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Thread: Warre question

  1. #1
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    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    Default Warre question

    I know this section of the forum is for TBHs, but I've seen some Warre people lurking around in here, too. I have just finished reading Beekeeping For All and am planning to build two Warre hives for spring. I am building the standard version, not modified.

    In the Warre plans, it shows the top bars as 11/32" thick. I plan on using 3/4inch thick lumber for my hive. Can I make my top bars 3/4" thick with no adverse affect? If not, what's the best way to split my 3/4" bars with a table saw? Splitting each one seperately seems like a lot of work, and my blade won't go high enough to do two at once.

    I've seen top bars for sale on one of the sites that sells this type hive (you know who you are!) for $1 each. That's an extra $64 that I don't really want to spend.

    Any additional advice would be appreciated! I'm buying lumber today and will start with the roof and work down. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    French Lick, Indiana, USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    This link might be helpful.

    Warré Top-Bar Construction

  3. #3
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    I know this section of the forum is for TBHs, but I've seen some Warre people lurking around in here, too...
    Don't Warre hives fall under the top bar hive category? I know they're vertical, but they are a top bar design aren't they?

    I'm really interested in them as well. I really like my ktbh's, but I also really like a lot of the principals and logic behind the Warre. I just can't decide if I want to get into another hive type, or to keep learning with the ktbh and get proficient there before doing more experiments with other hives.

    All fun though...

    Adam

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Elizabeth, Colorado
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    Default Re: Warre question

    I rip my boards down to the width and thickness dimensions before I cut them to length. That way I can run long pieces through the table saw and stack and cut them to length a bunch at a time.
    If I am using 3/4" pine I rip it to 1 1/8" x 3/4" strips and then rip each of those exactly in half on the 3/4" side which gives me 5/16" x 1 1/8" top bars.

  5. #5
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    Dec 2009
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    Kingsley, MI. USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    In the Warre plans, it shows the top bars as 11/32" thick. I plan on using 3/4inch thick lumber for my hive. Can I make my top bars 3/4" thick with no adverse affect?
    You can make your top bars whatever thickness you want as long as you cut the rebates to match. The bees don't care. Mine are 1cm thick because that is Warre spec. and what my customers expect.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    I've seen top bars for sale on one of the sites that sells this type hive (you know who you are!) for $1 each.
    It must be me to whom you're referring since the other guy (I know who he is, too) charges $1.20 each. I must admit though, his are slightly fancier.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    Any additional advice would be appreciated!
    Be careful....don't cut your fingers off. Use cedar lumber, build with rabbet or box joints, don't paint, use glue when assembling.

    Good luck. I hope they turn out nice.


    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com
    Last edited by beez2010; 01-23-2011 at 05:11 PM. Reason: sp

  6. #6
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    3/4" is about twice 11/32". The results will be less attachments between boxes (I would consider that a good thing but it will make less "ladders" between boxes). That's what I'd use (the 3/4").
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    3/4" is about twice 11/32". The results will be less attachments between boxes (I would consider that a good thing but it will make less "ladders" between boxes). That's what I'd use (the 3/4").
    Michael,

    I am curious as to what your reasoning is for drawing that conclusion. Just to ts be sure you're understanding Steve correctly, he is referring to the thickness, or depth of the top bars. Not the width. The bars are about 1 1/8inch wide, just like typical lang fame top bars. You think the thickness of the bars would result in fewer attachments from one box to another? Just wondering if that's what you meant and if so, why? Thanks.

    Chris

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Warre question

    It is documented (and it is consistent with my experience) in all of the old bee journals (late 1800s to early 1900s), the old ABC XYZ of beekeeping (late 1800s to mid 1900s) and the old C.C. Miller books (fifty years among the bees etc.) that a thick top bar is what keeps them from connecting between boxes. A thin top bar encourages connections between boxes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Thank you, Michael, I had not heard that before.

    Chris

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It is documented (and it is consistent with my experience) in all of the old bee journals (late 1800s to early 1900s), the old ABC XYZ of beekeeping (late 1800s to mid 1900s) and the old C.C. Miller books (fifty years among the bees etc.) that a thick top bar is what keeps them from connecting between boxes. A thin top bar encourages connections between boxes.
    Is there a quick explanation why? Or a page number in 50 years among the bees I can look to?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Warre question

    I've seen 50 years among the bees as a text PDF. I suppose one could search there. It seems like Miller gave someone credit for the observation. Seems like ABC XYZ just repeated the observation, partly, I'm sure, because they had considered it in their frame design. I did an exact quote on here once, so you might find it searching beesource... I just don't have my library hand nor the time to look it up right now.

    Here are a couple of discussions on it:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show....php?t=205793&
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show....php?t=189016&
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
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    Cache co, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    a quick search of 50 years among the bees turns it up on page 46.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Yes. I found it, thanks. Very interesting.

    Adam

  14. #14
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    Mar 2010
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    Richmond, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Another Warre hive question ... If the quilt is sealed in by the roof so that it isn't ventilated what does it do? Attic insulation? Seem to me that it would work more effectively at controlling condensation if it was open to the air.

  15. #15
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    Elizabeth, Colorado
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
    Another Warre hive question ... If the quilt is sealed in by the roof so that it isn't ventilated what does it do? Attic insulation? Seem to me that it would work more effectively at controlling condensation if it was open to the air.
    The quilt is covered by the roof but not "sealed in". The bees can't get up there to propolise the seams so the the moisture escapes through the seam but a lot of the heat stays.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Carlsford, Indiana, USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    These links may help you visualize the roof and quilt box.

    Warré Hive Plans

    Warré Quilt Box

    Warré Roof

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Warre question

    The purpose of the quilt is both to insulate the hive and to disipate moisture. I understand what you are asking when you say that the roof "seals" the quilt, since the sawdust in the quilt is not open to direct airflow. But what you need to understand is that only a true moisture barrier like heavy paint or plastic will prevent moisture from escaping. Heat carries the moisture up and into the quilt filler, which works best if it is sawdust since sawdust is very hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture). Once the moisture is there, it travels right through the wood as it cools and out of the hive. I have never found the sawdust in my quilts to be anything more than slightly damp. The only time there's ever any evidence of real dampness (sawdust clumping somewhat) is in the summer during the honey flow, since bees are actively dehydrating lots of nectar and the outside air is more humid. Hope this helps.

    Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics

    www.thewarrestore.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Warre question

    The solid bottom for the roof configuration is something that I have questioned as well. It seems like it should be perforated to some degree to facilitate the moisture getting out.

    Adam

  19. #19
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    Dec 2009
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    Kingsley, MI. USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    Yes, lots of people wonder this same thing. As I have stated in my previous post, there is absolutely no need for the sawdust to have direct exposure to the air. Anyone who has ever used a quilt on a beehive knows this to be true. One person on this forum told me that he "knew" that a quilt would turn into a brick of ice in the winter and kill the bees. Interesting what people "know" to be true when they've never even used something. People tell me all the time that they "Know" leaving screened bottom boards open all winter will freeze the bees. Nobody told my bees, apparently, since they've had open screened bottoms for several winters when nightime temps sometimes dip as low as -30F. Don't question it until you try it. Quilts have been used in this way or very similar ways for right around 300 years. They work.

    Chris Harvey

  20. #20
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    Mar 2010
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    Richmond, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Warre question

    i wonder if the quilt works different in different climates, maybe working best in cold wet or dry climates, but not as well in hot humid climates (in case someone is beekeeping in the jungle). I also wonder if you could fiddle with it seasonally to allow more venting in a humid summer. PS - thanks beez for the advise and the links

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