available hives
here's what's already built and ready to go:

dowels and tung oil:

$340 to purchase

40-mm western red cedar (about 1-1/2")
dowel joints
integrated top bar guides
treated with tung oil
teak inlays

there's no metal at all in this hive. this will be especially appealing to biodynamic beekeepers and others who believe metal interferes with the bees' navigation. the dowel joints are particularly stout, so it should also appeal to those who want a really sturdy hive. the extra thick wood insulates well, which makes things easier on the bees in both hot and cold weather. it's cedar, though, so it's not too heavy. a couple coats of tung oil are enough to stand up to the weather without compromising the breathability of the wood. I really like the way tung oil on cedar looks, too. the teak inlays in the roof solidly hold a split together. they look nice, but they're also functional. inside, the top bar guides allow quick placement and removal of the top bars. these make both hiving a swarm and harvesting comb substantially easier. which is nice.

limewash and dowels:

$300 to purchase

40-mm western red cedar (about 1-1/2")
dowel joints
integrated top bar guides
limewash

another hive with no metal. these were fun to make, but they sure took a lot longer than using screws. the dowels make a really solid hive, and no metal means no rusting and no trouble for that little bit of magnetite in a bee's face. 40-mm thick cedar insulates well without being too heavy to easily handle. limewash is nice stuff. it protects wood and breathes well. to maintain the protection, the limewash will need to be reapplied every couple of years or so unless it's sheltered from rain (which I recommend for any hive). limewash is cheap and easy to make, though: hydrated lime + water. no fancy inlays on this hive, but the top bar guides are there. for hiving swarms and for harvest, the guides are very nice.

perone hive:

$250 to purchase
$50 to host

this is a great hive: bee-friendly and productive. I use 40-mm cedar and stout screws to hold it together. the only deviations from Oscar Perone's design are the top cloth and quilt, both borrowed from Warré's hive.

perone with one window:

$400 to purchase
$150 to host

a great big hive with a great big window. it's really hard to resist the temptation to open up one of these big hives to see how things are progressing, but it's best to leave them alone. with a 12" square window, you can easily get that look inside without disturbing the hive atmosphere. nice.

perone hive with two windows:

$475 to purchase
$225 to host

one window isn't good enough for you? no problem. two big windows give a view into both sides of a great big perone hive. see what the bees are up to without bothering them or compromising hive health.

perone bait hive:

$50 to purchase, or $75 used

I use these bait hives to populate perone hives. the nine top bars are fixed to each other, so they lift out together and fit perfectly into a perone hive. one nice part about using bait hives is not having to be on call during swarm season. just check the bait hive for activity when it's convenient, and move the bees to a permanent hive when you notice a swarm has moved in. it's no problem if they start building before you notice them: the comb will lift out on the top bars and transfer just fine. don't leave them too long, though, or they'll attach to the walls, which makes moving them a bit trickier. used bait hives are a bit more because they're more attractive to the bees.

to order or host, give a call (360-389-3478) or send an electronic mail (tel@pikkufarm.org) or drop by to talk to tel at the Woodland Farmers Market when it's open.

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