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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT USA
    Posts
    15

    Default New Warré (modified langstroth), progress, history and need of advice.

    attached you will see an image of my hive. actually, no you won't because the photo won't insert—i just get a red exclamation point no matter how small or what format i make it. oh well, i'll describe it.

    the hive is made from 10 frame medium super langstroth boxes with foundationless frames. the top box has a screen and is used as the quilt which is open into a "garden hive" roof which has vents that can be opened and closed. currently it is without the quilt box in place because it is 100°F and humidity is never a problem in Utah. the bottom board is screened (currently with inspection tray removed because of the heat) and sits on cast iron claw foot tub feet. i dolled it us with bron hardware handle and wood ribs. it unpainted (waxed) cypress. it is a pretty hive that looks half way between a WBC hive and a pot belly stove. i will try another time to get pictures up.

    admittedly it is not a standard Warré in dimensions, but in principle and management i follow the Warré model.

    i received a colony in 2 langstroth 10 frame deeps in late march. it was a cold spring and the bees more or less stayed hunkered down. the new hive was finished in April and i inverted the old hive brood box on top on the new hive, but the bees refused to move out. after a few weeks of waiting, i removed the old hive body and shook the bee into the new hive and gave them a few frames of honey and the only brood frame. there were about two-three frames of bees. by mid may, they had not made any effort to make new comb on the foundationless frames and were just reworking the deep frames. there were less bees, i could not locate the queen and there was only a small patch of open brood and no eggs. i assumed my queen had died and bought a new one. the bee supply told me to remove all the old honey and insert a feeder to get them to make new comb on the foundationless frames. this is did.

    while installing the new queen i did locate the old queen. she was jet black like a german bee (explains why i keep getting stung when i am not even working the hive and why the drones were all black). she also had very tattered wings. my assumption is that she was old and failing and that was why there was so few larva. i also found a few supercedure cells on the back side of the brood patch. i removed the honey, the old queen and the supercedure cells, added the feeder and the new queen in her cage. and waited a week. a week later i removed the candy and let out the new queen (italian-carniolan hybrid). the bees were in a ball hanging off a frame bar as if in a swarm.

    a few weeks later there was a small 1"x2" piece of comb started on one side of the only drawn deep frame left in the hive and a larger 4x4" piece on the other side. only the larger had bees on it. i pulled it out and saw it was full of small larvae and replaced it but never saw the queen.

    a week later and the larvae are begining to get capped, but there are only enough bees left to cover both sides of the now maybe 4"x5" comb and as much in other areas of the hive doing what bees do (plus those out foraging). there are bees coming and going and pollen coming in, but not many. no mites to be seen and no other signs of diseases, but the colony is getting very small. there is no brood on the old deep frame, just new honey production and pollen. i moved the small new free comb to be next to the other newly drawn free comb and not on the other side of the honey so the queen would have access to it and to perhaps start the bees working it more.

    my questions and concerns (as well as my assumptions).

    first off i assume that the lack of new comb is due to the fact that they small colony does not need it right now and can only cover the small patch of brood it has and the colony's small size is due to a failing queen and requeening and then the lag time for the new brood to mature. this and possibly a bit of compounding issues with a long cold spring and the transfer to the new hive. i am very concerned how small the colony is.

    there is no longer brood on the last deep frame from the old hive. should i remove it and the last bit of honey and place it with the other old and full frames of honey which are about 10 feet away in the old hive body being robbed by at least two other colonies based on the color of the bees, but ignored by my bees. with old the hive to rob, the internal feeder and the good nectar flow we are having, would it be ok to remove this last bit of honey? i don't want them to move the brood to this old frame again. i would like to see more comb construction. are they not making any new comb because they don't need any more at present due to the small colony size/brood they can cover and a whole deep frame mostly open for any nectar coming in?

    thoughts? advice? words of encouragement? what have i done right and what have i done wrong? what should i expect? what should i watch for?

    sorry for the long post. i have a lot on my mind.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: New Warré (modified langstroth), progress, history and need of advice.

    Hi Kendal,

    I'm still a fairly new beek (second year using Warre hives) so take my comments with a grain of salt.

    I think you are right in thinking that they are not building new combs because of their small numbers. May I suggest that you just leave the old frame so they don't have to worry about building more combs to store honey in. They will use that to store more honey in and they will eventually build more combs later on to put new brood in as their numbers increase.

    May I also suggest reducing the space of the entrance so they can have a better chance at defending their hive from possible robbers? Other than that, your bees may just need to be left alone so they could go on with their work the way they want to. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: New Warré (modified langstroth), progress, history and need of advice.

    By the way, I found the info below in my saved files. I'm not sure who I got it from though. Probably from Bernhard Z. Either way, if this applies to your situation, it might be worth correcting.

    "The overdone ventilation weakens bees, because they use extra strength to keep the brood warm. Cannot go out, thus not enough nectar+pollen coming in. The cycle of the whole colony goes down, dwindling in numbers and diseases overtake like wax moths."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    SLC, UT USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: New Warré (modified langstroth), progress, history and need of advice.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Our overnight lows are in the 80's. 16-18 hours a day we are above 90. I don't think I am over ventilated given the temps, but I can close the inspection tray effectively seal the hive excepting the 4" entrance. What do you think?

    Not worried about robbing. Flow is good (tons of lavender, onion and all the ivy is starting) and my entrance is only 4 inches. I watch every morning and evening to be sure. The empty hive with 10 frames if honey on the other side of the yard is an easier target. I'm more concerned with yellow jackets than honeybees, but it is early for them.

    Question. Will a weakened hive accept the nurse bees on the brood or will there be a fight? Anything I should do to soften the intro? Heavy smoke, spray with sugar water,etc?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: New Warré (modified langstroth), progress, history and need of advice.

    nurse bees are accepted with no problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: New Warré (modified langstroth), progress, history and need of advice.

    This hive will accept standard Lang frames correct? If so give them a frame of capped brood with accompanying nurse bees if you got it that will give them an instant boost a.d help you get on the right track

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