I cant for the life me print off Warre's book....my printers ancient, works is prehistoric so I'm going off what I can find online.
I decided to try the modified frames. Hoping I can inspect a little easier. The screws are something the local bee guy showed me for getting bar space...I believe the jig I made is the last pic to get the right space, or atleast close. Worked pretty slick though I'd hate to do more than a few hives at a time!!! The handles are not on yet...I ran out of screws...
I also liked the roof idea vs the standard warre roof though i wonder if that was a smart move. The original plans for this style of roof used a wire screen mesh insead of cloth for the quilt so it didnt need to be covered. I'll likely be changing this out. Any thoughts on that?
Feeders are fat beemans style. I had one on a tbh I really liked it was too short and I managed to overfill it more often than not. The part under the ramp managed to get crushed and I didnt notice it. So these are taller to a point I had to shim the pan a little to get it up where I liked it.
I need to invest in a nail gun...screws get old after awhile lol. One step at a time.
I hope I dont regret this but I decided to leave them unfinished. My tbh's had a little mold in them, not much but slightly. I'm assuming it was a moisture issue as the hive had a ton of ice inside. Hence the switch to warre's. I'm not sure I fully understand how to get it properly vented, time will tell. It seems simple enough but with few beeks overwintering getting local knowledge hasnt been easy.
My landing boards are retractable/removable. I added 2 per screen door latches. They work pretty slick. The idea is I'm thinking of putting the two hives together and foam boarding them. I'm thinking if I leave them in the warm orientation, it should be 'easy'. I found the method on this link http://mbbeekeeping.com/5-pack-winte...ref_map=%5B%5D
It leaves some questions. I'll likely go 2 or 3 boxes depending on how big the hive is. It brings me back to condensation issues (something I had a major issue with last winter!!!). This is all barring I try to overwinter outdoors again. if I can swing a shed of some kind I'll likely be bringing them indoors which makes this method moot, though I still think it's a pretty slick idea!
Any tips/advice is great, I'm all ears. Though I'm a little short on time to make changes now. I fly out for a few weeks and upon my return my packages will already be here by a couple of days.
oh I do have a question the aluminum roofs. I'm thinking if I keep this roof I'd like to add that is there any good write ups on what to use and how its done?
Nice build. Can't help with any of your questions though.
You have some very interesting modifications. I think I'll copy the half frame idea with screws for spacing. The top feeder idea seems okay. However, when I used a similar style that I bought from http://www.thewarrestore.com/apps/we...s/show/1136914, there were lots of molds growing in the feeder where the bees can't access them. So I modified it by removing the screen to give the bees access to all surfaces of the top feeder but I let a waffle shelf liner float in the syrup so the bees don't drown. It worked fine until the syrup is gone and the bees try to propilize the liner into the bottom of the feeder. Plus, a problem that I discovered this Spring with my modification is that the wood of the feeder is cracking apart maybe due to too much humidity. So I may use a similar container (maybe a square tupperware pan) in the feeder to prevent the wood from staying wet all the time.
With the quilt, I decided to do away with it cause there were molds growing in there, too. Instead, I left the top feeder to act as a condensation collector to give the bees another source of water for drinking (indoor plumbing). And I placed an entrance hole on one side of the feeder as a top entrance which I left open through the winter. Here is a link where I talked about my rationale for this. http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...t=condensation
For my roof, I changed the Warre style roof to a flat telescoping style so the side protects the top entrance. This way, there won't be any direct wind blowing into the top entrance. I think the Warre style roof would work just as well though. I might go ahead and return the original roof later on.
So far, my one bee colony is still alive in spite of all the experimentations I've done to them. But winter is still threatening to come back in our area so they may die out yet. :-( We'll see.
Thanks for sharing your ideas and pictures.
One more observation. Because you are not using a regular Warre style roof, the cloth in your quilt would likely absorb rain water when it's raining out. So your roof modification may not be a good idea. Just my thought.
Nice frames, one thing you may want to do is include a bee space on the side bars. I make full frames and run them foundationless.
I would call it a Modified Warre. Those are frames.
the feeder's worked well. I didn't use it much. I guess I should have elaborated, I did tilt he pan so the bees can get to it. I didn't feed much unlike last year, mainly enough to get things rolling and that was it. I took some woods scraps and propped the screened end up so it was almost resting on the bottom of the pan and propped the opposite side up so as they took it, it ran down to them in the screened area. Anyways, they worked well, no mold, no leaking, and no frame feeders full of dead bees.
The screws are nice (they came from a lang guy). I got put onto a better easier idea. If you're going to run some sort of frame (partial or full), I like the concept. Notched sides to take the top bars. If you're going only top bars I think it'd be a waste a time. It allows you to keep space, and also to get to the bars without having to try and shove my fat fingers between them. I can easily grab the ends and lift. IF you can remove them to begin with!
A note on the partial frames. I don't think I'd do them or if I did I'd run them full length and thinner. The idea was to inspect and so far I haven't been able to remove one once they full combed the bar. My tools too big to get to the bottom without getting into the neighboring comb. I need to build a smaller one....if I can ever get the tablesaw fixed, I'll have the time to tinker lol.
So far the quilts doing good, of course our summers are normally quite dry I thought about making an ear to go over them, simple mod and much easier to build than the traditional warre top.
I'm not following beespace on the side bars? The idea was (because the bees didn't listen I cant say IS anymore lol), that they'd attached comb to those ears/side bars. Which would help allow removal and inspection. The bees made a bee space there for themselves and attached to the side walls of the hives below the ears. Which as you can imagine would be a mess to try and bust free for an inspection.
IMHO its a downfall to this hive, not really being able to inspect things atleast once in awhile. It would be nice to see I have a laying queen or I don't, or if there's a queen at all. My season is too short to be guessing.
I'm not worried about what its called really. My goal is to keep bees you can label it as you so desire. My issues are over wintering and I'm hoping the smaller boxes might leaded to better wintering success. I may go to full frames next year, we'll see. Or swap over to medium foundationless langs, again winters going to be the tell all.
an issue I'm having is figuring out how to nader alone. I need some kind of lift I can get into the woods. The hives are 2 cinder blocks high. At this point I'm pretty much stuck for wood projects, with a messed up saw that's been giving me fits for 5 weeks now! sure wish I had the dough to upgrade!!! So for now I've supered the last box. It took them a bit to move up but they are slowly.
Dan, how is overwintering going for you with the Warre? How are they doing in general versus the KTBH?
I am going to install a package in a hive at a friends place this spring and since I won't be able to get out there and inspect as often as a KTBH seems to require I would like to try a Warre. (My impression is that this hive type requires the least amount of inspections.) The guy who owns the property likes to do woodworking so I gave him the plans with the idea that if he wants to he could build the hive.
3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b
>My impression is that this hive type requires the least amount of inspections.
It is not the type of hive that determines how much inspections it needs. You could build an eight frame wide Langstroth foundationless hive and operate it in the same way as a Warre. It is just the Warre philosophy that says they should not be frequently inspected. And that they have no frames and therefore are all combed tight making for more damage when you do inspect them.
Thanks odfrank, that was helpful. I decided to go with what I have and see how it goes. I can give them resources that way, whereas with a Warre it would be starting anew.
3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b
Well I went in and looked a few days ago, we weren't much above freezing but I did want to see if they were at the top and needed feed. They were quite a ways down and I THINK dead...I'm not sure. I shut things up pretty quick and walked away for now. We're on the uphill swing towards spring 2 months away.
if they did die I don't believe I'll be doing bees again this year.
I thought having spacers would be nice. It was, but inspecting was non existent. I let them go too long and they cross combed pretty good. That's a great idear Michael. I'll try and remember it if I do this again.
IMHO I would do something similar with foundationless in a slightly larger box if you wanted to stay with the warre principle and not loose a pile of space due to the frames. It may or may not work. I was hoping the smaller hive would help keep things warmer for the winter. When it comes down to it, overwintering up here I really need to have them inside there really is no other way, the long cold winters are too much outside.
I really missed the windows I had in my tbh's. Though they did frost up extremely bad when it was cold out. I'm not sure there's a way around that when kept outside for the winter.
I hope you have a quiet cluster versus the alternative. I thought I had lost one of mine because when I looked in I didn't see any movement. I ordered an "insurance package" that night but the next day decided to knock on the side of the hive. Saw a little movement but not much so decided they were dwindling ...nope they are ALIVE .
Someone on the Equipment forum posted a thread on a Serbian hive called an AZ Grom (the AZ has an accent above it not available on my keyboard). They seem to keep them in beehouses or little portable trailers. One person posted one that just had three in it. I'm not saying try yet another hive type but that maybe a small shed type of shelter you can insulate and that they can fly in and out of may help. I think I saw pictures on here once of a hive in Bernhard's attic so it evidently can be done. Not sure how inspections are handled but from the videos I saw it didn't seem to be a big deal.
I really love my windows too. I've seen Warre plans that have them. The one I saw had space to put insulation in behind the window cover. I think they are a major heat sink so I put insulation between the window covers and glass on mine. It seems to help, even on the one I could only put that metallic bubble stuff with a pretty low R value on. The one cover I put the inch foam under is probably warmer than the 1 1/2" wood sides on the nuc.
Last edited by Colleen O.; 03-05-2014 at 08:01 PM.
3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b
I actually have warre plans with windows but opted out due to all the moisture I saw the first year in the tbh's.
Thanks for the link. I think the main issue for overwintering for me is keeping them in a smaller range temps. Too cold, they eat too much, too warm, they get to active and eat too much. I don't think as long as last spring lingered, that overwintering success was very high. There's only a couple of people doing it and so far they've been pretty quiet about it.
if I got big enough I was thinking a toyo stove (small heater), and a HRV to help with temp control would be the way to go. I don't know what what point spending 3-5k on those two things alone would make it worth while though. Keeping bees in north pole may just not bee doable for a small time person. I think at some point packages will get too high to buy bees yearly like 99% of the people are doing though. That will be the turning point.
I was trying to save a weak colony this winter so got a terrarium heater and a thermostat. My thermostat won't go down to a low enough setting but Michael Bush mentioned using them for overwintering nucs and setting at 45°F so they must be available. Something like that hooked up to a solar cell might be affordable enough to use. (I plugged mine onto my house power but it means I had to put them right up to the screen patio. Place it between the two hives flush together and wrap them as a unit?
3rd yr - 1 KTBH & 4 KTBH nucs - TF - USDA Zn 6b
AKDan, I just posted on a year-old thread you had. I searched your name due to a reference from another thread. I have a little project going because of a late swarm 2 years ago, when I went looking for a commercial hive heater and was disappointed in what I found. I'm an electronic engineer and decided to design my own warmer with a very tight custom controller, after a lot of research. I lost my original little swarm (size of baseball at time of loss) but not until late March last year, and only after a 2 hour power failure on a sub freezing day. I considered it a success and set out to do further testing this winter. We have had outstanding results and now I'm encouraged. My heater design goes directly inside the hive (Currently Langstroth) and will shortly fit between 2 frames without displacing a frame, although my prototypes thus far, displaced one. I've always placed a frame between my warmer and the cluster, but this last year, we had 2 hives move their cluster to incorporate the warmer directly in the center of the cluster. So it appears the bees have spoken, so now, that is my plan going forward. Currently we sense temp either in the cluster or just above, and apply heat directly to the cluster low in the box. We tested a nuc last fall with a higher setting around 75 F until late November, to extend the brood season to bolster strength, and succeeded in having brood right up until we turned it down in late November, to dormant temp zone. This nuc gained at least one full frame of bees in this time. We left a second nuc set to the 70's all winter long, and she raised brood all winter long! This particular hive had a fairly high mortality rate evidenced by bees on the ground and the bottom board, but found that the nuc had actually grown with the all-winter brooding with the dead being replaced. So while its a small sample, the results are encouraging and we think we may be on to something that could be of help to your region. My control box with no bees, maintained an internal temperature, well in dormant range, until I removed that newer prototype and placed it in my small swarm, to get some in-hive experience with bees. That switch took place just a week before a power failure, on a sub freezing day, took out my remaining small survivors.
I don't know if its enough to keep your boxes above dormant in such cold environments, but with current ratings in the neighborhood of 40 BTU/hr with 12 Watts, it might. Of course insulation and wind break are necessary. It would be possible to scale this design up to what ever it takes to get yours through the winter if you have electricity near your hives.
So don't give up before we've given this a college try... Warmbees!
Beekeeping 12 yrs, 2 recent - 10 Hives - 6a - Engineering Solutions against Winter Losses! - WARMBEES.COM
interesting idear wb, you'll have to post pics/info sometime. I'm at some point planning on building a shed. Dunno if I'll keep bees this summer or not at this point. As much fun as it is, it's not cheap to continually repackage hives. I give everything away, so we'll see. Should know for certain in 3-4 weeks whether they are truly dead or not.