What a nice way to spend a Sunday evening! The homemade cider reminds me of the weekend I spent making it with friends in Shropshire. Seb was just about walking and we spent two days making this fantastic concoction in beautiful October sunlight. It was incredibly warm as well but I am still not sure whether that was a continual supply of last years cider that kept us going with all the collecting, pulping and crushing of the apples.

Anyway, the result of that weekend was a superb collection of cider that I am slowly working my way through. Late yesterday I posted a simple question on the BBKA forums about where I would be able to get plans for building a 14*12 national hive (the rather boring looking yet incredibly functional hive that is used by the majority of beekeepers now). This is my chosen hive for building DIY style as it looks the most simple to do; knowing my DIY skills and the legendary “Dearsley Bodge” technique, I really need the simplest there is!

I waited several hours to be confronted by quite a few replies – I never knew it would be that complicated! There were people talking about SBKA measurements (Scottish Beekeepers Association) and BBKA measurements – one takes into consideration a different thickness of wood apparently – I laugh at this comment but I have to remember that bees do not want gaps in their hives – the Scottish plans use a 19mm wood (3/4 inch) and yet the  British use 18mm thick – that is just 1mm!!

There was a whole host of other very helpful replies (and some quite confusing) and all to do with the fact that there are actually not plans for a 14*12 hive – I really do make things difficult for myself don’t I! What I have to do is take the plans for the original National Hive and extend it out. Typical, I am therefore going to have to put some intelligence into this! Lets see how I get on once the plans arrive in the post.

I never knew this idealistic notion of building my own hive would be so complicated! I have a sinking feeling that it is going to get even more complicated as soon as I see the plans!

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