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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Madill, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Warree TBH confusion

    I am confused on how the warree works. I have read many articles on them and they all state that the bees start on the top box and work down...later the articles tell you that when you collect honey, you collect it from the top down. Wouldn't the top box be where the brood is? Maybe I'm just having a
    mental block Thanks for any info to straighten me out.
    Pamlar

  2. #2

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    my advice to you is to download Abbe Emile Warre's book "The People's Hive" and get it straight from the horses mouth.

    in summary, and please do download the book and get the full story...

    The first two boxes are those which the swarm or shaken bees are put into.

    after the bees build their comb in the two boxes, additional boxes are added underneath the stack. (usually about 2 or 3 though if a very healthy colony and very good season is predicted, sometimes more boxes).

    over the season, the bess draw the combs in the lower boxes and as trhey would in a 'natural' vertical hive, the brood area is moved to the bottom most area leaving the comb in the upper most boxes to be back-filled with honey.

    At the end of the summer/beginning of fall, the top most boxes, now hopefully packed with honey can be harvested and the bottom two boxes house the brood nest and winter honey stores.

    That's it in a nutshell.

    There is a lot more detailed and specific information in his book though.
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McLean County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Here is a link to the best source for beekeeping with Warré hives.

    http://warre.biobees.com/index.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Bees always build from the top down. The brood nest always moves from the top down. The honey is always stored above the brood. So as the hive progresses the brood nest moves down and the honey get's put overhead. This is how they live in a tree and I would assume how a Warre would work since you keep adding the space to the bottom.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Floyd, VA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    I haven't had a chance to read Warre's book yet (it's on my winter reading list), but from what I have read about Warre hives, here's a question I've had that I was hoping somebody could help me with.

    When people refer to keeping bees in Warre hives, are they referring to the specific dimensions of the Warre boxes, or to the production techniques he has outlined? Other then the smaller dimensions of the boxes, and the inclusion of the moisture "quilt" on top of the hive, is there anything different about his equipment that makes it a "Warre hive"?

    From what I've read, I've been pretty intrigued by the technical aspects of Warre beekeeping, but I have very little desire to invest in even more "off-sized" equipment. Can I just run foundationless medium Lang boxes according to the Warre methods? If so, should I build a quilted box in a medium box to mimic his designs. Should I use screened bottom boards? And do I need to convert to top bars, or can I use foundationless frames?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by jjt42 View Post
    ...I have very little desire to invest in even more "off-sized" equipment. Can I just run foundationless medium Lang boxes according to the Warre methods? If so, should I build a quilted box in a medium box to mimic his designs. ...

    This is just what my Dad's planning to do in the coming year, but with full-sized Lang boxes. Just because he has a lot of that gear already.

    Adam

  7. #7

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Warre designed the size of the hive boxes to keep the size similar to a natural void they would find in a tree. It's his contention that the smaller size, the volume, better maintains heat and environment in the hive.

    So technically, it is the equipment and the methods. having said that...

    Some time back, Tom Seely and Roger Morse investigated natural tree void sizes and volumes. they concluded that a "typical" tree nest was 30 liters or 1830.712 c.i. or 1.059 cubic feet to 60 liters or 3661.425 c.i. or 2.119 cubic feet

    the volume of a warre box is approx 1153.384c.i or .667 cubic feet. 2 warre boxes = 1.335 cubic feet

    the volume of a 10 frame Lang deep box is about 2300 c.i or 1.331 cubic feet. 2 deep = 2.662 cubic feet

    interestingly, the volume of a 5 frame Nuc box is 1308.398 c.i. or 0.757 cubic feet. 2 5frame lang nuc = 1.514 cubic feet

    notice that the volume of the 5 frame nuc box and the warre box isn't all that far apart.

    where the warre box is square, the nuc box is rectangular.

    for myself, I have been spending the last few months and am going into next season using a warre-Nuc modified hive with warre methods.

    This takes advantage of mass produced and standardized parts that roughly fit into Warre's intentions.

    That's how I do it anyway.

    Big Bear
    Last edited by bigbearomaha; 11-28-2010 at 10:16 AM.
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McLean County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by jjt42 View Post
    I haven't had a chance to read Warre's book yet (it's on my winter reading list), but from what I have read about Warre hives, here's a question I've had that I was hoping somebody could help me with.

    When people refer to keeping bees in Warre hives, are they referring to the specific dimensions of the Warre boxes, or to the production techniques he has outlined? Other then the smaller dimensions of the boxes, and the inclusion of the moisture "quilt" on top of the hive, is there anything different about his equipment that makes it a "Warre hive"?

    From what I've read, I've been pretty intrigued by the technical aspects of Warre beekeeping, but I have very little desire to invest in even more "off-sized" equipment. Can I just run foundationless medium Lang boxes according to the Warre methods? If so, should I build a quilted box in a medium box to mimic his designs. Should I use screened bottom boards? And do I need to convert to top bars, or can I use foundationless frames?

    The basic method begins with bees placed into two Warré hive boxes setting on a floor or base and covered with an insulating quilt box and roof assembly. The bees build natural comb in the topmost hive box and extend downwards into additional hive boxes added underneath (nadiring) according to foraging conditions and the needs of the colony. Additional hive boxes can be added ahead of the demand for space.

    The Warré hive is a vertical tiered top-bar hive using no frames, foundation or separation barriers. Natural comb is fixed to the hive box walls at the side and the top-bars, forming cul-de-sacs to retain the germ-free nest scent and heat that enables healthy colonies capable of productivity without intervention. The winter cluster is surrounded, above and at the sides, by their own stores which remain digestible through a gentle inflow of heat from the nest and forming a protective cushion of warmth for the bees.

    As brood vacates cells at the top of the nest they are filled with honey. The top hive box can be removed after each summer flow to harvest honey. Each spring an additional hive box is added in anticipation of the spring buildup. The upward rotation of hive boxes allows the wax to be renewed each year.

    A very important feature of the Warré method is that the hive is opened in the strict sense only once a year during harvest. The addition of hive boxes underneath the colony does not necessitate a hive opening. During this time the nest scent and heat are not released.

    Most modern experience with the Warré hive resides in France and Belgium with some in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Its popularity is increasing in the UK, USA, and Canada following the English translation of L'Apiculture por Tous or Beekeeping for All by Pat Cheney and David Heaf in 2007.

    However, there are several ways standard Langstroth equipment can be modified to include several features of the Warré Hive. The hive can be managed as a standard Langstroth Hive, a Warré Hive or a compromise of the two methods as desired.

    One such method is described here:

    Langstroth/Warré Hybrid Hive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbearomaha View Post
    Some time back, Tom Seely and Roger Morse investigated natural tree void sizes and volumes. they concluded that a "typical" tree nest was 30 liters or 1830.712 c.i. or 1.059 cubic feet to 60 liters or 3661.425 c.i. or 2.119 cubic feet
    ...

    the volume of a 10 frame Lang deep box is about 2300 c.i or 1.331 cubic feet. 2 deep = 2.662 cubic feet
    the volume of a 8-frame lang deep box is about 1900 ci or approx 1.1 cubic feet. 2 deep - 2.2 cubic feet.

    Hrm . . .

  10. #10

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    The only thing I would say in terms of the form related to volume aspect is that warre preferred smaller length and width and increase the depth if necessary to keep the cluster from being spread out or having too much dead air space immediately surrounding the cluster. So he discusses in his book anyway.
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Floyd, VA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    It sounds like in the interest of not building more off-size equipment, I should be OK using 10-frame medium langs (2 mediums = 1.6 cubic feet). I currently use all mediums in my operation, and would like to stick with them for simplicity.

    The quilt boxes sound like a good idea- I'll probably build something to replicate Warre's design.

    So the question remains- top bars or foundationless frames?

    Thanks bigbearomaha and greengecko for your replies...it sounds like there is a lot more to both Warre's equipment and techniques that I need to read up on. I've moved his book to the top of my reading pile!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    depends on whether you plan to move the hives at all or keep them in one spot. Warre calls for top bars. In my own permanent placed ktbhs and warre-nucs, I use top bars. in my warre-nucs that I transport, I use foundationless frames.


    got to experiment and use what works best for you. good luck and...

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    I've not had any issues transporting my Warre hives that are only using top bars. With foundationless frames you'd be even better off for moving -- or half frames like Gilles Denis: http://warre.biobees.com/denis.htm

    Cheers,
    Matt

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    IMO systems work best when used as they were designed to be used. Langstroth designed his hive to be manged in a particular way for a particular purpose, and so did Emile Warre: two different hives and two very different systems.

    Warre certainly conducted a huge amount of trial-and-error research on hundreds of hives and many different shapes and sizes before he settled on his final design, and to think that you can just choose any old box at random (which, incidentally, is pretty much what Langstroth did) and have his system work in the same way rather negates the work he did. Every step in his system is reasoned and consistent, and if you read his book, you will understand how all the pieces fit together.

    I'm not suggesting that you don't experiment, but don't dismiss all the experimentation that has already been done.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  15. #15

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    luckily, no one here is talking about using just any old box at random.

    It's been over 50 years since Warre designed his hive and the building materials available now are not the same as those available to him then.

    Warre, you will I am sure agree, described in his book multiple ways of managing and using a variety of equipment in his system. There is plenty within the Warre book to experiment with.

    To wit, it is important to read his book.
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    My opinion only, I wouldn't try running Langstroth boxes like a Warre, ie, adding new supers underneath. Langstroth boxes are much bigger, and it will take a lot for the bees to start moving downwards, will happen eventually but could be a long process.

    Warre boxes, being a lot smaller, induce the bees to move downwards as they need the room, plus it's easier and more "comfortable" for them to work into a box underneath.

    With Langstroth equipment results will be better adding boxes on top.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    We have spent hundreds of hours developing and maintaining an informative website to help people understand Warre hives and his methods. Our site contains dozens of pages of very useful information, much of which has been compiled from reading Warre's book over and over again. We appreciate what David Heaf did when he translated Beekeeping for All, but having read through the book multiple times, I can tell you that alot has been lost or misconstrued in translation. We have clarified much of what is written in it, so that the information is much more useful and clear.

    Don't take my word for it though, check it out yourself. You don't have to buy anything from us. You can spend as much time on the site as you wish for free. There are also some good videos that help clear up alot of questions and an FAQ page as well. Enjoy.

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Chris - it looks like there is a lot of good stuff on your site, and I will certainly do some reading there, but I am a little disappointed to see that you have been just a little disrepectful to the old Abbé by omitting throughout the é (e with acute accent) from both his name and title. It is not there for decoration, but is integral to the way his name was pronounced: without it, I suspect he is just 'Emily Warr' to most Americans!

    The correct version: Abbé Ēmile Warré
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Kingsley, MI. USA
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Buckbee,

    If you could tell me how to put the accent mark on there with an American keyboard I would be very grateful. If it is simple I'll be embarrassed. I haven't been able to figure it out. Maybe I haven't tried hard enough??

    Chris

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Warree TBH confusion

    Beez I can tell you one easy way, cut how Buckbee wrote it, and paste, works fine.

    No French keyboard required!

    Just curious what are the translation errors?

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