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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Berkshire County, MA , USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Warré hive dimensions and plans

    Hello, new to beekeeping and plan to build 2 or 3 Warré hives this winter. Would like to see if anyone has their own plans and dimensions or any information that they would like to share. Would really like to find a nice set of plans for a modern or modified Warré hive as well as plans for a half frame design for the top bars. Also looking for any and all swarm bow plans to build primary out of wood if possible. I'm determined to make these myself but I'm not good at just winging it lol I need plans or I'm lost. If possible please email or post any plans or cut dimensions. Wall thickness? Top bars or half frames? Type of wood? Paint or no paint? I live in western Massachusetts and the winters can get cold. I'm considering using cypress or cedar but also may use good select grade pine. Any and all input is helpful, not only with the building of a Warré but also managing the hive after it is built. I'm in the process of reading Warré's book but still wanted some more up to date information on a more modern approach. Thanks for your time!
    Last edited by Berkshirebee413; 09-02-2016 at 10:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    566

    Default Re: Warré hive dimensions and plans

    The bees use the empty spaces, the wooden parts are for the beekeeper. What hive you use should be based on your willingness to use a new technique.If you use the original Warre dimesions, you can get or trade parts easily. Even buying them, or making them. They work fine. Using a Langstroth style inner cover to feed, allows using mason jars, very easy. That was my issues with warres, no easy wsy to feed, and the cloth over the topbars is a nusiance. A properly made lang style inner cover does the same job, better, and allows feeding with jars. Pay careful attention to the reasons that you.place boxes below, as they are what makes it viable. Learn to release and harvest single topbars. Use a starter strip to prevent cross combed boxes. But, always expanding from below, means the funky comb is honey harvest, eventually. Not such a big deal then. Good luck. If you put in plastic foundation, on a topbar, it spins out well, without frames. A cage is needed in the spinner, they're smaller. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Warré hive dimensions and plans

    If you haven't yet already, I strongly suggest you download and read "Beekeeping for all" by Abbe Warre. This book is in the public domain, you can get it as a free PDF, but there are people who sell it and some who still publish a print version.

    You can find a lot of different plans on a google search, but the key Warre dimensions are the inside dimensions.

    The inside dimensions of a Warre are 300mm x 300mm x 210mm tall. The quilt box is 100mm tall.

    Don't mess with converting to inches, just use a metric measuring tape, it will be easier.

    2x10 lumber is generally less expensive than 1x10 lumber. Cedar, Redwood, and Fir 2x10s are readily available. Also they are usually a better wood than the 1x white wood unless you buy the really expensive 1x grades.

    If you do use 2x lumber, unless you have a planer then go ahead and make them with 1.5" thick walls. 2x lumber is 38mm thick in metric. So to use standard 2x10 boards and simple butt joint joinery, cut two boards at 300mm long and two boards 376 mm long. Rip them to 210 mm wide. Cut a 10mm x 10mm rabbet on the inside top edges of the 300mm long pieces, and then screw the boxes together. I strongly suggest drilling clearance holes for the screws in the 376mm long boards, and then drill pilot holes in the ends of the 300mm wide boards. The clearance and pilot holes will keep your wood from splitting.

    A box made from 2x lumber will be about four pounds heavier. You really can make the boxes however thick you want, just keep the inside dimensions.

    Finish is your preference. I paint my hives. I go to Sherwin Willians and ask for a mis-tinted outdoor paint. SW sells mis-tinted paints, that is paint where they goofed when tinting it, for $5 a gallon. I have to go with whatever colors they have on hand, but I can generally get a top grade outdoor paint for just five bucks.
    Zone 5B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Berkshire County, MA , USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Warré hive dimensions and plans

    Big thanks to both of you for the information! I'm building my hives with my grandfather and he has every wood working tool/machine I can think of so I am really leaning towards the thicker walls. I'm going to shop around for the lumber and don't want to sound like a complete moron when I do. So just to clarify...
    2x10 lumber is generally less expensive than 1x10 lumber. Cedar, Redwood, and Fir 2x10s are readily available.
    So I should be asking for 2x10 cedar / select pine ( I'm in MA not much redwood around ) boards? Rough cut? Does that matter? I know to try to look out for knots and I have access to a planner so It shouldn't be too much of a pain to get those down to 26mm? One other thing I was going to see if anyone had a ballpark figure on how much wood I will need for a 4 box Warré? I have my figure I did in my head but I could be missing something and I also realize I need to account for beginner mistakes

    Again thanks for all the input so far, very glad I joined this forum!

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