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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Warre hive comb collapse

    I just noticed that the top section of my Warre hive has suffered some significant comb collapse. (The bottom two sections are fine.) I am inclined to do nothing about it and just let the bees deal with the problem. Has anyone had a similar experience? Advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Yeah you need to get in there and hang it back up! Either tie it, clamp it, wire it and/or a sling! They will reattach it to the top frame. Is it hot in your area or is the hive in direct sun all day?? Make sure the slatted bottom rack is free of any debree for better ventilation and that you have ventilation around the roof! Make sure they have water near by at all times so they can cool down the hive!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    That is exactly why I'm moving away from TBH's. I had several honey combs collapse in the heat and it's not a lot of fun digging them out of the hive. I converted a KTBH recently and I'm going to convert my TTBH next spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Did the buzzing sound get louder as you reached in there to grab the comb???..HAHAHA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    A2,

    Sorry I did not see this sooner to respond to it for you. I'm not sure how serious this situation is, not having seen it or heard a better desciption, but honey or syrup filled combs are next to impossible to deal with. I feel your best options are to remove the combs and leave them some distance away from the hive for bee feed or do nothing. Comb collapses happen all the time in feral nests and the bees just deal with it.

    The main thing I feel you need to do is to correct the situation which caused the collapse in the first place. If you have any insulating material in the quilt, remove it....all of it. If your hive gets direct sun all day, then I would also consider painting the top of the roof white to reflect heat away. And, yes, make sure your bees have access to clean water. Call me if you need anymore advice. My # is on my website.

    Regards,

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Thanks, Chris . . . . . the hive is in shade from 3 PM on, so perhaps I need to provide more mid-day shade. I'll clean up the mess and let them draw more comb.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by A2 Bee Man View Post
    I just noticed that the top section of my Warre hive has suffered some significant comb collapse. (The bottom two sections are fine.) I am inclined to do nothing about it and just let the bees deal with the problem. Has anyone had a similar experience? Advice?
    Would that top section be harvested this year? If so, I would just leave it for now.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Big Bear
    I hear what you're saying.

    noted.
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by dcross View Post
    Would that top section be harvested this year? If so, I would just leave it for now.
    Yes, with the flow we're having it will probably will be. Thank you. Those were my first thoughts also. It's not a brood chamber nor will it be.

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    The bee has survived for centuries in hives with fixed comb without suffering.

    Without suffering? What about Isle of Wight disease? or numerous other diseases?

    'It is a certain fact', says Berlefech, 'that the invasion by foulbrood in Germany dates from the same time as the framed hive. Before this time there was very little manipulation of hives, foulbrood was hardly known about as it was so rare; but, since then, it is as well known as it is frequent’.

    In fixed comb hives, comb and colonies were routinely destroyed. Was the rarity of foulbrood due to fixed comb hives, or was it due to regular destruction of combs and colonies?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    [Without suffering? What about Isle of Wight disease? or numerous other diseases?

    [In fixed comb hives, comb and colonies were routinely destroyed. Was the rarity of foulbrood due to fixed comb hives, or was it due to regular destruction of combs and colonies?
    Well, Isle of Wight disease (tracheal mites) was first discovered in 1904, at least 50 years after the introduction and subsequent widespread use of framed hives, so I am not sure what your point is there. But I am sure Warre did not mean to be taken so literally as to imply bees had never gotten sick before, simply that they were alot better off.

    Your second point is valid....though, it was not the destruction of colonies that resulted in better bee health, but rather the regular destruction of brood comb, something that almost completely ceased with the advent of framed hives. It is only during the last several years that (some) beekeepers have taken up the practice of culling out old brood combs every couple of years to help keep the bees healthier (a practice that, by the way, will likely lead to higher varroa populations in hives if beekeepers continue to use 5.4 mm foundation in the brood chamber).

    By managing hives as Warre did (nadiring) the brood is raised in the same combs for only a few cycles (at most) and all wax is regularly replaced by the bees as the brood nest moves downward and the honey and wax are harvested from the top. Thus, perpetually clean wax with no need to destroy colonies.

    I should add that if you go back and read the excerpt that I posted again, you will find that it is not the framed hive that is looked down upon by Warre so much as are the "modern methods" of beekeeping that are associated with it. He is simply saying that fixed comb hives mostly prevent the application of these, what he sees as harmful, intensive methods.

    Warre believed in hive manipulation alot more than most people think. His bees produced sectioned honey in supers, he performed splits and artificial swarms regularly, caged queens during the nectar flow, etc. Many people who "know" about Warre's methods have never read the literature that he produced (at least they haven't read past page 40 of BFA). The thing that he absolutely found destructive is the idea that our hives (mainly the brood chambers) need to opened, disassembled, scraped and inspected every couple of weeks. For what? It is the theory of "if it isn't broke, fix it anyway" that is harmful. Then if, after relentless manipulation by the beekeeper the bees do become sick, the beekeeper thinks "Gee, it's a good thing that I was inspecting regularly and found this problem".

    Bees are far more resistant to disease than are humans. Do you go to your doctor for a physical exam every couple of weeks?


    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com
    Last edited by beez2010; 07-15-2010 at 10:32 AM. Reason: added thoughts

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    While I've never had a comb collapse on its own in any of my 12 Warre hives, I have broken off a few combs on accident -- usually in the top boxes -- and like Chris and others have said, just prop it in there for the bees to fix and remove it when it's time to harvest.

    Cheers,
    Matt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Englewood, CO
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Chris,

    I couldn't agree with you more. I grew up around langs and was taught the methods of bi-weekly inspections to look for brood, proper stores, that drones were the enemy and such. I didn't think much of it then because there was not the information readily available like there is today. The growing popularity of different types of hives has brought many other ideas to the table yet when I tell a lang user that I have top bars and warres they look at me like I am crazy and their first reaction is it won't work.

    Like I have said in other posts on this and other forums there is a place for all types of hives and I think the most important aspect is what they beekeeper is comfortable with. I am a proponent of the Warre hive because it is fairly easy to use, seems to keep the bees happy and has produced good amounts of honey for my needs. I will say that a lift is very handy when adding boxes especially the 4th box . Bees are amazingly resourceful and I think we are the ones that think "oh they can't fix that" or "if I don't do this they won't survive". Well look at what they accomplish in making the honey. How many millions of flowers do the visit to gather nectar and pollen, how many watering holes do the visit to cool their hives? They can do amazing things so why not let them take care of themselves as much as possible?

    As for the comb issue that stated this thread. If it's in the upper boxes that are used for honey stores then just leave it and worry about it in a month or two when you harvest that box. As others have said you can go in and prop it up but that is going to get the bees angry as the tend to become more protective of their honey as the season moves on. If it requires you splitting the boxes to get to it then you introduce other issues such as breaking the propolis seal that will need to be rebuilt by the bees, possibly breaking more comb as you separate the boxes etc.

    Some have raised issues with Erin and her certification. She has devoted many hours to gaining that certification and I respect her for that. She should be regarded as an expert for framed type hives. She is giving advice based upon her years of training and experience working with langs, don't fault her for that. As Warre hives are fairly "new" as far as people actually using them regularly in many different areas there isn't a lot of resources available compared to that of lang hives. If we all continue to keep bees in warre style hives, share the information, both good and bad, think of where we will be in ten years. We have much to learn regarding the advantages and disadvantages of warre hives. There isn't a perfect hive out there for all situations and we all need to learn from each other and with that shared knowledge help the bees to thrive rather than parish.

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