rafters of the workshop!

National Hive Supers in Red Deal

National Hive Super Stack

Completely cleaned me out of Red Deal.  There’s more being delivered on Thursday and luckily I’ve a good stack of cedar to work on in the meantime.  It’s a good thing that Andy came up with a transit van to pick up at lunchtime today otherwise I’d have struggled for room in the workshop.

Van Full of National Hives

Van Full of National Hives

Once he’d taken away this large order I managed to squeeze out a couple of Nucleus Hives by close of play.  Phew!  Friday is holiday!  My boy James is doing very well at school and as a reward the lot of us are off to Alton Towers Water Park.  I suspect that Saturday may bring more workshop time for this blogger but I’m going to allow myself a little R and R and enjoy Friday!

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

British National Hive in Red Deal

Now that the big freeze is over (at least for the moment it looks that way) we’re back in production.  Here’s a British National Hive with 2 Supers in Red Deal.

British National Hive in Red Deal

British National Hive in Red Deal

Here’s to a successful beekeeping 2010.  I’m long overdue to start frame making and I’m compiling a list of potential customers for DN4, SN1 etc.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get that thin kerf blade in use soon…

Allotment news is that I’ve just planted 2 out of 6 trees supplied by Rogers of Pickering.  1 Bramleys Seedling and 1 Spartan apple (recommended by Carl with thanks).  I’ve a couple of pear trees to plant next (Buerre Hardy and Conference) and 20 odd raspberry canes along with some plum trees and gooseberry bushes.  When we moved here as a family in the early 60s all these things were here and producing fruit.  Somehow they’ve been left to grow old and wither…(I blame the supermarkets..grrr).  With some luck and cultivation we’ll be back to picking our own fruit in a couple of seasons…