Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Schuylerville, NY
    Posts
    28

    Default Warre practically empty

    No matter how much one reads, there's still a lot to learn. This is my first year as a beek and after much research I decided to go with a Warre hive. I know you're just supposed to let the bees go and do their own thing, but I decided to open the hive over a few month period every 2-4 weeks just to learn more. I learned a lot by reading several books before I even acquired my bees, but it's another thing to learn firsthand by experiencing something. I always enjoyed opening the hive up every time I visited to check on their progress. Whenever I did inspect them, I would normally only look at 2 bars.

    When I pulled out a bar, I tried to keep it over the hive while inspecting it just for that reason. I never marked my queen, I just tried to keep an eye on her progress and how much she was laying. I just checked my records and it looks like there was a decrease in the amount of new brood in July. The top box had beautiful, straight comb that was filling up with nectar, honey, and different stages of brood. However, when the bees started building comb in the second or bottom box, the comb started to drift over and connect with the comb next to it and I noticed she wasn't laying as much in those.

    Unfortunately, I happened to see 2 SHB about 2 months ago (who knew how many others there were). I placed a beetle jail jr trap in the hive hoping to catch them before the population grew. At that point I had no idea how long they had been amongst the colony for. I checked on the hive a few weeks later and only saw a few beetles in the trap which I thought was a good sign. While the hive was open, I looked at a couple top bars and did not see any new brood which concerned me. I opened the hive again about a month later and it appeared that half the colony swarmed as there were a lot fewer bees than normal. I don't know what else could have happened. I just looked inside again today and the comb appears to be completely empty of honey and brood. There still aren't many bees around and I'm afraid that the SHB decimated the hive. I'm not sure if I could have saved them if I were more active and attentive about reducing the beetle population, but I saw at least 3 on 1 side of 1 bar that I inspected. It didn't occur to me that I should have started feeding them either (stupid, stupid, stupid...). They seemed rather healthy throughout the summer, but once fall came around, things started to decline.

    I know I still have a lot to learn, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what happened? They don't have any stores for the winter. Should I try to feed them now and leave them alone for the winter and if they're all dead come spring just clean the hive and get it ready for a new package of bees? I'd hate to start disassembling it now since there are some still in the hive. They don't seem to being doing much though, just wandering around over empty comb.

    Many thanks for your thoughts and help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    For starters..."stupid, stupid, stupid" Start by not using or thinking that anymore. It sounds like you managed a Warre hive
    even more than they were intended. Remember, Warre didn't have to deal with moths and varroa etc.
    What I would suggest if your bees are really gone. Rip together a couple of top bar hives for next year and, get into them
    every week after they get established. It's great seeing the changes that can happen even on a weekly basis. You can even
    keep track of queen cups that they play with. You might get to have to cut out all their combs and reattach them when
    they build all of them diagonally across the top bars. I had to do it with mine. It was a blast. If you're wanting to learn about
    bees, top bars are great for that. Top bars are a great middle ground between hive types. 19" top bars can be rigged into Langstroth
    boxes if you want to get into the vertical hives later. There's people who use top bar hives in New York. Anarchy Apiaries is one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    What makes you think SHB were responsible for what happened to your warre hive?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Schuylerville, NY
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Steven, the only reason I managed it more than usual was because it's my first year and I wanted to learn more about them. I do not plan on opening it that often in the future. I thought about a TBH before I decided on a Warre but it doesn't seem natural for the bees. I always enjoyed opening the hive and checking on their progress but at the same time I hated it. It felt like I was disturbing them (and I was) and interrupting their flow.

    Joseph, I'm not 100 % certain it was SHB that destroyed the colony as there are tons of things that can go wrong with a hive. The SHB's larvae tunnel through cells destroying pollen, honey, and pupae and larvae. I also may have received a poorly mated queen or they may have swarmed and I just never saw it happen. There are less than half the amount of bees left in the hive right now. I have not seen any new brood in a while.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Holmes,

    I'm sorry for your loss! There are many factors that could have led to the colony's demise. Did you see any signs of Varroa, such as bees with deformed wings crawling on the ground? Or Varroa on the bees themselves?

    When did they move down to the second box? A common phenomenon that seems to affect some Warres is the bees inability/unwillingness to move down from the 2nd box into the 3rd. No one seems to know the root cause. I've got 12+ Warre hives and I see it with a few of them every year. Often they'll repeatedly swarm next to colonies that are happily building down into their 3rd and 4th boxes -- essentially swarming themselves to death. It's a difficult problem to address. Sometimes I'll add a 3rd/4th box and move a couple empty combs from the box above as "bridges" to draw the bees down. Sometimes it works!

    Is there any brood or a queen at all? I'd determine that before spending any time/resources feeding them. If they've got NO stores then feeding them syrup likely isn't going to help too much. Personally I'd probably leave them to die and repopulate with a swarm next year rather than a package. I've had far better success (and so have our customers) with swarms.

    Best,
    Matt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Who knows what happened, but seeing a few SHB during an inspection in the South isn't even anything to worry about - don't like it, but it's par for the course. Hives that get ruined by them have hundreds - the bees can deal with a few just fine. Also, when SHB take over you will usually spot a lot of their orange/brown sawdust looking frass in the bottom of the hive. IMO, the hive is usually stressed by something else first before the beetles become a real problem - robbing, starvation, disease, queenlessness.... I arrived at this by stressing a bunch of hives and later regretting it.

    I disagree with those who say start over with a different hive design. Maybe start again with an additional hive design. You now have more Warre experience than 99 44/100% of everyone on here. Way too soon to give up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    sabinsville,pa,usa
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    did u c any mt queen cells? if they swarmed u will find mt queen cells!!!hope that helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Schuylerville, NY
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Thanks Matt and David for the encouraging words. Like you both mentioned, there are many factors that could lead to a colony's collapse.

    Matt, the 2 bars I inspected on Sunday did not have any stores or brood, all the cells on both sides were empty. Out of the 8 bars in the top box, I inspected the ones that had the most bees on them hoping for something, but they were empty, it was very sad. The other bars were pretty much vacant of bees. According to my records, during my inspection on June 18th I noticed 3 bars in the second/bottom box had partially built comb with some new brood in one of the bars I inspected. A side note, I purchased the Warre kit from you this past winter. I had a great time assembling it and am glad to see that you offer boxes with windows now.

    David, I don't think the SHB infestation was that bad. I'm sorry to hear about your stressed hives, but I guess we learn from our mistakes. I agree, I'd like to get at least one more hive for next year, that way I can at least compare the two to see who's doing better and use one to help the other if it's failing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about your stressed hives, but I guess we learn from our mistakes.
    I was mostly talking about mating nucs which had to deal with cycles of queenlessness along with heat, drought and dearth throughout this past hot dry summer. It was a crash course in crashing.

    My main hives suffered a bit from the weather, but mostly did fine - as did a lot of the mating nucs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    I'm beginning to think of packages as a waste of money. The swarms I catch do great. The packages I get mostly die. I wouldn't give up on the Warre's yet, but I'd think about getting more than one hive. You can rescue one from another with bees or brood, but with just one you're sort of helpless.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Schuylerville, NY
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    I plan on purchasing another hive over the winter. As much as I'd like to build one myself I just don't have the time. I've also been thinking about other alternatives, either capturing a swarm or purchasing the bees from a smaller and more local place. I can't get much more local than Betterbee (they're only 15 minutes away), but I believe they get their packages shipped up from Georgia. I'd love to find an individual that's located in NY or VT that I could purchase from. Despite my issues, I'm sticking with the Warre hive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Moseby, Jutland ,Denmark
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    When did they move down to the second box? A common phenomenon that seems to affect some Warres is the bees inability/unwillingness to move down from the 2nd box into the 3rd. No one seems to know the root cause. I've got 12+ Warre hives and I see it with a few of them every year. Often they'll repeatedly swarm next to colonies that are happily building down into their 3rd and 4th boxes -- essentially swarming themselves to death. It's a difficult problem to address. Sometimes I'll add a 3rd/4th box and move a couple empty combs from the box above as "bridges" to draw the bees down. Sometimes it works!
    Hi
    I made a pair of warrés last year , and the one family did good (natural swarm) but the other one (cut out) had trouble getting to the next box , and did like written in the quote ,i dont think that it was the different origin there were to blame, later I was reading on David Heaf´s pages under Johann Thür and the hive
    he was advocating ,It is basicly a warré hive, more or less the one big differens is the use of spales, like in skeps, instead of topbars ,this allows the bees to
    build unbroken comb and the problem is solved ..... Management maybe a bit alternativ I suppose
    Last edited by Box; 01-08-2012 at 05:40 PM. Reason: forgot the quote signs

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Has anyone checked out the YouTube videos of the Japanese hives? Same dimension as Warre's (interesting coincidence) but with no bars at all. I bet they don't have problems with bees not going down into the next box.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    How about a link?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    sort of new at this but hopefully this will work

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=IZldnd9wMLU

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    That works fine. Pretty cool really. It looks like they separated the "super" by cutting it with a wire, and then the one that goes back on the bottom of the stack just has some stiff crossed wires to support the comb after the honey is harvested. Woodenware doesn't get much simpler than that.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Port Richey Fl USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    As a new beek few years ago I did considered my options with TBH, Warre etc touted as more "green" and "bee friendly" approach, and more I red into it more I was convicted to go with Langs.

    The bottom line is: Warre, or TBH is not going to get your bees immune from SBH and Varroa problem, period.

    That's why I am growing with Langs type hives, so far no complains, but I am still going to give it a shot with TBH hive to see if it can make more bees than a Lang, (not more honey since that's agreed and settled)

    The fact than Lang can make more honey and pollinate more crops can not be disputed as present, otherwise all commercial beeks would be switching to anything else than Lang.

    Our crops need to be pollionated so we can eat, and commercial beeks assure we are at it.

    Most of TBH and Warre spiel is just as Global Warming unproven type hype mystery, and leveling US to the bottom feeders of planet Earth folks, just use your common sense !

    Do we want to compare ourselvs to Kenia or other Backward African Country ???

    Is your concern of keeping bees, and sustaining our environement being on the "green" or cheap side or on the common sense side??

    I do not give a !@#$ if I take a heat on this one, I take a stand of majority of US populaton common sense, disregarding distructive and anticonstitution Gov promoted hype, it served me well in my lifetime.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    539

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Who says all TBH and Warre beekeepers are hippies? You sure seem to indicate that in your tone.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Cool Re: Warre practically empty

    Quote Originally Posted by pascopol View Post
    As a new beek few years ago I did considered my options with TBH, Warre etc touted as more "green" and "bee friendly" approach, and more I red into it more I was convicted to go with Langs.

    The bottom line is: Warre, or TBH is not going to get your bees immune from SBH and Varroa problem, period.

    That's why I am growing with Langs type hives, so far no complains, but I am still going to give it a shot with TBH hive to see if it can make more bees than a Lang, (not more honey since that's agreed and settled)

    The fact than Lang can make more honey and pollinate more crops can not be disputed as present, otherwise all commercial beeks would be switching to anything else than Lang.

    Our crops need to be pollionated so we can eat, and commercial beeks assure we are at it.

    Most of TBH and Warre spiel is just as Global Warming unproven type hype mystery, and leveling US to the bottom feeders of planet Earth folks, just use your common sense !

    Do we want to compare ourselvs to Kenia or other Backward African Country ???

    Is your concern of keeping bees, and sustaining our environement being on the "green" or cheap side or on the common sense side??

    I do not give a !@#$ if I take a heat on this one, I take a stand of majority of US populaton common sense, disregarding distructive and anticonstitution Gov promoted hype, it served me well in my lifetime.
    What are you talking about? Do you know? Dude! It's bees in a box. chill.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    539

    Default Re: Warre practically empty

    Ditto. In the end you can run a Warre with frames.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads