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Welcome to Fragile Planet Beekeeping SuppliesWe can supply all your beekeeping needs including wooden bee hives, hive tools, smokers, bee suits, bee feeders and much more. We specialise in providing gentle Buckfast bees in a 5-frame nucleus box. We supply our gentle Buckfast queens and bees from June.
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|The Octagon hive – keeping bees beautifully|
An Octagon hive is a vertical top bar hive that uses octagonal boxes (rather than rectangular) which are larger than a traditional British National hive, with foundationless top bars in each box. The bars are grooved to contain a strip of wax which the bees use as a starter to draw their comb. Rather than “supering,” or adding empty boxes to the top of the hive, Octagon hives are “nadired,” meaning that empty boxes are added to the bottom. This is also meant to mimic the environment of a wild colony, as they will always build downward from the top of the cavity rather than upward. The Octagon hive comes with observation windows so you can see how your colony is developing quickly and easily. The bees create their own comb. This does have an effect on the honey production of the hive. A major benefit is that the comb built is clean fresh comb and the queen always lays in new comb, on the leading edge of the comb as she does in the wild.
How did they start?
Octagon hives are built to utilise some of the ideas of Abbe Emile Warre who developed the Warre hive over 50 years of research, culminating in what he liked to call “The People’s Hive” in the early 1950s. He studied over 300 hive designs, ranging from straw skeps to the modern Langstroth hive, analyzing their ease of use and suitability for honey bees. He focused on simplicity, ease of management and natural qualities including the building of natural comb (rather than pressed foundation) and the retention of nest scent and heat.
Octagon hives are best managed by adding a couple of empty boxes to the bottom of the hive in the spring and removing the top boxes from the hive (full of honey) in the autumn. This allows for something few other hives offer; the continual cycle of new comb into and old comb out of the hive without the destruction of the precious brood chamber, as each year prior to winter the bees move the excess honey stores to the top of the hive. This removes the dirty comb from the hive every couple of years, making for a healthier, happier colony.
Why an Octagon hive?
Octagon hives are ideally suited for the beekeeper looking for a low-cost, low-maintenance hive design. In our mind the Octagon hive is the ultimate design for natural, low-impact, healthy beekeeping.
Octagon hives come in several colours; lavender, honeysuckle or cornflower. We paint them externally in bee-friendly low VOC paint. We can paint it another colour at an extra charge. They can be made into a feature in any garden.
Octagon hive advantages
• Ease of management
• Ideal hive environment for bees
• Simple Honey harvesting - No need for supers, extractors, frames or foundation
• Designed to be a visual focus to suit a range of locations from the classic cottage garden to a more contemporary home and garden
• Manufactured in the UK from sustainable timber.
Octagon hives contain an Open Mesh Flooras standard. They also include an Eke for feeding and for clearing the colony.
The Octagon hive – keeping bees beautifully
Call us NOW on 01691 672869 for helpful and friendly advice
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