for buying a cedar Warre hive?
for buying a cedar Warre hive?
I think that you should build this simple hive design yourself. You get the full appreciation and knowledge of the Warre hive. It was created to be simple so almost everyone could build and house honey bees. I know after building a few for myself, I feel that I understand the workings / management principal better than if I would have just bought one. Good luck in what ever you choose!
If you do choose to build your hives, I would get a metric ruler. I found trying to follow the engish directions to be a pain. Measuring out 11/32 of an inch is not fun. It is much easier just to follow the original / metric version. Good Luck and give it a shot!
Chris Harvey of The Warre Store is a meticulous craftsman - his hives and hive accessories are beautiful! Although Chris would deny it, the fit and finish of his hives are "nearly" furniture grade! Chris takes it personal and can be a bit on the snarky side if he thinks you're criticizing the workmanship of his hives/accessories. Chris will not sell you an unassembled hive. (Unless he's ammended his policy?) He packages all of his products with great care. I don't hesitate to recommend his stuff. His website is second-to-none as a source for practical and useful Warre management techniques. The Warre Store doesn't offer the least expensive hive but, if you buy one, you will not regret it.
Matt Reed of BeeThinking has made customer satisfaction job one! His customer service is exceptional! He strives to accomodate your particular requests and follows through on his promises - immediately. Matt is somewhat of a middle-man...The hives he sells are milled by someone else. At one time Matt used Trillium Pacific Millwork to mill his hive components but I believe he has switched mills. (You can find his old style Warre hives on ebay through Trillium Pacific - they're quite a bit less expensive than the "new style" he now sells and their pricing is less than what Matt originally sold them for.) The hives (old style) are real nice and you can buy them unassembled. He advertises his cedar wood as being a "full 1 inch" thick - it wasn't. At least on the old hives; the wood measured in at 7/8". I spoke to him about the discrepancy in the product description and he said he would fix it. I don't hesitate to recommend his old hives and the new hives look at least as nice... Unfortunately, his new pricing is higher, and, now includes fewer hive bodies.
I built three from the Warre store, standard Warre, Octagon and a modified Warre this winter and got a Warre and Topbar from Beethinking. The sanded finish of the Warre store is smother but they assemble with staples. BT uses nice brass screws. I felt WS made a bee space mistake with the screen on their bottom board, but he blamed me for not nadiring fast enough. Their screen should be on the top of the bottom, not the bottom of the bottom. Also, BT used cheap window screen on the vented bottom, not 1/8" as they should have. WS has nice toolbox clamps for their windows, BT just a swiveling piece of wood. I would call them comparable but maybe give BT a slight edge, mostly for the brass screws. Warre store products at my shop:
Thanks. I went with the Warre store just on gut. thought he might be more helpful during the process post purchase.
It looks like you treated the hives. Did you use tung oil? Did you get his top feeder, and if so, did you apply the polyurethane?
Frank Ross: Thanks for the comparison! I believe TPM sold off whatever they had left after we'd moved on to another, larger manufacturer. At this point I think they only sell screened bottoms -- not hives. And part of the reason we moved was to offer full 1" on both our horizontal top bar hives and Warre hives (in addition to improved quality, quicker turn-around, etc.).
odfrank: We've finally switched our manufacturer to full 1/8" hardware cloth as they should have used in the initial 1,000 hives. Once we run through the rest of the smaller screen, all Warres will have standard 1/8" hardware cloth.
I used Penothin stain, Western Cedar, not polyurethane.
I have two Bee Thinking Warre hives and they are beautiful. I live about an hour away from their store which makes it nice to stop in and also get some help. I got my first hive there thinking my husband was going to build me more using it as a model. When he saw how nice it was and the thick cedar, he figured just buy another one there if you want it. I got the windows and copper roofs. These hives look like artwork as much as they are great homes for the bees. We've had to add eye bolts to the roof section for strapping since we get serious winds on top of a mountain (1,500'). Other than that, they are good to go.