Looking to network with other northern Illinois warre enthusiasts.
Looking to network with other northern Illinois warre enthusiasts.
I just ran across your entry as I was going through older posts. I'm in Illinois close to the St Louis MO area. I hope you still have Warre hives. I'll be entering my first winter with only 1 Warre. We've had Langs for the past 5 years. It would be great to hear how you are doing with your hives.
I'm still here and I'm still using Warres. I went to movable frames which I now consider a must have if you have 4 or less hives. (So you can rob brood and assist making replacement queens)
Of my three hives, only one is alive going into winter so I'm really hoping that it makes it to spring so I can do a split this spring.
I think when I move to a rural area I might try 12-20 traditional Warre and build two bee yards. I would then encourage swarming (or not prevent) and would catch my own bees. It appears a traditional Warre system works well if you have many hives and you want hands off beekeeping.
When you buy say $400 of bees to start three hives it's not so fun using traditional Warres and hurting your ability to manipulate them to keep them all alive and well fed going into winter.
I have lots of hive components and all my hives are nice copper roof garden hives so I'm sticking with modified Warres. If I was going to do it all over I'd use some Warre principles and use 8 frame medium langs instead but with a quilt, fuzing Warre and Michael Bush methods to some extent.
If you're a pleb that lives near 19th century poverty limits, has access to scrap materials, catches wild swarms of bees, has much idle time to devote to the craft and if you don't have to pay for much in the realm of beekeeping, and if you're not in the middle of suburbia, go for traditional Warre and have a blast.
If you spend thousands to get into bee keeping and a bad year or a failed winter results in $500-$1000 in lost bees, and if time is a bit more precious than Abbe Emile Warre's typical 19th century french peasant demographic, then you better come to a better compromise between his reasonable observations and 21st century constraints.
I've introduced 11 packages in three years and I've had every queen but two killed by their packages in no time flat. One of the others swarmed (my only swarm) and the final one is in a hive now going into winter. We could tally all the reasons the queens died/rolled/absconded/superceded from operator error to bad genetics to bad bee breeders, but what it amounts to is that a moveable frame is just about imperative to try to give the bees the best chance at making a new queen or to adjust resources across several hives as you attempt to overwinter them. That's just my take. I've had two hives go laying worker within the first 3-4 weeks after installation which is certainly a double pain in the rear to deal with in a traditional warre.
Again, when I get my little slice of heaven that is 5 acres of land I'm probably going to do two bee yards of 10 hives each (5-7 active per yard, the others as lure hives) and use traditional warres and do minimal manipulations and really not give a S&*&t about losses because I'll have enough hives to mitigate loss and do walkaway splits. I just don't think the odds are favorable of having much success with 1-2 hives that do not have movable frames. Eventually, something will go wrong and curing that problem is not easy with fixed frames. I'm not certain that Warre envisioned serious capital being put into bees nor did he imagine quite how small of a bee yard the hobbyist might have when he wrote his seminal work.
Here's hoping that the bees overwinter lightly and come through this spring!
OK I'll bite...
Beekeeping in Built up areas is being encouraged by governments all over Europe, so having a Warre in Suburbia is not only acceptable, but actually quite successful.
Warres top bars are removable. Just learn how to do it. Free the wax from the hive body with a knife etc and the frame comes away quite easily.
Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.
Good to hear you still have Warre's. I'm going into winter with just 1 and 5 Langs which are my husbands. I had planned on hiving a second Warre but didn't catch a swarm. We're staying local-lots of hardy stock around with a variety of genetics that have survived in our area for years (40 years for one of our neighbors). Somewhat of a mixture as well with some Italians bought as packages from Kelly's over the years. I think that makes them all mutts!
We live about 3 miles from a small town and have lots of woods around us & agriculture- corn and soybeans primarily. We have 3 acres and organic garden. My husband has always fed his Langs. He thinks I should feed my Warre but I'll wait till Jan or Feb to see if they feel light to decide.
Any thought regarding feeding from anyone? I appreciate any suggestions.
Where in Northern Illinois? I am on the South border of WI. Janesville area.
I'm in central IL east of St. Louis, MO. I've got the one Warre which I startrd last May. I'm hoping to catch some swarms this spring. It's good to hear there more of us out there. How long have you had yours?
Hi, I've just joined the forum and have two Warre hives in Northern Illinois near Chicago. There don't seem to be many of them around. Bonnie, I saw your posts about moisture in your hives on another thread. I've had the same issue, with mold growing in side my feeder boxes as I had built my roof assemblys with too little clearance around the quilts (used larger lumber than my plans and forgot to compensate). I rebuilt the roof assemblys to the correct size. But I never saw water running out the floor. It has been a cool, wet spring here so far, but it looks like the flow is off to a good start.
However, I do have a question (it may sound stupid). Why is it that new Warre boxes are added at the bottom? I think I knew at one time but I've forgotten and can't find mention in David Heaf's books. I think the Langstroth hives add at the top if I'm not mistaken. Can anyone enlighten me? I would appreciate the help. Thanks.
I'm glad to hear there's more of us in IL with Warre hives. I don't think there's anyone else in my area. I read somewhere recently that bees in a tree hive typically move down not upward. I can't remember the source however.
The moisture had me really worried. I think mine was from the bees themselves- respiration and body heat etc. and my quilt also was not aerating properly. I had too much fine sawdust in the quilt so I removed it all and replaced it with the red cedar as Gunther /Houstonbees recommended and I also put a couple small spacers (wood chips) between the quilt and top hive box. The next morning it was completely dried out.
That hive swarmed a week later but it is a small swarm which I caught and not sure it's big enough to make it. They made one nice comb this past week but I don't see many bees in there this evening. Not sure what's going on. They swarmed from my other Warre I'm sure since it's close by and they seem calm like that hive.
Does anyone have any experience with small swarms? This one was about 2 lbs. Do they ever return to the original hive they swarmed from?