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Author Topic: Warre Hives  (Read 1720 times)

Offline bwallace23350

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Warre Hives
« on: February 18, 2017, 05:48:32 pm »
What are the advantages of the Warre Hive? I have been looking into it and if I can catch a swarm I might put it in a Warre Hive. Is this smart or should I stay with the Langstroth?

Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 06:27:45 pm »
bw
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What are the advantages of the Warre Hive?

You ask that like you already think there are advantages of a warre hive. 
Naugh, I'm just razzing you.  I built one.  I don't know if I will ever put bees in it or not.  I did put it out and put some lemon grass oil in it just in case.  I think about the only thing someone might think about a warre hive is that if you only want a hive or two for your garden and atmosphere cause they look cool.  I don't have glass in mine. 

If you use the fixed frame and due to the size differrance, I think most that are really trying to make money from bees find that warres don't fit thier management style and size of other equiptment.  Some will say it is illegal. 

I will just take abby at his word if I decide to put some bees in mine.  I am just playing.
Good luck
gww

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2017, 06:42:43 am »
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 09:20:13 am »
Thanks. If I did get one I would get one with the glass in it so I could watch it.

Offline little john

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2017, 10:41:19 am »
Unless you're going to adopt the Warre style of beekeeping (minimal interference, just two inspections a year, etc), I can't really see the point of having one Warre hive amongst an apiary full of Langstroths - because - nothing is interchangeable with any other hive and so there can be no mutual support between them (by the swapping of combs and such-like).

If you already have 8-frame Langstroth boxes, then you can very easily make a 'near-enough' Warre hive by simply adding a quilt box.  Then - you can play with nadiring, and the other Warre oddities to see if that style of beekeeping is for you  (it's about a style of beekeeping, not just about boxes).  Should it then press the right buttons for you, then you could go ahead and made several Warre hives, but without incurring any outlay whilst you're checking it out.
LJ
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2017, 07:47:45 pm »
Thanks

Offline TheBroodLord

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 05:41:13 am »
Unless you're going to adopt the Warre style of beekeeping (minimal interference, just two inspections a year, etc), I can't really see the point of having one Warre hive amongst an apiary full of Langstroths - because - nothing is interchangeable with any other hive and so there can be no mutual support between them (by the swapping of combs and such-like).
LJ

Is it actually doable to only inspect twice a year? Warre wrote his book in a very different time period (for bees and humans).

Offline little john

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2017, 10:50:02 am »
Unless you're going to adopt the Warre style of beekeeping (minimal interference, just two inspections a year, etc), I can't really see the point of having one Warre hive amongst an apiary full of Langstroths - because - nothing is interchangeable with any other hive and so there can be no mutual support between them (by the swapping of combs and such-like).
LJ

Is it actually doable to only inspect twice a year? Warre wrote his book in a very different time period (for bees and humans).

Not just a different time period, but in a very specific environment too - that of rural France, where the farms are small, most of which are still run 'in the old way', with plenty of hedgerows etc.  A million miles away from modern intensive prairie-style mono-cropping.

Really couldn't say whether it's still do-able or not - even in rural France - that's something that only a dyed-in-the-wool Warre enthusiast could comment on.  I do have four 8-frame Warre-lookalike hives (with British National frames - same as in all my other hives) ready to be occupied, come Spring - maybe those will be able to answer the question ?
LJ
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Offline herbhome

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 02:06:39 pm »
I have Warres and 8-frame lang.
One advantage is smaller boxes, easier on the back. 8-frame mediums are about the same though.
Second is natural comb drawing, that is a debatable issue but I like it. I run foundationless in my langs also.
Third, and maybe more important is they are square, helping with wintering. Bees in cluster are never far from stores.

An internet search will show that in France and Australia there are many commercial keeps using Warres. In most of the cases I have found they use modified Warres with frames without bottom bars. This also settles any problems with legality. They add 1-1/4 to the depth of the box to keep the volume equal.

Online paus

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2017, 10:33:06 pm »
I have asked this question before "What is a quilt box concerning a bee hive"?. 

Offline herbhome

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2017, 10:56:42 pm »
I have asked this question before "What is a quilt box concerning a bee hive"?.

A quilt box is essentially a shallow super, though it can be shallower, with a permeable material attached to the bottom. I use burlap, but muslin and even hardware cloth work. In winter, the quilt is filled with straw, shavings, shredded paper, even sawdust. As moist warm air rises up it slows the transfer of heat and absorbs moisture keeping it from condensing and dripping down on the cluster. I use cedar chips in mine. I've heard paper and straw can make a moldy mess.
Hope that answers your question. :smile:

Online paus

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2017, 11:11:49 pm »
Thanks that answers my question.  Harbor freight has movers quilts, at a very reasonable price, that could be cut up and used. I think I may use some of these in weaker hives and also in strong hives hmmm, maybe in all of them.  Is a top board normally used also?  Then the shavings can be used in smokers in the spring.

Offline herbhome

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 12:08:14 am »
Generally the inner cover on a Warre is a mat. It is just material that can breathe. I use a piece of burlap taped on the edge to a piece of 1/8 hardware cloth. The hardware cloth goes bee side down. This keeps the bees from gnawing at the material. It is placed over the top bars of the top box. Then the quilt box. Then the outer cover. From time to time throughout the winter one needs to lift the cover and feel around in the fill. If it is soggy, replace it.
I'm not sure that an actual quilt would serve this purpose.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2017, 06:56:19 am »
Unless you're going to adopt the Warre style of beekeeping (minimal interference, just two inspections a year, etc), I can't really see the point of having one Warre hive amongst an apiary full of Langstroths - because - nothing is interchangeable with any other hive and so there can be no mutual support between them (by the swapping of combs and such-like).
LJ

Is it actually doable to only inspect twice a year? Warre wrote his book in a very different time period (for bees and humans).

Not just a different time period, but in a very specific environment too - that of rural France, where the farms are small, most of which are still run 'in the old way', with plenty of hedgerows etc.  A million miles away from modern intensive prairie-style mono-cropping.

Really couldn't say whether it's still do-able or not - even in rural France - that's something that only a dyed-in-the-wool Warre enthusiast could comment on.  I do have four 8-frame Warre-lookalike hives (with British National frames - same as in all my other hives) ready to be occupied, come Spring - maybe those will be able to answer the question ?
LJ

The environment I might be able to replicate and to an extent I probably already have. I might eventually give it a shot but it will not be this year

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2017, 08:55:46 am »
Abbe' Warre's goal was to design a hive that was cheap and easy for people to build and easy for people to manage.  As mentioned above most of the advantages as far as light boxes, natural comb and boxes whose width fits the cluster of bees in the winter, you can get with eight frame mediums and foundationless frames.  Part of Warre's management style, though is to add boxes to the bottom instead of the top and to maintain the "scent" and warmth of the brood nest.  Of course you could do those things with eight frame mediums as well.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 11:33:08 am »
Abbe' Warre's goal was to design a hive that was cheap and easy for people to build and easy for people to manage.  As mentioned above most of the advantages as far as light boxes, natural comb and boxes whose width fits the cluster of bees in the winter, you can get with eight frame mediums and foundationless frames.  Part of Warre's management style, though is to add boxes to the bottom instead of the top and to maintain the "scent" and warmth of the brood nest.  Of course you could do those things with eight frame mediums as well.

Thanks so there is really no advantage to it.

Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2017, 11:53:11 am »
Bw......
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Thanks so there is really no advantage to it

I don't know, they look really cool, that is an advantage of sorts.  Fixed frames and no lost space due to side bars of a frame was an advantage in abby warres mind.
Cheers
gww

Offline herbhome

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2017, 10:49:07 pm »
Another advantage is they are ridiculously easy to build. :smile:

Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2017, 12:29:20 am »
herbhome
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Another advantage is they are ridiculously easy to build

I only found one dissadvantage strictly from my perspective.  I cut my own lumber and my target board size is eight inches and honostly, eight inches is what the quality of logs I deal with reflect.  The warre is like 8.5 inches wide board and so I find it harder to come up with the proper lumber or I would probly build more of them. 

One other thing that abby was promoting is the square shape was closer to a round shape and so better.
Cheers
gww

Offline Acebird

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2017, 10:02:45 am »
I think there is a reason why Warre hives are not that popular with today's beekeeper.  There is too much work to keep them from swarming, there is too much work to harvest honey and without a frame going through the hive is time consuming.  Nadiring guarantees that their will be brood cocoons in the combs of honey.
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Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2017, 11:01:40 am »
Ace
I like the lang hive but have lots of area for hives and think that if a guy just wanted to throw some bees in a warre for the heck of it and the swarmed and he had a couple of traps out, it would not really be that bad.  I would think they are hard to manage due to some of the things you mention but like you, if my goal was not really to start a buisness but more to have a couple of hives and maby get a little honey here and there but not to really get hard into selling things, I think the warre is kinda neat.  I doubt I give up my few lang hives but it is an interesting thought to just put some bees in a warre and just add room and if you get a top box or two that you have to crush and strain fine and if not fine.

I just put some lemon grass oil in mine and if something moves in, I will have a warre hive, if they don't then I may never put bees in it or I might.

I look at it out in my apary and it does stand out and look kind of cool mixed in with all the langs.
Cheers
gww

Offline herbhome

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2017, 08:36:28 pm »
I think there is a reason why Warre hives are not that popular with today's beekeeper.  There is too much work to keep them from swarming, there is too much work to harvest honey and without a frame going through the hive is time consuming.  Nadiring guarantees that their will be brood cocoons in the combs of honey.

That truly is a disadvantage. In a strong flow supering works just fine. Warre himself mentioned this.

Another disadvantage is they are a pain to extract. It can be done with a wire cage to place each comb in. Then the box of extracted combs can be placed right back on top of the hive.

Trying to be fair, another disadvantage of nadiring in general is lifting two or three boxes at a time is hard on my old back.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2017, 08:56:10 pm »
Two or three is barely a hive. How about 5 or 7?  That is why I think they are too much work.
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Offline herbhome

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2017, 10:33:56 pm »
Two or three is barely a hive. How about 5 or 7?  That is why I think they are too much work.

I can't argue with that. :smile: We don't get the flows here that more northern bees enjoy.

Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2017, 11:50:48 pm »
As far as putting the boxes on bottom, I realize the ideal is to not get into the brood nest often but supering a hive can be based in the spring on how many bees there are.  Nothing says and infact abby does say to put several on in spring.  So even if you had to break the brood nest by box for that one time minipulation, You would not be moving far from warre's management style.  Each box weighs about what a 5 frame nuc weighs. 
You have to do the same thing with heavier boxes when you harvest honey in a lang if you have a couple supers and are using an excape board.

At least when you harvest the warre, you are talking about moving one box at about 22 lbs a piece. 

So in the end on a lang the supers go on easy and come off hard and on a warre the supers go on hard but come off easy.

I am thinking that if a guy really didn't take care of his bees and just added space and harvested that a warre would actually be easier.
Cheers
gww

Offline Acebird

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2017, 09:42:31 am »
I don't have a Warre hive but didn't someone just say they are equivalent to a 8 frame medium?  That is more like 40 pounds per box.  With my new box jack I can jack up three boxes at a time effortlessly to slip in an escape board.  True, the next day I have to get the top box off but there are no bees in it and if they are the same weight as a Warre box then they are the same.  The only time I am in the brood chamber is when I split and usually that is just identifying where they are because I split by the box.  I don't normally move frames.  It couldn't be easier.
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Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2017, 10:45:01 am »
Ace
You are correct on the warre and 8 frame medium being the same volume hives and also the same volume as a 5 frame deep.

Yes, I really like your lift you made.  Michael pointed out that the warre was the same as 8 frame medium.  He also promotes nardering the first medium super if you are foundationless.  I was just saying on the nardering being such a hard thing to do with a warre, that I really didn't see that as much of an issue compared to how people manage thier lang hives.  If you added early and lots of space on the bottom, you are done till august.  Heat wise the warre space being added on bottom might be an advantage.  In the big picture, doing warre as a comercial prospect (which is what abby envisioned) may not have and advantage.  However for a pure hobbist that is not treating anyway and pretty well letting the bees take care of themselves.  I don't really see how a warre is really that any harder then a lang.  For a guy looking to increase and manage for every drop of honey and bees that he can make his hive give him, then a warre really probly does not make sence.  For a person living in close contact with lots of neighbors that could cause him trouble if he lost too many swarms to the hood, I could see it being a problim
cheers
gww

Offline Acebird

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2017, 11:39:06 am »
Speaking from experience here, if you do not meddle in your hives on a regular basis and just walk away, the bees WILL build to the walls and glue everything in.  Without having a physical frame in the hive you will have fun come harvest time.  I think the Warre hive is more suited for the hobbyist that wants to be in the hive all the time not out of the hive most of the time.  The Lang is more forgiving so you can do either.  It is more popular so parts are more available and because it is more popular you stand a better chance of getting resources like brood, eggs and honey from another person if the need should arise.
I see nothing wrong with having a Warre hive to play with but I will hedge my bet that you stand a better chance of a sustainable apiary with Langs.  My assumption is that most beekeepers would rather not buy bees every year or every two years.
Edit:
I don't think you will get away with just throwing empty boxes at a smallish hive even in my area which is not that plagued with small hive beetles.
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Offline gww

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Re: Warre Hives
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2017, 12:57:00 pm »
Ace
I plan on keeping my langs too.  As far as small hive beetle.  I went through 4 over wintered hives with my mentor of sorts and even on his biggest ones, they had hive beatles running all over the place.  I am thinking due to the warmth of the winter that they are going to be a real issue this year.   

I definatly don't want to buy bees ever and this year I will probly try to expand a little just because I have lots of equiptment built.  If I end up with bees in the warre which is questionable, it will be because a swarm moved in them on there own.  I do think that if I get some in it, that I will probly not work them too hard but I have the same comb guides it them and I put on the top bar of my langs and if the bees follow the guide, I am thinking a bread knife along the hive walls would free the combs up pretty easy.  They should be much easier to handle then the top bar long hives just due to them not being so massive and the fact that you can get to them from the bottom.

I have watched the michael palmer vidios of him inspecting his nucs where he does not pull frames but just looks from the bottom of the hive and pushes the combs sideways to look up the center.

I might be in for a rude awakening but it just does not seem like it would be that hard to take the comb out one at a time if you wanted to.  I do see where the innerchangability could cause you to lose a hive cause you lost a queen and can't add a frame of brood.

I don't say a guy should want to kill bees but on the other hand, it would be interesting to see how long a hive would survive with small interventions.

I am sorta doing that with my lang hives as I have not treated for mites and am just wondering how long it will be before that takes its toll on me.  Don't know if you don't try.

So, I would consintrate my efforts on learning to manage the langs and end up with live bees and a little honey but when I feel comfortable that I won't have to buy more bees, I will probly put a sacrafice swarm in the warre and just play with it.
I love hearing people views on this stuff and try to take what they say and learn from it.

Cheers
gww
Ps  I am building everything that I use and did build all mediums for interchangability but also built the warre and built the excape board and the double screen boards and feeders and so am not buying stuff and so the warre being a little harder to buy stuff for doesn't mean much cause I don't intend on buying anything if I have a prayer of making it.