Fantasy beekeeping ?

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On the small hives and swarming the photos are of the bird roosting box they occupied on my wall and they were there for 7 years.  Sent out loads of swarms from a box of around 30L.  Asian Hornets did get to them in the end as the colony couldn't take the losses due to it's size where a larger colony may have been ok.  That said that is an unusual circumstance and they were fine before and once they swarm once then if the original hive dies out that is ok as it is what they do.  Given they lasted so long they did well.  I was sad when they died out until I realised they were far from 'my' original bees, by about 12+  generations ?  :happy:

The sweet valley system should work as it is not a full box only half height size. You are right on the lack of foundation generally but I will (if I ever do) use frames in the supered box but without foundation.   This is just to allow them to fill it part way then I can remove it.  Doing this means the box it was sitting on remains undisturbed and full.   
I like that no queen excluder is needed (I don't like them anyway) as the 10cm (4") height means they will fill with honey not brood as they put it at the top, clever thought. Saves disruption hopefully, by the time I removed it they would be in the middle box with the brood anyway..

When done I will have 3 warre boxes sitting on an open floor.  The will have built down from the adapter and I will nadir an empty box and remove the adapter next spring.  With the open floor I expect them to fill 2.5 boxes next year and to then retreat up over the colder months munching as they go.  By the time it gets cold (mostly above 0c here with occasional weeks of -10c but by then they should be at least in the middle of the middle box. so away from the open floor

I take the point on heating but as you can now see they won't have a void above them by that time.  There are some photos of the top bars I used which are the dowel support type, just in case I ever have to mess with them.  I want them to build to the sides creating small pockets between combs as although they don't heat the hive they need any heat they lose to be trapped as much as possible.  With a warre top cloth each gap is a separate space near it's top.  I think they just keep the queen warm by cycling round in a sort of brownian motion that will give off some heat but very little.
I am hoping that with the Warre shape and top bars the winter cluster will be able to move around the stores easier.   They often build shaped comb 'free style' and they can if they like.  I had some small foundation strips but they didn't like them and spat them out to build their own.


--- Quote from: charentejohn on August 20, 2020, 10:59:25 am ---On the small hives and swarming the photos are of the bird roosting box they occupied on my wall and they were there for 7 years.  Sent out loads of swarms from a box of around 30L.

--- End quote ---
That is close to the size of a Lang deep which is modeled after a natural hive.  Smaller yes but not what I was thinking.

Never looked at Langstroth dimensions but someone once said they were a warre like hive but easier to manage for honey.  looks like that is right.
A standard Langstroth box is same area as a warre but half the height. Supers are even smaller which is fascinating.  I can look into fitting an even smaller 'super' if I ever decide to take honey.  The thin Langstorth super would do, just have to remember to use frames to stop them building onto the top warre bars   :smile:
I have some unused warre frames so I can modify them over winter, even better as the reduced height would mean no need for foundation.  Worth making some and see how they work, one of these would contain all the honey I would want to harvest. 

I wonderd about the Japanese ones and they are also smaller than the Warre.  Basically they and langstroth are, when stacked, easier for the bees to manage as regards internal area and can be harvested if you want.  I noticed they both say reduced harvest, which is expected, but then again maybe a better one as easier to manage boxes and hopefully less stressed bees.
Japanese hive dimensions  I noticed they say no swarming control.
Photos etc https://warre.§¤«£¿æ.com/japan.htm     

I am just going to say a pile box hive would be illegal in the US.  And IMO a royal pain in the a$$.

Not a problem here in France as we don't have mandatory inspections.  I know the UK has inspections but they can do Warres and the like just needs more prep.
Not illegal anywher in europe ?  I could be wrong.  Here we have to register them so they know who has them but that is all.

I have them as I want minimal intervention so fine for me, some do have them with frames in which would be easier to inspect though.  Only a problem if you have to keep opening them  :smile:   David Heaf's system is to just tilt the top bar warre box backwards so you can look underneath, as only 20cm high you can see inside easily.  Only tricky if you want a comb out and so have to cut it from the sides.


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