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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    7

    Default Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    I'm new to beekeeping and have been looking into hive designs. I liked the concept of the Warre Hive, but was put off by some of the drawbacks. Namely, difficult hive inspection and reports of comb of one box getting connected to the top bar of the box below it. Also, I live in Arizona, and I have some concern with the quilt affecting air flow during the hot summers here. I plan on using the quilt during the winter (dec through march) and removing it in the latter half of april.

    I found this discussion on the forum and had a similar idea.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ght=warre+hive

    I wanted to use the 8-frame (deep)hive bodies stacked on top of each other. Ideally, I want to use a top bar in these boxes, but I'm not sure if the depth of the box itself will prevent the comb from attaching to the bars of the box below. If anyone has experience with this and could let me know, I am open to using foundation-less frames instead.

    If anyone has any Warre Hive or Arizona beekeeping experience, please feel free to chime in.

    BBT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    All the hive-type questions depend on preference: know why you want to use one or the other. And once you disregard the marketing silver-bullet magic healthy bees claims, it's really just about preference and that comes from experience . Why is the Warre the design you're leaning towards?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    Mainly, I like the ideas of natural comb and replacing the comb every year. I looked into the TBH approach, but was turned off by issues that arise due to having a horizontal hive. Initially, the Warre seemed like a compromise, but it had its own issues that I pointed out in my original post. Also, it doesn't use standard equipment so finding places that sell the hardware is somewhat difficult. Thats part of the reason I wanted to apply some of the Warre principles to a 8 frame Lang.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblebeeTuna View Post
    Mainly, I like the ideas of natural comb and replacing the comb every year. (snip)... Also, it doesn't use standard equipment so finding places that sell the hardware is somewhat difficult. Thats part of the reason I wanted to apply some of the Warre principles to a 8 frame Lang.
    Easy enough to do a lang with foundationless frames then. Culling all the comb every year is pretty hard core... for disease mitigation every 5-7 years is recommended (in rotation). Every year and they have to use a huge amount of resources to re-draw comb (which requires a large investment in colony resources: recall that it takes 7 pounds of honey to draw 1 pound of wax). It's essentially just an artificial swarm every spring. But if your goal is wax harvest for candles or cosmetics, or you just want them to have fresh comb each year, going foundationless in Lang frames will certainly allow for easy manipulation, interchangeability of equipment (like feeders) and still meet your goal of natural comb. Lang with foundationless IMO is the best of both worlds.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    Hi, I only have one year of actually managing bees to my credit, but I have been reading for three years and built my own hives. I started with all Lang 10 frame mediums, and that is what I still have. Building from the plans available on this website was not very economical in terms of effort. Why box joint? Just glue, staple, and a handful of screws, if you must. I then built about 300 medium frames with the intention of installing foundation. That was just too much machining for my taste, even after simplifying the process considerably from the plans. Then, I decided to not buy foundation. I would rather buy more bees. More bees meant more boxes, which are easy. They also meant more foundationless frames. I just made a ton of top bars with a kerf and comb guide glued in place. The frames get filled in quickly with natural comb and are sturdy, not that i've run any thru an extractor. The top bars occasionally get some side attachement.
    From now on I plan to make a frame without the bottom bar. It will give the bees something to anchor to on the side, and provide flexibility in terms of the depth of boxes you or your friends use. Just cut off the excess comb for shallower boxes, and they will naturally fill up a deeper box. I wish I had done 8 frame equipment, though. I feel that the Lang top bar dimension is the most important. It allows you to buy and sell nucs easily.
    Another note, I'm done ripping 1x8 to 6 5/8. My boxes will be 7 1/4" deep from now on. And probably 8 frame. Good Luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblebeeTuna View Post
    ... I plan on using the quilt during the winter (dec through march) and removing it in the latter half of april.
    Just curious: why remove the quilt box at all? Sounds like a lot of unnecessary fuss & handling. But then I think doing the whole warm-way/cold-way switchover is unwarranted as well...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Warre Hive Hybrid Advice Requested

    I too found Warre hives interesting, but I still run all 8-frame mediums, all foundationless. The quilting aspect of a Warre hive is not needed here in Arizona in my limited experience. We don't have any moisture to soak up here in the winter and the cold is almost a non issue, especially in your area (temps are lower here in the south due to elevation). My hives have been foraging for the past month and only stopped altogether from mid-November into mid-January. To be honest our heat is more of a concern than anything - especially young colonies. I would recommend providing shade to help them regulate temperatures inside. I had a heck of a time this past summer with weak hives needing serious heat relief. Running screened bottom boards year round works very well here - and I would wager to say essential in the summer for air flow. If you are going to use 8-frame langs and stack them like a Warre hive, really all you are doing is managing them differently (bottom to top versus top to bottom). The setup is about the same. I decided against it in the end because adding boxes to the bottom seemed like more work to me. It really is all on your own preferences in the end; I have yet to try it however so I could very well be wrong. As far as top bars are concerned they seem to be more fragile to manipulation versus standard frames. One of the reasons I run all medium foundationless is they tend to stay intact better than a deep frame (which I would recommend cross-wiring if they are foundationless). I also don't use an extractor so I can get away with not needing comb support. Joseph Clemens would be a great person to ask about our area - immense knowledge to be sure. I have taken a lot of my practices from him.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

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