The Drayton Hive
The Drayton Hive is a deep, framed, horizontal hive that borrows some of the best features of the WBC, National, Warré, and Horizontal Top Bar hives, and avoids some of the problems inherent in those designs. Its simplicity in operation makes the joy of beekeeping accessible to those who don’t have the time or inclination to invest in intensive management or expensive extractors. It is therefore well-suited to the amateur, and to those who recognise the importance of supporting our pollinators. This is a box of a size to accommodate standard 12 x 14 Hoffman frames, fitted with an entrance, inspection window, varroa floor, and roof. The sides and ends are heavily insulated so that, together with the insulation bags the bees are well protected against extremes of temperature in both winter and summer. Its raised, horizontal structure enables management without bending or lifting, thus avoiding the risk of a back injury which is so common among beekeepers. The standard hive holds 18 frames, roughly equivalent in comb area to a National brood chamber plus two supers. Overcrowding in the Drayton Hive is avoided by replacing frames full of capped honey with empty frames as the season progresses.