We often get asked at the Trust - "Can you make a hive from wooden pallets?" Keen to take up the challenge, Trustee Jonathan Powell has produced a booklet showing how you can build the ultimate pallet hive. The Booklet is available from Northern Bee Books and major online bookstores.
Available August 16th 2021
Text, Graphics and Photos: Jonathan Powell
Published by Northern Bee Books 2021
Northern Bee Books, Scout Bottom Farm,
Mythomroyd, Hebden Bridge, HX7 5JS (UK)
Tel: +44 (0) 1422 882751
Review Irish BK August 2021
"Jonathan Powell is a Zeidler Tree Beekeeper and a Trustee of the Natural Bee Keeping Trust. His short book about tree beekeeping in hives made out of old pallets is a masterpiece of beekeeper ingenuity. He explains exactly how to make such a tree hive, and warns about treated timbers, etc. For the Naturally Inclined Beekeeper, this short book could well inspire a whole new approach to nurturing our native bees, because he favours feral colonies, and swarms are good news to him.
It is a lovely book, although I imagine it will puzzle many beekeepers who are always struggling to prevent swarming and indeed, are suspicious that wild colonies might harbour diseases.
However, the real pleasure in reading this book for me has been the sense of admiration I have for Powell's devotion to the bees and the ingenuity he applies to cherishing them. That seems to me to be a really valuable part of the entire craft of beekeeping."
Alan Wood has created an extremely useful calculator for this project:
Jonathan recently made this nest:
A few changes were made to this design which are best shown in this picture:
1. Wooden dowels in place of screws for the entire design. On the bottom you can see the dowells can be used to fix the positions on the vertical outer core.
2. The front panel (with the entrances) and the opposing face have the insulation replaced with a plank. This make entrance hole cutting easy, and give regidity to the hive if you compressed it using straps when attached to a tree.
3. The bottom plug is sealed with hessian.
If you have pictures of improvements you have made, or pictures of your hive please send them to me so that we can share them here.