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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Aveiro, Portugal
    Posts
    18

    Default Warre - Top Entrance

    Hello all! I was wondering if anyone has personal experience running a top entrance on a warre hive. I am wondering if it is worth converting for pest/ventilation purposes, yet want to hear from those who have first hand experience. (Also interested in any advantages/drawbacks that stand out uniquely for the warre). Thanks!

    -Eric C.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Warre - Top Entrance

    Some folks swear by top entry hives, and they do have some advantages.
    My good friend asked me to set up a few, in the swarm lures that I put out, so in our curiosity this is what we found with wild bees. The bees, ( my best indicators of what bees like ,) did not accept the lure boxes as readily. I D K why that is. But, MY issue with it is that to even use a small inside feeder, I needed to disturb ( be close to) the entry, and as you know, bees don't like people in the doorway. The other thing that seems less than ideal, is that it's harder for the bees to clean out the hive of deceased bees. They seemed to do OK, but moved in so late they starved. Some wild bees (& these ones) just dont take to feeding. Oh well. When I cleaned out the hive, it was full of junk in the bottom, not just bees. I do not have a lot of experience with top entry, so I'm as curious as you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Warre - Top Entrance

    I don't have any warre's. I also don't have any bottom entrances. The biggest advantages to that arrangement was that I had no more skunk problems. The second biggest was better overwintering.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Warre - Top Entrance

    I didn't think of that, the animals. I do get pesty skunks, and coyotes do the same trick as the skunks. Also I like it that the rain splattered mud from storms doesn't get in the entry. And the ants have to work harder,to get in too. Thanks! I may try to use some more top entry hives. The thing with the entry and feeders, is that I don't usually suit up to change feeders. Sometimes , a sting or two. Being that close, a few more, but, whose fault is that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Warre - Top Entrance

    There is a man in Alberta, Canada who has discussed the use of upper entrances. You can find his posts in David Heaf's Warré discussion group.

    His use for them was primarily during the winter due to extreme cold and excessive snow. I have so far, in my two seasons of experimenting with warré hives, been happy to go without upper entrances in Ontario, Canada.

    As pro-upper entrance literature is more popular around here, I'll offer some sources that consider the general possible benefits of no upper entrance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Aveiro, Portugal
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Warre - Top Entrance

    The discussion by David Heaf had some really good points. He seems to be in favor of the warre top entrance only in far colder climates. With very mild winters here and only ants as a real pest problem (appearing only with sugar feeding), I'll probably opt against the top entrance for now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Warre - Top Entrance

    Eric,
    I keep bees in Warres in Washington state, it's probably wetter but milder then your location. My experience with upper entrances has been a rather interesting journey. Over the years I built my Warres the "normal" way with the bottom entrances. Just by chance I had a Warre hive in a secluded area on a neighbor's farm that technically went feral. It just slipped through the cracks of everything else I have to do. Over the years the bees in this 4 box hive literally chewed an entrance through the sunny side wall between the 2nd and 3rd box. There was a small crack to begin with and the enlarged it. It is about 3/8 by about 3 inches. They completely ignore the bottom entrance now. So bees, given the choice, built an entrance about halfway up on that one. On another hive I drilled a 3/8 inch hole right at the top just under the edge of the top cover. That entrance became a major traffic jam and again the lower entrance became ignored. The bees started chewing at that upper entrance trying to enlarge that one. So I provided an upper entrance about the size of the in the feral hive. In my experience, allowing bees to be bees, they will chose upper entrances, clearly desiring them to the point of creating them, themselves.
    Keep on keepin' bees

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