Innovation award for sheet metal beehives

Innovation Hives owner Peter Dodds with one of his hives which was awarded second place in the Southern Rural Life Innovation Awards at the Southern Field Days recently. Photo: Nicole Sharp
Innovation Hives owner Peter Dodds with one of his hives which was awarded second place in the Southern Rural Life Innovation Awards at the Southern Field Days recently. Photo: Nicole Sharp
Looking at an alternative option to standard beehives, Peter Dodds set to work developing an innovative hive.

Exploring the options, Mr Dodds decided to hand-make his hives out of sheet metal, which provided a stable environment year round for bees.

This innovative design was recognised at the Southern Field Days recently, where Mr Dodds was awarded second place in the Southern Rural Life Innovation Awards.

Known as ''Innovation Hives,'' they are made of sheet metal, with a wool blend insulation, he said.

''They will not twist or warp and come fully assembled with no need for further treatment.''

Mr Dodds and his wife Karen sell the hives from Dunedin and one of the reasons for creating an alternative was the struggle some beekeepers had sourcing good quality timber.

The sheet metal hives provided a high-quality alternative, which was comparable in size to the standard wooden hives, allowing for mix and match, Mr Dodds said.

''They can be steam-cleaned, sanitised and re-used, saving money and reducing downtime.''

Extensive testing had also been undertaken on the hives in Queenstown, which proved they could handle the extreme difference in temperatures from the hot summers through to the cold winters.

''They've been down to about minus eight right up in to the 30s,'' Mr Dodds said.

The Innovation Hives helped ensure long-term survival of hives and were strong and sturdy.

One of the hive's most quirky factors, was the option of personalised designs.

Mr Dodds was thrilled to be recognised for the design of his hives in the awards.

More information on the hives was available at www.innovationhives.co.nz.

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