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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    texas
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    7

    Default tbh/warre hive question

    Hello everyone ,
    I have been reading up lately about the warre tbh , and I woujld like to pose a question to people here who may be more knowlegable about it . I know that according to warre and its seems most of his followers that supering is wrong and you should only be nadiring ,and opening the hive many times is bad for the bees etc .
    My question is this:
    lets say I want to have a lang. style hive but cant afford to buy / do not have that the woodworking skill to make one , but I can make a warre hive pretty easily( according to his dimisions 300x300x210mm) .
    What would happen if I worked the warre hive just as I would a 8 frame lang( of course with top bars only ) , supering and all ? Do you think this would be a failure as far as honey yield / bee health etc , woud I end up with simular resluts as I would with a lang or ????

    I honestly would like to know because personally I have not been totaly convinced about the warre management technique .

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Modesto, CA USA
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    44

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    I don't have an answer yet, but I am going to make the same thing, and work it the same way. I made 7 tbhs this year, and will be making the modified warre in the very near future. So, if no one can answer the question, I guess we will have an answer by this time next year. Good luck, I think it may be needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
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    637

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Jello,

    I'm not sure if you've ever worked in a Warre hive before, but you will run into a couple major issues:

    1) Warre hives are foundationless. There will be comb attachment up and down the sides of the box and you will have a very difficult time attempting to remove the bars to do inspections, etc. Unless you use a follower board of some sort or are very proficient at removing comb without breaking it off, you will be quite limited in your ability to "work" the hive. A couple times this year I made attempts to work in a couple of my Warre hives with horrible results. Broken comb, frustrated bees, ultimately leaving me entirely unable to remove comb at all from most boxes.

    2) Crosscomb. Unless you are absolutely diligent about nipping crosscomb in the bud, I find a great deal more crosscomb in my Warre hives than my HTBHs. This means that you will be unable to remove much of your comb from your boxes to "work" them.

    What are your issues with Warre's management style? After working in 12+ Warre hives for a season I can say that it suits the hive very well, and attempting to use them differently could be difficult.

    Supering, however, would certainly work.

    Cheers,
    Matt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,560

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Try making your TBH the correct dimensions so that you can set a langstroth box sideways on top, so that the frames run the same direction as the top bars below it.

    The lang won't cover the full length of the TBH under it, so use a top cover on the part of the TBH that the lang does not cover... or make the TBH dimensions so you can set 2 langs on top, sideways, so the frames run same direction as the bars below. So, what would that be, outside dimensions of the top of the TBH would be 20 inches wide by 32 1/2 inches long. Then could set 2 langthstroths on top sideways so all frames run same direction as bars below. Could even use 2 queen excluders, one under each langstroth.

    If you used 8 frame boxes could make the TBH 20 inches wide by 27 3/4 inches long with 2 8 frame langs on top of it.

    OK, confession time, I've never used TBH and this idea was not mine originally.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    texas
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    7

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    "What are your issues with Warre's management style? After working in 12+ Warre hives for a season I can say that it suits the hive very well, and attempting to use them differently could be difficult." Cacklewack

    Thank you all for your quick responses , in answer to this I will need to explain a bit .

    My problem or issue I would think is almost more of a philosphical one with the extreme limited opening of the hive( I see what is being said abot scent etc and acknowledge it ) , the naturalness of it and what I have observed in some of the attitudes about the hive and the beekeeprs relationship with it .

    I may be wrong . but I have always envisoned beekeeping to be primarely for the beekeeper and his or her enjoyment , enrichment what have you .In the end whether a warre hive or htbh or lang you are taking a insect( I would argue a "modiefied one with honeybees beeing in a real sense designed by breeding etc for our hives ) and putting them inside a box which to me alters the relationship from being just purely a natural one , I have yet to see a tbh/warre/lang naturaly in nature or see a tree wether super or midd or nadir itself

    What I have scene with the warre and some of its proponents( not all . but at least in alot of the english forums ) what I would call an extreme view of the bee/beekeeper relationship to the point that it seems to be almost " sinnfull to ever mention , inspection , supering , or even a good honey yield . This honestly makes me to pause and wonder the whole manegment style .

    Again I would say it is a philosphical issue , with the very act of having a hive you have gone beyond nature , so the rest ( all that we do ) is in some ways a comprimise and unnatural , I guesse my question then is, is it such a terrible comprimise with the bees to do those things that warre and others see as wrong


    But if it is as you say and I def. trust you becuase you are experianced in this field , than it is likely that the warre hive is well suited for its style of manaegment that is offered .And maybe then I may have other goals that maybe better fullfilled with either a htbh or just a trad. lang thats fine and good I have been using htbh for the past few years and truly loving it , so maybe I will need to build some more

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    52

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by jello7654 View Post
    What I have scene with the warre and some of its proponents( not all . but at least in alot of the english forums ) what I would call an extreme view of the bee/beekeeper relationship to the point that it seems to be almost " sinnfull to ever mention , inspection , supering , or even a good honey yield . This honestly makes me to pause and wonder the whole manegment style .
    Haven fallen away somewhat from True Belief in what has evolved into strict dogmatic Warré hives and management, after a season of mistakes and success with Warrés I might have a bit to mention:

    • Supering is possible when a heavy flow is on and most of the broodzone is in lower boxes. Just rip off the top cloth, smoke the bees down a bit, add a primed empty box, and replace the top cloth, quilt and roof. The principle is to provide workers more storage space under existing stores.
    • Crosscomb is more prevalent, but there is some anecdotal lore that aligning the topbars with magnetic N-S can reduce this tendency. Iron railings and nails in the boxes themselves may be problematic too. Adding a full-length strip of 1/2" high foundation or wax sheet to the topbar groove may help also.
    • Manipulation is on a per-box basis, not per-frame. Not having come from a background of Langstroth-style hives and management, this was no biggie; but I can understand it might be hard to accept and adapt to for more experienced beeks.
    • Lifting a full Warré hive stack for nadiring/subinsertion is not on the menu for most. Lacking a hive lift, a compromise is to separate the mostly-honey sub-stack from the mostly-broodzone sub-stack, brush/clean the base, add an empty, and reassemble the full stack. Not Warré's ideal of low-intensity management, but workable.
    • A chock-full Warré honey box will provide a net of ~25lb. honey, out of a 34-38lb. gross box weight. This includes processing loss and maybe 1lb wax rendered. This may seem low compared to a Lang, but given that the box is ~30% smaller in volume, and that very little time was spent working the hive, seems like a good deal to me.
    • The twist-and-lift method for box separation is pretty lame; I almost destroyed a colony once that way. Use shims & piano wire to separate any bridging before lifting a box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McLean County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Try making your TBH the correct dimensions so that you can set a langstroth box sideways on top, so that the frames run the same direction as the top bars below it.
    Here is a link to something very similar to what you are describing:

    http://beenatural.wordpress.com/top-...-top-bar-hive/
    Last edited by Barry; 12-08-2009 at 09:40 PM.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2009
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    52

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Try making your TBH the correct dimensions so that you can set a langstroth box sideways on top, so that the frames run the same direction as the top bars below it. ... OK, confession time, I've never used TBH and this idea was not mine originally.
    The idea of a Warré 300mm square internals is to make it more log-like and consistent with wild nest dimensions. One can make an adapter to ease a Lang colony's moving downward into a Warré, but simply building a bigger rectangular vTBH the size of a Lang kind of violates a basic principle. Warré and others believed the Lang is overlarge and drafty, fostering excess winter honey consumption and cold/damp-related diseases.

    That said, tho Warré disliked frames as fussy, expensive, and creating the temptation to meddle, he grudgingly allowed that frames may indeed be used if the 300x300mm internal dimension be observed. Others have built hexagonal or octagonal vTBH hives with a 12-inch internal width, with good success.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    What your talking about is really a hybrid of a Warre' and a Lang so just build it that way. Go the 19 inches and foundationless.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ellijay, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Hi jello7654,
    MIKI hit the nail on the head. What you seem to be talking about is a Warre/Lang hybrid. I have one that I used this past spring as an experiment. I built it just as you would build a lang hive body. In fact I built it so that it would accept lang frames so that I could move a frame of brood or honey into it if needed. I built top bars the same as I would for my top bar hives so that I could also move a bar from a top bar hive into it if needed. It worked very well. The only problem that I had with it was the fact that the little bees would attach comb to the side of the hive. The bees loved it. I will experiment with more of them this spring and summer. I will post any results here and on my site www.customwoodkitsinternational.com Let me know if I can be of any help.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by jello7654 View Post
    What would happen if I worked the warre hive just as I would a 8 frame lang( of course with top bars only ) , supering and all ? Do you think this would be a failure as far as honey yield / bee health etc , woud I end up with simular resluts as I would with a lang or ????

    I honestly would like to know because personally I have not been totaly convinced about the warre management technique .
    I ran a British National hive (similar to a Lang but a little smaller) as a Warré this year as an experiment, and it worked better than my two Warrés in that the bees did not swarm and they stacked away enough stores for winter. Both the Warrés gave me trouble with swarming and absconding, but I suspect this may have been due to using relatively new wood, while the National was full of old, propolis-covered frames.

    I will be trying Warrés again next season, but I don't see them ever replacing my horizontal TBHs - way too much box-shifting and not enough opportunities for swarm management or queen raising, and full inspections are nigh-on impossible.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by buckbee View Post
    I will be trying Warrés again next season, but I don't see them ever replacing my horizontal TBHs - way too much box-shifting and not enough opportunities for swarm management or queen raising, and full inspections are nigh-on impossible.


    I see this as a big problem also! A possible way around this issue as an example and using medium ten frame boxes is to insert follower boards in place of two outside frames leaving room for eight top bars. The advantages of the follower boards are two fold as long as the bees build comb on individual bars.
    1: Removing follower board to get access to work and remove combs for inspection and/or manipulation.
    2: Insulation for cold or heat.
    Of course you can also build a Warre to accommodate the followers.
    I have not tried this yet. Feed back is needed.

  13. #13
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    Dec 2004
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    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    I see this as a big problem also! A possible way around this issue as an example and using medium ten frame boxes is to insert follower boards in place of two outside frames leaving room for eight top bars. The advantages of the follower boards are two fold as long as the bees build comb on individual bars.
    1: Removing follower board to get access to work and remove combs for inspection and/or manipulation.
    2: Insulation for cold or heat.
    Of course you can also build a Warre to accommodate the followers.
    I have not tried this yet. Feed back is needed.
    That's exactly why I use two follower boards in a horizontal TBH, but I don't think there would be any point in doing so in a Warré, as they would get jammed for sure, just like they do in a framed hive.

    It sounds like you are suggesting putting followers into a Lang in order to run it as a Warré - is that right? If so, you are going to have to vertically align followers in stacking boxes, or you will have a big mess with brace comb in all sorts of unhelpful places, I think. It would be perfectly possible to make some kind of liner to go inside a Lang, to reduces its inner dimensions to those of a Warré - but then, why not just build a Warré?
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    Quote Originally Posted by buckbee View Post
    It sounds like you are suggesting putting followers into a Lang in order to run it as a Warré - is that right?
    It was used as an example to show that a Warre could be built to accommodate the followers as were once commonly used in Langs. Could be applied with Lang equipment. They were moved horizontally away from the outside frames to give room to pull the first frame so the bee wouldn't be injured by rolling them between the combs when removing.
    Their use may have been discontinued for reasons as you suggest but I’m not sure. There have been a few parts stripped from the Lang hive since its introduction. Such as the quilt and I believe a outer box to give a dead air space.
    Yes, it would work on the same principal as your followers. They would have to be lined up in each box as you suggest.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2004
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    Totnes, Devon, England
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    1,019

    Default Re: tbh/warre hive question

    FWIW - it is still common practice in the UK to use followers in National hives and variants, such as the WBC. We used them when I worked at Buckfast Abbey in the big Modified Dadants that Brother Adam favoured, although they were often as much a hindrance as a help - mainly due to the bees' tendency to propolize them in place. This almost never seems to happen in a TBH, for some reason - mainly, I think, because we tend not to 'compress' the bees as is often the case in a framed hive.

    There has been some discussion on our forum (Natural Beekeeping Network) about the possibility of making an 'A' shape in the top box of a Warré using sloping boards, as a possible way to 'encourage' bees to build quickly and move downwards, without treating the next set of bars down as a floor and going into swarm mode.

    As far as I am aware, nobody has tested this yet.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

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