'It is estimated that it would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate their crops manually if wild bees disappeared.' - The Soil Association
Made from a hollowed out tree trunk raised above the ground, the log hive provides a home for wild honey bees. An alternative to where bees would naturally live in hollows and crevices in trees.
As with a tree, the log has thick walls providing good insulation keeping the hive warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A waterproof and insulated roof keeps the rain out.
'Bees, hoverflies and other pollinating insects that we rely on for our fruit and vegetable crops are declining in numbers due to climate change and habitat loss.' - Reading University Research
The log hive isn't intended as a way of harvesting honey but allows the bees to live in a natural way. Building strong healthy communities without human interference and helping reverse the decline in their population. Taking a bee centred approach.
Locally Made For Local Bees
The hives are constructed in my workshop in South Oxfordshire. Where possible I use locally sourced timber and materials.
A complete hive consists of:
- a hollowed out log
- a lid
- a removeable bottom
- three legs
- a roof
Hollowed log with legs, lid and bottom - £470
Conical cedar wooden roof - £90
OSB and felt roof - £60
Delivery and installation (within 30 miles of Reading) - from £110
Ideally the hive should be installed before summer ready for bees who are swarming and looking for a new home.
Currently 95% of the timber I use is from sustainably managed woods within 15 miles of my workshop.
A Small Price to Pay
I'm Steve Gibson and welcome to the latest addition to my woodland product business.
I love to make use of local timber in a sustainable way - making with, milling and coppicing local wood. Making log beehives in my workshop in South Oxfordshire makes use of all these skills and interests.
Making a Hive
The logs are from a durable species including sweet chestnut, larch and scots pine.
The hive is raised about 6ft above the ground on three legs made from sweet chestnut.
When the hive is installed a piece of comb from an existing or old hive is attached to the underside of the lid to make the hive more attractive to bees. Other incentives such as propolis are also spread round the entrance holes.
Starting to hollow the log with a chainsaw
A gouge is used to finish the cavity to approximately 10 inches diameter
Chiseling rebates for the legs
The log is approximately 32 inches tall and a minimum 18 inches diameter
Three holes for bees to use as entrances
Hardwood removeable bottom
Turning a bit of decoration for the roof
Basic OSB, roof felt and insulation roof
Hive with conical cedar roof
Ready for installation on site
Attaching legs to the log hive
Ready for raising
Up and in position. Ready for it's roof
There is a feast of information out there relating to natural beekeeping. These are a few of the resources I have found useful.
Supporters and Other Folk I Work With
Please contact me for any more infomation.