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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    122

    Default Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    My first Warre is officially a week post-install today and the bees seem to be busy. I'm planning on adding another box or two in a week or so and it got me thinking about the whole Warre process a little bit. I've read "Bee Keeping for All" through a few times but I'm having a hard time with some of his concepts. Does Warre suggest that we always add boxes from beneath and never super or does this just apply to adding boxes to an already established hive in the Spring? My package bees are currently busy building comb and laying eggs in the current two boxes, if I add to more boxes beneath doesn't that predispose me to having lots of brood in the honey when I harvest the top box in the late summer? Also, if we only ever add boxes to the bottom as advised, doesn't this mean we are always harvesting honey from comb which had brood in it at one time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    I will post the same thing here that I did on the other website. I suggest you read this gentleman's website.

    http://www.thewarrestore.com/

    I find it very informative and he's from Michigan. So his advice is tailored to your state!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,720

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    To answer your questions, the boxes are added underneath because they are foundationless. Put a foundationless box on top, and bees can have a major job moving into it, unless the hive is very strong and there is a good flow at the time. Yes, it does mean you'll be eating honey that has had brood in the combs.

    You could use foundation, in which case boxes could easily be added on top and the hive run like a langstroth. But if you did that, you may as well HAVE a langstroth.

    You could also move combs around and put one or two in the new box going on top, to give the bees a "ladder" to the top of the box from where they will start building new combs. But again, moving combs is going against Warre philosophy, and towards langstroth philosophy.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    To answer your questions, the boxes are added underneath because they are foundationless. Put a foundationless box on top, and bees can have a major job moving into it, unless the hive is very strong and there is a good flow at the time. Yes, it does mean you'll be eating honey that has had brood in the combs.

    You could use foundation, in which case boxes could easily be added on top and the hive run like a langstroth. But if you did that, you may as well HAVE a langstroth.

    You could also move combs around and put one or two in the new box going on top, to give the bees a "ladder" to the top of the box from where they will start building new combs. But again, moving combs is going against Warre philosophy, and towards langstroth philosophy.
    Thanks that helps a great deal!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Richford, VT
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    I'm sorry to highjack the thread, but I have a continuation of Ambassador's questions:

    If the bees fill the old brood, isn't the comb dark and 'dirty'? I know they clean it out before storing the honey, but the brood comb gets very dark quickly when being used. Do they clean it well enough to make is presentable as comb honey? I've been reading everything I can find on this process and haven't found a viable answer...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by barnabees View Post
    I'm sorry to highjack the thread, but I have a continuation of Ambassador's questions:

    If the bees fill the old brood, isn't the comb dark and 'dirty'? I know they clean it out before storing the honey, but the brood comb gets very dark quickly when being used. Do they clean it well enough to make is presentable as comb honey? I've been reading everything I can find on this process and haven't found a viable answer...
    Dark, yes it will be, especially the center combs. The outside combs in box will be lighter and sometimes white. But this depends on how fast they build down during a nectar flow. They do clean each cell out, but the cocoons are left behind in the cells. Must of us just crush and strain our comb. So you will be lucky if you get pure white comb. If you want comb honey, best bet is TBH or Langstroth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Richford, VT
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    That's what I thought. Thanks 'Charlie! I'll probably give this a shot next spring, but I like the comb honey too much to give up my Langstroth. Maybe if it's doing well I'll super...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    You could also super a Warre. Just give them a comb or two if possible. My Warres are doing that as we speak. Space above and below.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    Like Micheal says- If you are going to put boxes on top, install a bar or two of comb in the new box on top. The bees seem to move up easier if there is a comb "ladder" to get up to the bars in the supered box. I did it but only to see if it worked. I always install boxes under. As I am solo and mature, (old) I don't try to lift the entire hive. I will disassemble them box by box, set the new box and reassemble the hives back the way they were.
    Keep on keepin' bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    I am a new Warre owner, and I added a box on top - it started out bad - they built up from the bottom. However, they are doing so well that they connected it all the way up to the top bar and the rest of them they started from the top and now have 6 of the 8 bars filled. I know that I will had to cut the comb to get the box off eventually and from now on I will add to the bottom. fortunately, I think it has turned out okay.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    I supered one of my warres that overwintered. I put a piece of comb in the top box and they are clustering away on the top bars. So far no bottom up action, but you need a decent comb to start from.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by barnabees View Post
    ...I like the comb honey too much to give up my Langstroth. Maybe if it's doing well I'll super...
    You could certainly add a framed section-comb holder adapter to a supered Warré box. I too like clean comb honey for table use, but the corner-comb that basic Warré boxes provide can be pretty scarce, and of course it's often freeform in build and must be cut to size.

    The trick to avoiding Tower of Babel comb is to position the bottom of the section frames one beespace above the second-down box's topbars. Frames in a supered topmost box should be fine in a tall Warré, where the draftiness shouldn't significantly affect the brood zone. You can avoid foundation issues and reduce crosscombing by mounting short beeswax strips at the top of each section cell. The resulting honey comb will be freeform, but this can be a marketing point for picky customers.

    /Alex Templeton
    Beekeeping for Poets, wherever fine eBooks are sold (Amazon? Not yet)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,381

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    >Do they clean it well enough to make is presentable as comb honey?

    They clean it well enough for crush and strain or extraction. It's not a matter of clean for comb honey, it's a matter of cocoons. For comb honey to be pleasant to eat it needs to be soft new comb with no cocoons in it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Richford, VT
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    Quote Originally Posted by A. S. Templeton View Post
    You could certainly add a framed section-comb holder adapter to a supered Warré box.
    Thanks Templeton, that's what I was thinking. I'll probably top-bar some of my Langstroth boxes next year for Warre, then super with foundationless or wax only foundation frames when the flow hits hard. We'll see what happens!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Warre - only ever add boxes to the bottom?

    Well, I supered today, my swarm absconded 3 weeks ago. Should of figured it out, my Buddy caught a swarm 1 week after mine. We had no other hive that should've swarmed. They left me about 10lb,s of honey in pure white comb. So I added it to the top of my other Warre, giving it 5 box,s. We will see how it works come fall when I harvest.

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