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Author Topic: Newbie has first hive and questions  (Read 1110 times)

Offline Steampunked

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Newbie has first hive and questions
« on: December 04, 2015, 02:28:46 am »
Hello, folks.

I am a complete newbie so any advice is good.  Because I could build them pretty much for free, I made a Warre hive last winter.  I am in Australia, and very used to making my own things.

After a very slow, cold, wet start to the warm season, the person I was buying a swarm from came through on Tuesday.  The weather was warm, but not hot.

He installed the swarm after checking them in the nuc - they were docile and very eager to climb into the hive.  The guy said he had never seen a Warre before.  They had been in a possum box (sans horrified possum who apparently left at speed) one night and already drawn quite a quantity of brand new comb.

I had no top bars for one box(I'm making more tonight) and told him we should just put the roof back on with one super full of frames, but he said a Warre hive needed the empty box below. 

I wasn't in the mood to argue then, as he has decades of experience on me, but when I crack the hive this lovely warm weekend to check there are eggs...er.  Shouldn't I install bars in the bottom box?  Or remove the empty box?

What's best for them?

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Kept by a tiny miniature suburban farm by chickens, parrots, a wallaby, a 3.5 year old and my partner.

Offline dunderi

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Re: Newbie has first hive and questions
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 03:16:02 am »
If he's never seen a warre it's a whole different ball game - in a langstroth the bees move upward,  so if that's all he knows about then the bees moving "downward" will be a foreign concept. 

Yes,  if you're in a position for them to be drawing and expanding comb then put top bars in your bottom box to guide them.  else they'll likely draw comb in their own special configuration which may not be useful to you at all!

If they are not filling the space they occupy (ie, if they've too much  vacant space in the hive) then remove the bottom box all together and let them fill the single to start with - it's easier for them to regulate temperature that way. 

Offline Steampunked

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Re: Newbie has first hive and questions
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2015, 06:59:02 am »
Oh, good!  Glad to know I wasn't going mad somehow - I didn't really want to contradict someone who was vastly more experienced, but it seemed very odd.  I appreciate the advice.
Kept by a tiny miniature suburban farm by chickens, parrots, a wallaby, a 3.5 year old and my partner.