Earlier this week I opened up the box that my first hive came in. The contents turned out to be not only intact but also a really good kit. To experience this unboxing for yourself, watch Gruffydd Rees of Mêl Gwenyn Gruffydd in an unboxing video, one of many he's made.
Anyway, we've had a bit of rain during the last couple of days, so I headed over to my dad's workshop. Yesterday I made the floor and the brood body. Today I made the supers and the roof. You can see the results in the picture. A few nails may not have ended up where they should have, but it's mostly square and solid.
The hive is made of sustainable British cedar, so it should be long-lasting even if it's not treated. It has its own camphor-like oils, apparently, but I think I'll get some wood stain for it. It's a budget hive, so of course there are knots here and there but that doesn't matter at all. The quality is just what I wanted, consistently good enough throughout, including the foundation and extras like glue. The pieces are accurately cut. They fit together nicely and squarely. The wood doesn't split easily. The instruction videos are really straightforward. So far, I agree with Gruff's assessment - the hive is great value for £160.
All these parts stack together on top of a hive stand (yet to come). I now have to make the frames to go in them. These are assembled from a kit, perhaps with a bit more dexterity needed than the stages so far, involving building up the little wooden frames and sliding wired wax foundation into them. Then, the bees can move in.