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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    texas
    Posts
    7

    Default another warre question

    Thank you all for your answers on the other thread , I think what I am going to do is have 2 warres , doing one in a traditional langstroth method of mangment ( supering etc ) and another according to the warre book so to say . The more reading im doing i guesse im softning more towards a warre esque style , but i want to compare and just see for myself .


    I do have another question though , in pretty much all the plans I have seen for the warre hive they all have whats called the quilt and a roof of some sort . I noticed I think its was Bwrangler who had his concept on his site for a warre and it looked like there was only a migratory cover on top and no quilt or roof .

    What are yalls thoughts on that as far as feasability . I live in central texas ( Killeen/Ft. Hood area were it is warm and hot most the year( my wife who is from Korea says we just have 4 variations of summer instead of 4 seasons . Would I be better going ahead and making the quilt and roof or does it in yalls mind make that much of a differance ?


    thank you again
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ellijay, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: another warre question

    Yes it makes a lot of difference. The quilt box is not to keep the hive warm but rather to absorb moisture out of the hive. The quilt box is filled with saw dust which absorbs the moisture out of the hive and then evaporates out of the saw dust. So yes it is a very important part of the hive. Hope this helps.
    Closed ears could eventually lead to empty stomachs
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: another warre question

    The quilt or cushion was also a feature of the original Langstroth and Dadant hive designs, so this is not "new." I sometimes wonder why we all switched to the current inner cover instead?
    The World Beehive Project - I build one of every popular beehive in the world!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ellijay, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: another warre question

    Racehorse you are exactly right. I also wonder why the quilt box is no longer used. It is a very useful addition to the hive. I also dropped in on your site. It looks like you are doing some good things there and I would just like to say keep up the good work.
    Closed ears could eventually lead to empty stomachs
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: another warre question

    From what I recall reading, the quilt used by Langstroth style hives in the 1800s was for keeping the hive warm or keeping propolis off of frames rather than for keeping moisture away from the bees. I'll have to scrounge a bit -- I think it was Gleanings in Bee Culture or some other old literature.

    Matt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: another warre question

    Matt,
    Your exactly right! today that quilt has evolved to a sheet of plastic or here in Germany a few pages of newsprint.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: another warre question

    The box on a Warré is essentially vapour-permeable loft insulation. It serves the double purpose of helping to retain heat while allowing moisture to escape without causing a condensation problem.

    Johann Thur's article explains exactly why it is important to retain heat in the hive, along with the other essential elements of the hive atmosphere.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: another warre question

    Thur's article although wonderful reading is just a bit on the old side so I would not say it explains exactly as we have come a bit further today.

    "To summarise, I argue that the unnaturalness of the framed hive rests in the following: as a result of the spaces between the combs being open on all sides, the nest scent and heat escapes, and with it the germfree, disease-inhibiting scent-substances."

    The importance of ventioation has come a long long way since 1946.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: another warre question

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKI View Post
    Thur's article although wonderful reading is just a bit on the old side so I would not say it explains exactly as we have come a bit further today.

    "To summarise, I argue that the unnaturalness of the framed hive rests in the following: as a result of the spaces between the combs being open on all sides, the nest scent and heat escapes, and with it the germfree, disease-inhibiting scent-substances."

    The importance of ventioation has come a long long way since 1946.
    And what, exactly, has changed since 1946? Thur's observations seems as valid now as they did then, IMO.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: another warre question

    From the Abbe himself:

    The quilt is 100 mm deep and not 50 mm, as with conventional ones. The underneath is covered by a cloth. But the top is open. It is filled with sawdust, chopped straw, peat, or any other light material that is absorbent and poorly conducts heat.
    The quilt is not closed, so its contents can easily be renewed.; in any case stir it often to keep it dry, because it absorbs the hive's moisture more easily and communicates to the hive the heat outside. When one has sawdust or chopped straw at one's disposal it can be renewed annually. If the old insulation is spread around the hive it suppresses weed growth.
    This clearly indicates to us the quilt is meant to absorb moisture and humidity from the rising hot air in the hive and that one is certainly able to manipulate the condition of the quilt contents by stirring up the sawdust, etc.. to keep it from accumulating too much moisture in one area and letting it rise into the roof and out from there.

    Moisture is generated in any hive by the life of the animals and by the evaporation of nectar. There is also stale air resulting from animal respiration.
    This stale, humid air is warm when it is in the cluster of bees and thus it tends to rise. Reaching the top of the hive, it does not cool down quickly, because the top of the hive is always warm, and because the walls of the People's Hive are never very cold, due to the shorter distance between them and the bee cluster. This stale air will continue to occupy the top of the hive, but the cloth lets it pass and be taken into the quilt. This escape of stale air draws in fresh air through the hive entrance. As this escape of air is continuous and under the control of the bees, the fresh air enters only slowly but continuously, to renew the air in the hive and without making the bees uncomfortable.

    In other hives this ventilation does not take place in the same manner. The stale air is quickly stopped by the oilcloth or crown boards and continues to surround the bees, for in hives bigger than the People's Hive, the bees are closer to the top.
    This stale air extends as far as the walls and condenses on contact with them as they are further away from the bee cluster and thus cooler than the walls of the People's Hive. Having condensed, the moist air passes down the walls and the outer combs and produces moisture and mould. However big the entrance may be, the fresh air does not enter the hive because it is not drawn in by the departure of the stale air. Ventilation in such hives is insufficient or absent.
    This passage informs us that the quilt not only collects humidity, but allows the bees to control ventilation of the hive by determining how rapidly old, stale air escapes from the top and pulls in fresh, breathable air in from the bottom entrance.

    The bees will propolize the cloth on the underside of the quilt controlling how much, how fast air moves through to the quilt.

    I don't think there is any question of the value of the quilt in the Warre hive if the hive is being managed by the methods described in the Abbe's book.

    If one deviates from the method, then the onus in on them to work their way on their own.

    Even in a warmer setting like Texas, I think the value of the quilt box is there in helping control humidity and ventilation. In that case, the bees will likely, I suspect, not propolize the cloth much, if at all, and allow all the heat to move through the quilt box.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  11. #11

    Default Re: another warre question

    In addition to all this, when the Abbe describes his methods as "hands off" and not interfering, he means to the colony itself. He has provided ways to make manipulations to the hive itself without directly opening up and exposing the colony directly.

    His concern is not to interrupt the colony and his hive takes into consideration making manipulations without directly disturbing the colony.

    He has provided methods of manipulating the quilt box, adding feeders, adding new boxes, etc.. without the least amount of disturbing the actual colony.

    The only times the colony itself are directly disturbed is in spring and in fall harvest. all other manipulations take place indirect of the colony.


    I really think if one attempts to build and work a Warre hive, one should read his book "Beekeeping For All" very closely and more than once. He packs a LOT of information, very detailed information in that book that you don't always see upon the first or even second reading because you are trying to intake all of the info he is providing.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: another warre question

    I think David Heaf deserves credit for his translation of Warré's original text.

    You have nailed it for sure, and your narrative supports the use of such boxes on horizontal TBH's as well as vertical, although as there are no gaps between the bars, less moisture will make its way to and through the sawdust (or whatever insulation is used). Some certainly does, but a good deal is absorbed by the bars themselves - especially if they are left roughly sawn on the lower surface.

    There can be little doubt that vapour-permeable top insulation is a great help to the bees in maintaining their atmosphere as they like it. IMO not enough attention is paid to the thermal properties of hives, with respect to the known facts about Varroa not being able to reproduce at temperatures in excess of about 94 deg F. If we can design and manage hives so that bees are able to maintain - or at least attain at will - a brood nest temp only a couple of degrees higher than their usual 92-93, that would be a big step towards truly 'Varroa-resistant' bees. On the face of it, the Warré has an edge here, and this is also one of the key reasons that I provide my hTBH with two followers - to isolate the colony from the cool end boards of the hive. An on-going project.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: another warre question

    In order for a quilt box to mimic the roof of a tree cavity the situation needs to be recreated properly. The bars of the Warre are spaced allowing the moisture to be absorbed by the sawdust. Not a problem in a natural situation the comb is fixed directly to the ceiling and the space is naturally there! If you want to keep bees by making the gap between the TB’s in the TBH you in effect recreate the real thing at least as close as we are ever going to get anyway. Now the rough sawn lower surface is not there anymore. Once again the bees in this situation are given control of the hive environment and that’s the key in the Warre, and that’s what I think Big Bear was getting at the disturbance of the environment of the colony is kept to an absolute minimum. The natural environment can be very closely replicated horizontally and vertically. All it requires is mixing the best attributes of each design making sure you are mimicking some natural attribute. Anything you stick in a hive that does not mimic a natural attribute is just a hindrance to the bees developing into strong stock. For instance take a Varroa drawer on a Warre’ or TBH for that matter a screen with a sticky board under it, totally closed not open. Take the bottom of a tree cavity with insects that eat fallen Varroa both manage to keep the little pest from finding a new host. So no matter where you are Texas or Maine the use of the Quilt box is just a bonus no matter how you look at it.

    I have never come across anything that says Varroa cannot reproduce at that temp just that cooler temps are more ideal. Higher temps such as 40 C or 104 F have been known to kill Varroa both phoretic and sealed in brood cells without damaging the bees, however the temp needed to be maintained for at least 20 min and is not a temp the bees will tolerate very long. No way was ever developed to implement the method as far as I know. There was a company that patented the idea but the announced launch date for the product came and went.

    IMO Varroa resistance will come from one thing and one thing only! Allowing the bees to deal with them on their own without providing any artificial that cant be eventually escaped out of the management. Treatments, frames, foundation, useless manipulations and follower boards. Warre’ and Thur got it right but we as today’s beekeepers have to apply new out of the box ways of thinking to get back to an at least sustainable if you don’t want to use the word natural state of affairs.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Monroeville Pa
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: another warre question

    I put a bale of hay on the top of my TBH, with an old steel/porcelin table to on the wooden roof keep it from rotting. The hay keeps it from blowing over, and would insulate the top to prevent condensation and dripping of water on the bees. I realize this might be difficult for commercial hives, but for a top bar hive it is perfect. (also bales on the side for wind breaks) This to me, would mimic the hive in the tree (cellulose) and so would a quilt box in a warre hive.
    Simple and easy for me.

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