Bee hives, hive components and other related items.
Our hives are based on the lifetime's work of Ábbé Émile Warré, however we have made a small number of subtle but carefully considered and important changes. Warrés design was guided by two main criteria.
Firstly it was designed, along with his accompanying methods of beekeeping, to make life more comfortable for the bees. A bee-centric hive of sorts. This point we whole-heartedly agree with and it guides everything be-related we do and make.
Second, it was designed to be easily and cheaply made with easily available timber and simple hand tools. This point, while it sounds good, has several drawbacks. While it is of course possible to construct a hive to Warré's design using cheap/salvaged timber and a few hand tools, it is very difficult to make one really well that will last a long time in such a way. Such methods result in a hive that is likely to start deteriorating after it's first winter and isn't as good at keeping the weather out as it ought to be.
With the right tools, materials, and woodworking experience, it's possible to make a high quality hive to a very high standard with tight tolerances which will last for many years with only a little regular maintenance required. While this is of course more outlay initially, in the long-run a well-built hive will save you time and money.
Our hives are made with locally grown cedar from managed woodland in Devon. We use Titebond 3 wood glue along with rebate-joint construction, backed up by stainless screws to increase longevity. The glue itself is approved for indirect food contact and being water-based is extremely low in VOCs, and is fully waterproof and suitable for outdoor use. All this contributes to a hive that will provide a warm, dry home for your bees for many years to come.
An English translation of Warré's book can be purchased in paperback form, or downloaded for free as a PDF, from David Heaf's website. it is highly recommended reading as use of a Warré hive requires good knowledge of the methods devised for it for best results.