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  1. #21
    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 09:32 AM. Reason: added thoughts

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    633

    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

  3. #23
    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.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Some have raised issues with Erin and her certification.
    Learn to read. No one took issue with Erin's certification.

    One (me) took issue with how someone with said certification represented that certification with words posted by them.

    I appreciate the fact that erin posted back and understanding the point I was making. The issue was resolved amiably, I think and if you want to beat a dead horse on the issue, don't take what happened out of context.

    I applaud anyone wanting to take on a Warre hive and being part of the re-surgence of the methodology. it's not the status quo and there is a lot to get used to.

    Erin's advice as re-stated is a fine example of the good information available by those people who seek out said certifications to make themselves better beekeepers and better able to help others become better beekeepers.

    We now return you our regularly scheduled thread.

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

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    I just "fixed" two fallen combs yesterday by wiring the comb on the bars. It was dusk following a rain and the ladies were surprisingly mellow. No veil pinging or anything despite my manhandling of the brood comb.

    So what would happen if one did leave one or two bars of fallen comb?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Englewood, CO
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbearomaha View Post
    Learn to read. No one took issue with Erin's certification.

    One (me) took issue with how someone with said certification represented that certification with words posted by them.

    I appreciate the fact that erin posted back and understanding the point I was making. The issue was resolved amiably, I think and if you want to beat a dead horse on the issue, don't take what happened out of context.
    bigbear, you are a little quick to jump on the defensive, and yes I can read. My point was not to take issue with the exchange between the two of you but to make the point that her certification isn't directly related to beekeeping with Warre style hives. I think that is part of the difficulty with Warre hives is that there isn't decades of experience to reference outside of Warre's own writings. The writings, while excellent in detail and such, lack the diversification from different climates and such to help those north or south etc of where he lived in France. What worked for him in France may not work for someone in Arizona with much hotter temps and so on. I apologize in taking your words out of context as you said. It's just that what applies to langs may not apply to warres, KTBH, TTBH and vice versa.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Well everyone, I've decided to do nothing with the collapsed comb. As I mentioned earlier, it's concentrated in the upper (top) box of three, so it's not like it's brood comb. My next question is: how many boxes should be left on a Warre hive for winter in Michigan? I wasn't expecting to harvest any honey the first year . . . so should I leave all three boxes on for the winter?

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    A2,

    If you have a large concentration of bees in the lower box in the late evening (dusk) you should be preparing to add a fourth box. If they have already drawn out comb in the bottom box, you should be hurrying. There is still plenty of nectar to be had in your area. In fact, a very heavy flow may be yet to come depending on your exact surroundings and what the weather does. Just look through the bottom tonight to see exactly what the bottom box looks like, if you don't already know. I can get you another box pretty fast. I would leave the hive as 3 boxes for the winter, but if you have to add a fourth you'll get to remove the top box this year. Most of my new colonies will produce a crop this year (No, that's not typical, it's exceptional). Even if you don't need to harvest it, I would (due to the comb issue) harvest it and then add another (or return that one after processing) to the bottom and then feed before winter to build up stores. You could feed much of that honey back to them if you wish (after you take a small stash for you and your's, of course!). (BTW, the cedar won't hold up perfect, but pretty well and better for the bees not to treat it). Your Welcome!

    Chris

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warre hive comb collapse

    Ezrahug,

    First I want to say that if A2 had a KTBH with fallen brood comb, I might have recommended hanging the comb back up. Brood comb, which is much lighter than honeycomb, is relatively easy to repair in a KTBH and the bees might actually be better off with a beekeeper's help. In a KTBH, you have the luxury of being able to move the good combs out of harm's way while working. A2 does not have that option with his Warre, and for collapsed honeycomb it wouldn't be worth the trouble and may actually make things worse (IMO). That's why I recommended junking it (the comb) or leaving it be.

    That being said, even though you fixed those combs, the bees still have many of the same problems that they had when it was collapsed. There is dead brood in the comb from the collapse. There is dead brood in the comb from the repair. There is damaged comb, damaged eggs, trapped developing brood that is not dead, but is possibly starving (if not capped). Add to all of this that there is likely foreign materials in the hive (fishing line, etc. ??)that the bees are trying hard to remove. It's not like you did the repair and the bees are already feeling the relief, though I think we all would wish for that as the result of your efforts.

    Whether it be from collapsed comb or a cut-out, these situations are extremely hard on the colony. There's a lot of dirty work to be done. If you had left the collapsed brood combs as they were, the results would have been similar in comparison to what you did do, except there likely would have been more dead to carry out and they (the dead) would likely have been harder for the workers to get to. Eventually, the living brood would emerge, the comb would be cleaned of most of the dead and stores before being left to lay where it was as a useless hunk of wax or the bees may have continued to use part of it. If the bees objected to the wax, they would chew it up and carry it out little by little, but they don't. Depending on how it (the collapsed comb) was positioned, new comb would be built above or next to it and life would go on. In a hive, the beekeeper will, of course, eventually want to remove this useless wax.

    Remember that paying close attention to your bees' behavior for clues to a hive that is too hot and then correcting that issue before comb collapses occur is the key to really helping the bees. "An ounce of prevention...". Much easier for us as beekeepers, too, if we don't have to make the hard choices or do the dirty work.

    I removed a nest from an RV a while back. The owners had discovered the nest when they tried to open the storage compartment under the bed. They apparently caused big time damage when they did that. Below is a link to the pic (I used it on my website to advertise nest removal). This colony was very healthy when I arrived. All of the collapsed combs were empty and easily removed, for the most part. A couple had to be cut loose from the good combs and there was a slight loss of brood and stores. Then came the cut-out and the real devastation! The colony has not been disturbed since their arrival at my apiary and they are finally triving again, but it took a long time and they had to battle DWV for quite while.

    http://www.thewarrestore.com/honeybe...alservices.htm

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

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