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Author Topic: Developing comb in advance for Warre by using Langstroth hives  (Read 924 times)

Offline JConnolly

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I have decided I want to expand to 4 hives. Right now I have 10 frame and 8 frame medium Langstroths. I have looked at the  alternatives to try something different and I have decided I would like to try a Warre.   So building a Warre hive is on my summer project list so I can put a package in it next spring. I have a pile of 5/4 cedar, a bunch of plexiglass for observation windows, and a well equipped woodworking shop so I can build one for the just the cost of time that I would spend in the shop anyways.

I want to give the new colony a good head start so I have been thinking of ways to develop some usable comb in a Langstroth hive and I am open to ideas. My leading idea for now is to zip tie a couple of Warre top bars into a couple of empty Langstroth frames and insert one between drawn frames in a honey super in each of my Langstroth hives. Then a few days later remove the frame, cut the zip ties,  remove the top bar and attached comb and store it for a new package next spring.

Bad idea? Good idea? Over-thinking it? Other ideas? Nuts for wanting to try a Warre?

Offline little john

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Re: Developing comb in advance for Warre by using Langstroth hives
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2015, 03:41:18 am »
Bad idea? Good idea? Over-thinking it?

Pre-drawing combs for a Warre using a conventional hive is not just a good idea, it's by far the most sensible method of transferring a colony.

I did just that - using 'Delon' wire frames tie-wrapped underneath conventional frames, rather than plain top bars - but the principle is exactly the same. I chequer-boarded 8 of these into the brood boxes of several hives spread around the apiary, and when they were 70% or so drawn (several had brood by this time), pulled them out, shook the bees off, and inserted them into the upper of 2 Warre boxes, with undrawn 'frames' in the lower box.
Then I simply shook the colony of choice from it's conventional hive straight into the Warre - leaving the Warre boxes in the old hive's place, to pick-up the foragers - and walked away. It really is that simple.

No perching a conventional box over a Warre box and hoping the bees will work their way downwards - no introducing a shook swarm and hoping they won't abscond - or any of the more uncertain methods advocated by Warre enthusiasts.

Nuts for wanting to try a Warre ?

It's a different style of beekeeping all together - far more 'leave-alone' than conventional hives - for example: pulling top-bars is difficult (combs require cutting away at the sides etc) - but if you stick more-or-less to Warre's philosophy of 2 inspections a year, then they work fine.  The bees love 'em.

But - if you try to run them like conventional hives, then they're a pain in the backside. (imo, of course)


A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com