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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Hello all,

    New comer to the forum here. Glad to meet you all. Really like all the help flying around here.

    So, im building a custom warre hive. I know i could probably benefit from making a simple one but i like to complicate things for myself and i am quite handy with tools and wood.

    I made plans to build a warre hive with windows and framed top bars much similar to the sweet valley hive design which make incredibly nice hive in my opinion (please note that im quite new at this but i find them very nice) I wish they could ship to Canada: http://sweet-valley-hives.mybigcomme...d-comb-guides/

    My questions is the following. A lot of resources state that bee spacing must be 12 mm but most people use 3/8''. Now 3/8'' is not 12mm but closer to 9mm. 12mm is closer to 1/2''. My bars are 1'' wide and im currently using 1/2'' spacing between frames and box as bee space. Is it too much? Will bees build comb in between and mess things up or should i be fine. If not, can i still use 1'' wide frames and use 3/8'' spacing ? See my design bellow. I will finish the plans this week.

    doms hive 2.jpg

    Thanks! Cant wait to see bees in the hive and watch them work and pollinate my area

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Welcome, raist,

    My bars are 24 mm wide which is close to your 1" ones and I use 12 mm spacing between my topbars. I wanted to try and keep it inspectable so I made half frames which looks like you are planning to use as well from your plans. I did go with 9 mm spacing between my hive wall and the frame side bar which it looks like you are using 1/2". From everything I've read regarding bee space, I think it's only a space over 1/2" that they will fill in with comb. If you already have your frames made, why not try them, I don't think it would really hurt. Most of us are cobbling frames by hand and I know mine are probably off a mm or 2 on several by the time I finished. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Jefferson County, Florida USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Welcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Lostfrog View Post
    Welcome, raist,

    My bars are 24 mm wide which is close to your 1" ones and I use 12 mm spacing between my topbars. I wanted to try and keep it inspectable so I made half frames which looks like you are planning to use as well from your plans. I did go with 9 mm spacing between my hive wall and the frame side bar which it looks like you are using 1/2". From everything I've read regarding bee space, I think it's only a space over 1/2" that they will fill in with comb. If you already have your frames made, why not try them, I don't think it would really hurt. Most of us are cobbling frames by hand and I know mine are probably off a mm or 2 on several by the time I finished. Good luck!
    Thanks for the infos! No i havent made the bars and the hive yet. Im still tweaking the plans. I would hate to make 3 boxes and find out my top bars and my spacing are wrong. Hence, why i realy appreciate your input! Thanks again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutt bee View Post
    Welcome!
    thanks. sure looks fun here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Notes from someone who started Warre hives after 40+ years of using Langstroth hives:

    I recommend that you do not attempt to complicate things but closely follow the bee spacing and design details on a good set of Warre plans. Bad bee spacing can be very unforgiving.

    I would hang my topbars on the standard rabbetted edge rather than all the complicated slots you show on your design. Topbar ends will show on the outside of all your boxes and allow for moisture intrusion, propolis leakage and dry rot.

    I use 1 3/8" center to center comb spacing. A 1/2" space between bars will promote brace combing.

    I would also recommend you start with a foundationless all medium depth eight frame Langstroth hive. The frame hive is a brilliant invention and and a topbar hive is antique technology. A Warre hive is too small for many climates, bees do not work down as promised, all the comb attachments limit the workability of the hive. Do you have a smartphone and do email or do you write on papyrus scrolls with ox blood ink? Do you ride a horse for daily transportation or drive a car? If you use modern technology for most of your lifestyle do so with your beehives also. I'm glad Warre and topbar hives were not recommended when I started in 1970. They might be cheaper and cuter, but they are not easily functional.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Notes from someone who started Warre hives after 40+ years of using Langstroth hives:

    I recommend that you do not attempt to complicate things but closely follow the bee spacing and design details on a good set of Warre plans. Bad bee spacing can be very unforgiving.

    I would hang my topbars on the standard rabbetted edge rather than all the complicated slots you show on your design. Topbar ends will show on the outside of all your boxes and allow for moisture intrusion, propolis leakage and dry rot.

    I use 1 3/8" center to center comb spacing. A 1/2" space between bars will promote brace combing.

    I would also recommend you start with a foundationless all medium depth eight frame Langstroth hive. The frame hive is a brilliant invention and and a topbar hive is antique technology. A Warre hive is too small for many climates, bees do not work down as promised, all the comb attachments limit the workability of the hive. Do you have a smartphone and do email or do you write on papyrus scrolls with ox blood ink? Do you ride a horse for daily transportation or drive a car? If you use modern technology for most of your lifestyle do so with your beehives also. I'm glad Warre and topbar hives were not recommended when I started in 1970. They might be cheaper and cuter, but they are not easily functional.
    I just spoke with a professionnal beekeeper with who i will be taking a class soon and he pretty much had the same opinion. If i am to build a warre hive with frame and windows i might as well simply use a langstroth. he also said that the warre, even tho its nice, is less functionnal. Ill probably go with a langstroth and keep a warre as an experiment and see how it goes. Thanks for your input and wisdom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    I became more discouraged with Warres last year when one swarmed. I did not dare separate the boxes to harvest queen cell divides because the queen cells would have bee right at the joint of the topbar and bottom of the upper comb. I would have had to cut that joint with a wire to seperate the boxes, likely cutting through some of th queen cells.

    Warres are good for living garden sculpture. Every one says they are "cute".


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    You can manage an eight frame medium Lang with the same fixtures and management style of Warres, with the practicality of frames. The size of the comb space in a box is almost the same between a Warre (91 sq inch comb) and 8 frame medium (89 si comb). Add a quilt box to your Lang, run it foundationless, and you have a modern Warre.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You can manage an eight frame medium Lang with the same fixtures and management style of Warres, with the practicality of frames. The size of the comb space in a box is almost the same between a Warre (91 sq inch comb) and 8 frame medium (89 si comb). Add a quilt box to your Lang, run it foundationless, and you have a modern Warre.
    Indeed! yes thats exactly what i am going to do i think! thanks again

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
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    13

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You can manage an eight frame medium Lang with the same fixtures and management style of Warres, with the practicality of frames. The size of the comb space in a box is almost the same between a Warre (91 sq inch comb) and 8 frame medium (89 si comb). Add a quilt box to your Lang, run it foundationless, and you have a modern Warre.
    Now that i think about it. About that modern warre your mentionning. Would you use a queen excluder and would you nadir or super ? Thanks

    Thé more i think about it thé more i think ill juste go with a lang for starter (1-2 years)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,421

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Welcome to BeeSource and good luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    WOW! I've had complete the opposite experience from odfrank. I guess it comes down to if you want to constantly fiddle around "inside" the boxes, or leave the girls alone to do thier thing. Granted I don't have 40+ years experience, but so far after 2 years I can share some information:
    --started my first hive built "almost" to Warres' spec. Only slight mod is the boxes are deeper by an inch because I thought it ridiculous to cut of an inch from the board to get the correct "depth"(hasn't made a bit of diff).
    --Pkg hived May 11 2013. They built up nicely, moved down to the second box, I nadired a 3rd in late August which was filled with comb by 1/3. I'm also fairly certain they superceded the pkg queen since there was a lot of drone activity for 2 or 3 days in late August, well before the Sept "kickout" started. Did not take honey that year.
    --Over wintered on thier own honey(was a good decision--was a long, cold one here in Houston)
    --Exploded growth in sping of 2014, nadired a 4th box.
    --Started second Warre April 8th, 2014 from swarm caught at the airport. I've left them alone since then but will for the first time at the end of Feb lift the hive, remove the bottom board, and see whats going on inside, and nadir if needed.
    --Took honey from the first hive (top most box) at the end of August 2014. Got 23lbs of honey from that one box, negligible amount of wax(that was a surprise).
    --As of Jan 26, both hives are alive and kicking. The girls were flying yesterday and pollen was coming into both hives. Really looking forward nadiring both of the hives, and start a few more.
    Gunther, in Houston, NE side close to the big airport, suburban area with hives in the backyard.
    Last edited by Houstonbees; 01-27-2015 at 10:05 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Nice...you start with a Warré hive, remove bottom, roof, add some frames and queen excluder and you end with a Lang. Now that is a bit boring...isn't it?!

    It is not just a cute garden hive. You can keep bees in them quite well. What you can't do is to handle them like a frame hive. It is a wooden skep and old craftmanship to work those hives. Someone who kept bees in frame hives for all his life will find it troublesome to work a fixed comb hive. For the beginner there is a new craft to be learned either way. The only problem is: there are only few people left that could possible mentor you in that craft. You have to do your first steps on your own.

    The best thing to do, is to stick with original design as close as possible and to learn from the Warré book. See:
    http://warre.biobees.com/bfa.htm => or download here: http://www.users.callnetuk.com/~heaf...ng_for_all.pdf

    Make splits by the box to prevent swarming. Do check hives regularily (from below by tilting the box upside down) regularily to keep the boxes moveable and to make sure everything is alright. (No, this is not a leave-alone type of hive! If you want to be a bee hippie and do not want to get in touch with the bees, get yourself a bee gum...)

    It is as satisfactory for the hobbyist to keep bees in a Warré as is to work with good ol' hand tools. It is a joy to do it the traditional way.

    Bernhard

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Montreal, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Thanks all. Ive set m'y mind up. I will d'un both a standard unmodified warre and a langstroth. Next year i will also try a moddified warre

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    >(No, this is not a leave-alone type of hive!

    I thought that leave alone beekeeping was Warre's stipulations. No?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    No. Certainly not.

    That is an modern interpretation of the bee hippies (how I call them, with a friendly wink) but has nothing to do with Émile Warré's intentions. Read the book. There is small chapter about keeping bees in a distance, but that's about it. The Warré hive never meant to be a non-intervention hive. It is like you design a hammer and use it as a screw driver...

    Warré experimented a lot (with about 300 hive types) shrinked the hive size down to eight frames (yes, the first Warré hives had frames). He then cut the deep frames into half, to better manage the honey within the hive. Later he dropped the use of frames, to further simplyfy the design of the hive. He continued to extract the combs by using an extractor. He put the combs into extraction cages.

    There have been many precursors of that hive, the most similiar used by the Priest Christ. But that "wooden skep" has been used since the middle ages. It derived from log hives cut into sections. I reckon there were a many similiar "box hive" type of hives in the anglophone countries in pre-frame times. At least I stumbled upon a many patents about box hives.

    Before starting a Warré hive it would be good to read the book, so you get what it was designed for.

    Bernhard

  18. #18

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    Some impressions from Émile Warré's apiaries.









    He certainly ran a good bee business, selling hives and queens and a lot of honey.


    Here he is dissecting one of his frame Warré hives. That hive had 9 combs and a wider inner dimension: 35x35 cm (13.8x13.8 inches). He used a wider dimension and one more frame because frames do use a lot of volume. To balance this he used one more comb and more width. He further shrinked the hive dimensions when turning away from frames. No frames means less volume needed.




    In this picture he himself is preparing fixed comb hive combs for extraction by cutting them out, lifting them out (the topbar still attached) and placing them into an extraction cage. You see those extraction cages stacked in front of the extractor.


    After extracting he returned the combs back into the hives.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    This is a modern version of those cages:




    photo credit: http://www.metallwaren-riffert.at

    Basicly perforated stainless steel plates/mesh, those prevent the combs from breaking when extracting.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: Newcomer building custom warre hive

    All those hives are a lot bigger than the current style.

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