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!

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.

 

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…

 

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.

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.

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 – 2014

Here at Peak Hives we’re gearing up for the 2014 season here’s the latest delivery of first grade Western Red Cedar delivered to us by our timber supplier.  It really does look super quality material.  After briefly changing suppliers for a cheap deal on short lengths it’s a relief to be back with the supplier who has provided us with top quality timber for a number of years.  We’ve always found that quality of relationship is very important with those who we deal with.

Cedar Delivery

Cedar Delivery

I’ve been asked a few times about whether it’s best to buy Assembled hives or Flat Pack.  I would say that the flat pack option should only be chosen if you’re a competent woodworker with the right tools and a suitable place to assemble.  It’s also useful to have seen a National Hive before or better still already own one.  So if in doubt choose an Assembled National Hive as a safer option and then perhaps if you need to expand your apiary later try a flat pack.

Last year we managed to get approx 120lb of honey from our small apiary and that included leaving 2 full supers on each hive as we nearly lost colonies through starvation due to the late cold snap in April.  Hopefully with the extra stores all our colonies with go through this years winter and we’ll get as good a honey crop as 2013.

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.

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.

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 – The Full Set.

Quick update and a piccy.  We’re still busy but will soon thankfully be taking a couple of weeks holiday in the Vendee (and really looking forward to it).  The picture is of one of our 6 Frame Nucleus Hives but this time the customer ordered the full set.  From the bottom up…Nucleus Hive Stand with Splayed Legs and Landing Board, Nucleus Hive Varroa Floor, Brood Chamber (which comes supplied with a Dummy Board for easier manipulation), Nucleus Hive super, Nucleus Hive Ashforth feeder, Crown Board and Deep Roof with enough space to take a feeder.

Nucleus Hive

Nucleus Hive

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

 

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.

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.

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

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 Nucleus Hive Stands.

I’ve had a few requests for stands for our Nucleus Hives so they are a new Peak Hives product which can now be found in the left hand column under the Standard Nuc Hives and the 14×12 Nucs.  The PH Nuc hives do look good when sat on one.  They are (as are the Nucleus Hives) 221mm wide by the National Hive standard depth of 460mm.

Nucleus Hive Stand

Nucleus Hive Stand

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.

14x12 Nucleus Hives in Cedar

With Peak Hives Nucleus Hive Ashforth Feeders.  These two will be winging their way to their new owner on Monday…along with the other two orders my slave driving partner Adriana has instructed me to make up this weekend (yes, weekend!).  Still, it’s better to have work these days so no grumbling from me!

14x12 Nucleus Hives In Cedar

14×12 Nucleus Hives In Cedar

Here’s a shot of the last batch of Peak District Western Red Cedar now ready for machining having spent the summer air drying.  I’ll be doing a post in the next few days about converting raw lumber like this into finished National Hive parts ready for our pollinating friends to occupy.  I’ve been today to see another local Cedar that has to be felled in the coming weeks to stop it falling on the owner’s conservatory.  Better it’s made into National Hives rather than firewood (Cedar is apparently a very poor firewood anyway so I’m informed)

WRC In The Workshop

WRC In The Workshop

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

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

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!