Uhhhh....the bees are doing just fine, OT. Just like last year...and the year before that. They're humming away and have lots of stores. From what I can tell with my octagon hives (this is the first winter that I've used those), those bees are going to make it through with significant stores left over! And no, varroa are not going to kill them.
I'm relatively new to Beesource here, and I greatly appreciate the knowledge, experience, and tips you all give on these forums. I'm here to learn all I can about beekeeping, and definitely not to make enemies... can't help but ask, though: why do so many of these discussions end up sounding like the henhouse?!
That's why I only come around here from time to time, George. I can only take it for a short while. If you stick around, you'll notice that I'll leave for weeks or months at a time (unlike some people who are always here). Honestly, if you want to learn as much as possible about beekeeping and bees (in general), go read the million pages of information that Michael Bush has made available at his website. He doesn't do Warres, but then again he's never tried, nor has he ever really put them down. What he has done is spent about a million hours writing, and if you study that, you'll know enough about bees to apply that knowledge to any aspect of beekeeping that you decide to do. That's what I did. The man's a genius.
Learning...around here? It's not so easy because of the debating. Can you imagine studying philosophy at the university and being placed in a lecture hall with 25 profs? How well do you think that would work?
BTW, I have some good stuff at my site, too. Good luck to you.
Last edited by beez2010; 02-08-2011 at 08:06 PM. Reason: sp
Ya know, Warre wrote that framed hives, which allowed for significant intervention by the beekeeper, were the biggest contributor to the spread of AFB.
Didn't you have an AFB problem this year, OT? Seems that I recall some pics of you torching some bees and equipment. If I recall correctly, you weren't laughing that day.
Yes I had AFB this year, in the end I had to burn 4 hives & still not sure I'm done with it.
The first hive I found it in had just a few cells showing the disease, but more hives showed up with it over the next few months, they all got caught with only 2 or 3 cells of AFB, because I was watching them like a hawk.
As I'm an inspector I was able to check around hives in the area to attempt to find the source, but could not. There could be unregistered hives around, but the most likely possibility would be feral hives in the bush, which there is a lot of within range of my bees.
However I'm happy with the procedures that have been followed, couldn't really have done any more to protect both myself and other beekeepers. The apiary is still in quaranteen just to be safe.
"Thinking Inside The Box"
I have one Warre' going into its third year. I have no problems inspecting individual combs when needed. For easy inspections you must make sure that the bees follow the guides that you place on the bars. If you use foundation strips about 3/4" deep they will consistently build along them. Clamping the strip between a split bar with screws or nails will hold the strip firmly in place. If you were in an area where honey yields are high a Warre' I don't think would be the best hive choice. We are not in a high honey production area so I don't think a Warre' is going to get too tall around here. As far as I know it is pollination contracts that most of the true commercial outfits are doing to pay the bills in our area, honey being a byproduct. To move hives around and for grading purposes the Lang is the way to go. Not to say that you couldn't develop a niche market with all the new hobbyists that are interested to have bees by selling hives and bees along with local honey and other hive products to the public.
Thanks for that point, Delta Bay. Does anyone know what kind of nectar flow conditions Warre was working in (France)?
Also, I recall mention about harvesting honey as it's ready. I'm wondering, for someone maybe small enough (the operation not the guy!) or with the time, could you just make more frequent rounds, taking off boxes as they're ready? That would be way more labor-intensive I guess, more nadiring constantly... but might that be a way of harvesting Warres in a heavy-flow area?
I think that would be the way to go.
Chris said the highest his hives have ever been is 5 boxes. So to get a reasonable crop that would be commercially viable with those little boxes I think you would have to take off and replace several times a season.
How much honey do you get out of a typical Warré super?
"Thinking Inside The Box"
it's interesting to think of honey harvest in a different way. When I think in terms of what I'm used to (commercial Lang operation) doing frequent multiple rounds seems incredibly impractical. But in a different situation, like a smaller Warre operation, it starts to make some sense:
Since you'd probably be doing section/comb honey, crush and strain, and more beeswax rendering... you could probably get into a pretty smooth system. Lots of work, but having a steady, smaller influx of honey supers, rather than one or two major hauls, may suit the whole system better. Say, take off supers (and nadir) in the morning, processing the rest of the day, something like that. Any thoughts, experience, opinions on that?
Another question: Can someone explain the Warre method of uniting to me? I read it, and what I recall is picking your 2 strongest brood boxes (1 from each hive to be united), and then placing the remaining boxes individually on these 2 and smoking the bees down into them. I think I'm missing something. I know the usual newspaper method of uniting colonies. I don't remember him saying what about the queens? Obviously, if one hive is already queenless, putting them all together unseparated would work. But what about if it's just 2 weak colonies still with queens? Do you kill the weaker one and wait a bit? It seems like a really simple way to unite, but I feel like I'm missing some detail there. Thanks!
I seem to remember a commecial guy talking about pulling 2-3 supers each, sticking a couple empties in below a partial and coming back and doing it again in a month.
It kept the crew in the shop busy.
If a beek was bottling and selling his own then having variatal honey is a good seller.
They'd want to keep it seperate. And wouldn't need quite as much equipment.
I think Warre' liked to squeese all hives down to two boxes for winter.
If he was combining two weak ones he just did it and let the stronger queen win.
Push, Pull, or get Out of the Way
I know that with ktbh's you have to harvest more than once to keep space available. But I was under the impression that Warre keepers only harvest once, in accordance with the warre philosophy of minimum disturbance to the hive.
To me anyway, a Warré box would not only be narrower than a Lang, but also not as long. Could also be shorter? Don't know I'd look it up and measure one but I'm running late.
Any Warré folks could tell us how much honey in a Warré box?
"Thinking Inside The Box"
Ok well I just took the time & googled it. According to what I found the metric internal measurements for a Warré are .300 x's .300 x's .210 = .189 cubic metre. A Lang is .470 x's .370 x's .240 = .417 cubic metre.
So a Warré beekeeper would have to produce 2 boxes of honey and still not be equal to one lang box.
But incase I'm wrong, can a Warré guy tell us how much honey you'd get out of a box?
"Thinking Inside The Box"
I usually get just under 30 lbs. out of a completely filled box.
I think also, when Warre talked about only doing 1 or 2 checks (spring and honey harvest), he was talking about more thorough inspections? Because he does outline interventions such as splitting, uniting, finding/replacing the queen, pioneering, etc. Are we confused here? To me, doing multiple harvest rounds would still stick to the minimum disturbance (of the BROOD NEST) rule, because you wouldn't be going into the nest, just taking off supers and nadiring.
But by late summer, you're wanting to get your hive down to two boxes anyway, right? So do you just take off the supers and not nadir at harvest time?
I give up on this thread. George, every answer that you want to know about Warres is on our site. "People" here are gonna say I'm wrong when "they" don't even know the dimensions of a Warre box? (By the way, OT, you gave the dimensions for a 10 frame Lang deep. The same ol' thing from you....read something and totally get it wrong. I have come to the conclusion that you DO NOT know how to read english. Do you know what an 8 frame medium is? And you have to subtract from those inside dimensions to account for frames....that Warre hives do not have!) I have lots of management tips on getting maximum honey production from a Warre on my site, but don't read that...I mean, what would I know about it? UNCLE!!
Chris Harvey--Teakwood Organics
Last edited by beez2010; 02-09-2011 at 04:19 PM.
To everyone on this thread, I apologize if I have been asking ignorant and redundant questions, and making frequent and silly comments. It's winter and I'm not around bees, so I may very well be guilty of talking in circles and wasting everyone's time.
From now on, I will consult the Warre Store Gospel for any and every question I may have. I confess I have only consulted it 5-10 times. Apparently no one else knows anything about anything.