Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Hi, I currently have KTBHs, but I'm considering getting some Warres next year. My concern is that from everything I've read, the bars in a Warre are supposed to be nailed into place, which means they are not movable and probably not legal in my state. However, I've also seen videos of people inspecting Warres and they were taking the bars out. In these hives, how does one maintain proper spacing between the bars? Sorry if this is an idiotic question, but I'm trying to figure out how the bars work.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by fruitveggirl View Post
    Hi, I currently have KTBHs, but I'm considering getting some Warres next year. My concern is that from everything I've read, the bars in a Warre are supposed to be nailed into place, which means they are not movable and probably not legal in my state. However, I've also seen videos of people inspecting Warres and they were taking the bars out. In these hives, how does one maintain proper spacing between the bars? Sorry if this is an idiotic question, but I'm trying to figure out how the bars work.

    Thanks!

    There are a number of questions you have brought up.

    1. Top bars nailed into place = not movable = not legal.

    I don't know which state you're in, or the specific regulations for your situation.

    But in these fronts, here are some options

    A. Nailed into place and Not Movable

    a) even top bars that are nailed into place can still be pried up for inspection
    b) some nail the top bars in place, but clip the head off the nail (to make it easier to pry up for inspection).
    c) some drill holes in the top bar and the nail serves not to attach, but to position the top bar correctly.
    d) some do not nail the top bar, but use a castellagated (notched) portion of the box to position the bars instead of nails.
    e) some put notches in the end of the top bars and use nails for positioning.
    f) some don't nail or notch or anything (the method I prefer)


    B. Not Legal

    a) work with your bee inspector if you must. They aren't generally against beekeepers who properly care for bees. They may need to be educated, but hopefully they are non hostile.
    b) know your specific bylaws. Full Frame is different than Frame is different than "Movable" is different than "Inspectable". You are not harming the bees or preventing proper care by using a Warré.
    c) know how to get the information that your inspector will want. Know the methods they can use to inspect that will satisfy them. (know when a snippet of comb is enough, know when collecting 20 bees to be sent to a lab is enough, etc) I'm growing in this area, and need to grow much more.

    As long as inspectors have legal control over you (unfortunate, but true-ish), then it behooves us to allow them to do their job. They are usually feeling pressure from those above them to do a thorough job and they just want to have confidence leaving your apiary that they've checked everything that needs to be checked.


    As for proper spacing, you can simply eyeball it, or use a guide or nails or notches or what-not.

    As you know, the bees sometimes do not prefer your spacing or prefer to build in such a way that makes your "comb-removal" type inspection very easy. That's ok.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Not an "idiotic" question at all! Frame spacing is just as important in a Warre as any other hive. I have seen some drill holes through the ends of the bars & use smaller screws to hold bars in place. Too much trouble for me. Some also notch the ends of the topbars & then use nails with the heads cut off or small wooden dowels as spacer pins meaning the pin fits into the notch cut in the bar. That seems to work the best in my opinion. Lots of things you can do here. As to removing topbars from a Warre, you would have to do regular inspections and keep attachments cut loose. That really kinda defeats the Warre idea of simplicity. Hope this helps.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Thanks so much for the explanation/ideas! My two primary concerns with using Warre hives are:

    1) keeping them legal, but you've both provided great ideas for how to keep the bars movable while maintaining bee space.

    2) making sure the bees don't get honeybound in the top box. I've heard that they sometimes fail to build downward into the nadired boxes. I think that if the combs could be removed, that would allow me to checkerboard bars downward if I had to.

    Thanks again for your awesome suggestions!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    The question to ask yourself is why do you want to do a Warre'? Likely reasons:

    1) to get natural comb. But there are many ways to get this including foundationless frames in a Langstroth.

    2) to have a hive that is easy and cheap to build. It may be that, but you could also use just top bars in an eight frame medium box and have more options like being able to put a frame of brood from someone elses hive in it...

    3) to follow Warre's methods. But you can do that in an eight frame medium with just top bars by adding a quilt board and nadiring.

    4) to experiment for fun. Hard to argue one way or the other.

    5) to have a hive that fits a winter cluster of bees better. Again the 8 frame medium will do that pretty well. A cluster can move pretty easily with the frames, but it's more difficult across the frames in the winter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The question to ask yourself is why do you want to do a Warre'? Likely reasons:

    1) to get natural comb. But there are many ways to get this including foundationless frames in a Langstroth.

    2) to have a hive that is easy and cheap to build. It may be that, but you could also use just top bars in an eight frame medium box and have more options like being able to put a frame of brood from someone elses hive in it...

    3) to follow Warre's methods. But you can do that in an eight frame medium with just top bars by adding a quilt board and nadiring.

    4) to experiment for fun. Hard to argue one way or the other.

    5) to have a hive that fits a winter cluster of bees better. Again the 8 frame medium will do that pretty well. A cluster can move pretty easily with the frames, but it's more difficult across the frames in the winter.

    Obviously, Michael, you have decades of experience on me, so I defer to your wisdom and welcome your suggestions! Thanks!

    However, to answer your question, my interest in Warres hinges on a few reasons:
    1) Weight. My understanding is a 8-frame medium Lang box weighs 45-lbs when full, and I don't want to lift that much. It's not that I can't because I lift my daughter who is about 40-lbs all the time. However, I had a terrible back injury years ago and there are times when it still acts up. So I try not to avoid lifting more than I have to. I read somewhere that the volume of a Warre box is comparable to a 5-frame nuc, which seems a more manageable size for me.
    2) Overwintering. Last year, I had a KTBH. I can't say whether I can winter in it or not because a bear got my bees I had the chance to try. However, this past winter was especially brutal, and I'm not sure that they would've made it even if a bear hadn't gotten them first. My reading on the People's Hive suggests that the square shape and lack of frames creates less dead air space and allows the cluster to warm the hive more efficiently.
    3) Experimentation. You definitely hit the nail on the head with that one. :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    >1) Weight. My understanding is a 8-frame medium Lang box weighs 45-lbs when full, and I don't want to lift that much. It's not that I can't because I lift my daughter who is about 40-lbs all the time. However, I had a terrible back injury years ago and there are times when it still acts up. So I try not to avoid lifting more than I have to. I read somewhere that the volume of a Warre box is comparable to a 5-frame nuc, which seems a more manageable size for me.

    You could use all medium shallows...

    >2) Overwintering. Last year, I had a KTBH. I can't say whether I can winter in it or not because a bear got my bees I had the chance to try. However, this past winter was especially brutal, and I'm not sure that they would've made it even if a bear hadn't gotten them first. My reading on the People's Hive suggests that the square shape and lack of frames creates less dead air space and allows the cluster to warm the hive more efficiently.

    I think difference due to size and shape of boxes and overwintering are usually overstated. Bees are extremely adaptable.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Vernon, AZ. USA
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    If you get a small stapler (arrow JT-21) or eqivalent you can easily tack the topbars down. Even in an occupied hive. When it is placed a Warre hive doesnt need attachment, but it makes a big difference when new. If you install a new package, for instance, The easiest way in a warre hive is to simply turn over the top box and line the topbars up to match the gaps below. It is very helpful that the topbars do not fall out on your shoes. I have expanded Warre hives with no nails, and removed/replaced topbars once a bit propolized. If you are moving or splitting, some kind of fastener is very useful. Abbot Warre did not have mini staplers, or I think he would have used them. As to spacing, use the edge of a bar as a spacer, and just place the next bar beside it and tack it down. Its really that easy, and will not need to be absolutely perfect.
    Last edited by jadebees; 05-15-2014 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Puntuation correction.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >

    You could use all medium shallows...
    2 questions:
    - Other than the lighter weight and standardized frame size (which might allow me to give/sell bees), are there any other benefits to using a Lang shallow?
    - Comb in a Warre hive is only about 8 or 9 inches high, I think. A shallow Lang super is about 5 or 6 inches, right. Recently, I heard from Chris Harp that longer comb is better for the brood nest. (He uses extended deeps, which I obviously don't want to do.) How do you think a shallow super would work for a brood box? Do you think it could it cause them to get cramped or swarmy? Would they be able to form a good cluster for winter?

    Thanks for your patience!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by jadebees View Post
    If you get a small stapler (arrow JT-21) or eqivalent you can easily tack the topbars down. Even in an occupied hive. When it is placed a Warre hive doesnt need attachment, but it makes a big difference when new. If you install a new package, for instance, The easiest way in a warre hive is to simply turn over the top box and line the topbars up to match the gaps below. It is very helpful that the topbars do not fall out on your shoes. I have expanded Warre hives with no nails, and removed/replaced topbars once a bit propolized. If you are moving or splitting, some kind of fastener is very useful. Abbot Warre did not have mini staplers, or I think he would have used them. As to spacing, use the edge of a bar as a spacer, and just place the next bar beside it and tack it down. Its really that easy, and will not need to be absolutely perfect.
    Great advice about the staples and installation! Thanks for that insight!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    >- Other than the lighter weight and standardized frame size (which might allow me to give/sell bees), are there any other benefits to using a Lang shallow?

    Let's say you need a frame of brood to resolve a queen issue and a friend offers to supply some on a Langstroth deep frame. Leave a frame out of two shallow boxes and put the frame of brood in. Let's say you find you have a bumper crop going and you need supers. You can buy them from any manufacturer.

    > - Comb in a Warre hive is only about 8 or 9 inches high, I think. A shallow Lang super is about 5 or 6 inches, right.

    Yes.

    > Recently, I heard from Chris Harp that longer comb is better for the brood nest. (He uses extended deeps, which I obviously don't want to do.) How do you think a shallow super would work for a brood box?

    Chris is entitled to his opinion. I don't agree with it. Bees do fine either way. A shallow will work fine.

    > Do you think it could it cause them to get cramped or swarmy?

    No. The comb is small enough that the queen never hesitates to expand the brood nest into more boxes.

    > Would they be able to form a good cluster for winter?

    Yes, and it can communicate and expand and shrink more easily because, rather than walls dividing up the cluster completely, there is a path down the middle of the cluster, between the boxes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >> Recently, I heard from Chris Harp that longer comb is better for the brood nest. (He uses extended deeps, which I obviously don't want to do.) How do you think a shallow super would work for a brood box?

    Chris is entitled to his opinion. I don't agree with it. Bees do fine either way. A shallow will work fine.

    > Do you think it could it cause them to get cramped or swarmy?

    No. The comb is small enough that the queen never hesitates to expand the brood nest into more boxes.
    If the queen is more likely to expand into more boxes, would this be likely to create a situation in which the queen is laying in the honey area? Would a queen excluder be a necessity in this type of setup?

    > Would they be able to form a good cluster for winter?

    Yes, and it can communicate and expand and shrink more easily because, rather than walls dividing up the cluster completely, there is a path down the middle of the cluster, between the boxes.
    Just so that I'm clear, when you say there is a path down the middle, are you referring to a deep frame that would transverse two shallow boxes? That's kind of a cool idea that I hadn't considered before.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    >If the queen is more likely to expand into more boxes, would this be likely to create a situation in which the queen is laying in the honey area?

    Bees naturally have a brood area, because they have to heat and humidify it. This would be very difficult if they were foolish enough to scatter brood all over the hive. And of course, they do not. But if you have all the same size boxes why do you care where the queen lays? If you don't use an excluder and the brood nest expands up another box, that probably kept them from swarming. Would you rather they swarm?

    > Would a queen excluder be a necessity in this type of setup?

    A queen excluder is never a necessity in any type of setup.

    >Would they be able to form a good cluster for winter?

    Yes.

    >Just so that I'm clear, when you say there is a path down the middle, are you referring to a deep frame that would transverse two shallow boxes? That's kind of a cool idea that I hadn't considered before.

    If you have a deep box with a cluster in it there are 9 1/4" tall walls between every 1 3/8" of the cluster. If you get a warm day and the cluster expands the bees have to go over or around that wall to get to the next comb over. If it gets cold quickly they have to find a way up and over the wall to get back to the cluster Since the cluster is roughly spherical, those on the outside are often only a few bees and they have to go 4" or more to get to the top and over and 4" back down to the cluster. With mediums there is a horizontal gap running through the middle of the cluster and those bees have only to go to the next frame through the gap.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >If the queen is more likely to expand into more boxes, would this be likely to create a situation in which the queen is laying in the honey area?

    Bees naturally have a brood area, because they have to heat and humidify it. This would be very difficult if they were foolish enough to scatter brood all over the hive. And of course, they do not. But if you have all the same size boxes why do you care where the queen lays? If you don't use an excluder and the brood nest expands up another box, that probably kept them from swarming. Would you rather they swarm?

    > Would a queen excluder be a necessity in this type of setup?

    A queen excluder is never a necessity in any type of setup.

    >Would they be able to form a good cluster for winter?

    Yes.

    >Just so that I'm clear, when you say there is a path down the middle, are you referring to a deep frame that would transverse two shallow boxes? That's kind of a cool idea that I hadn't considered before.

    If you have a deep box with a cluster in it there are 9 1/4" tall walls between every 1 3/8" of the cluster. If you get a warm day and the cluster expands the bees have to go over or around that wall to get to the next comb over. If it gets cold quickly they have to find a way up and over the wall to get back to the cluster Since the cluster is roughly spherical, those on the outside are often only a few bees and they have to go 4" or more to get to the top and over and 4" back down to the cluster. With mediums there is a horizontal gap running through the middle of the cluster and those bees have only to go to the next frame through the gap.
    Thank you for being such a patient teacher! I have been using a KTBH, and have never really seen a Lang in action. Being a very hands-on kind of person, I'm having a weird mental block thinking about how the colony acts in boxes. In the KTBH, I just keep inserting bars, so the queen stays in one general area. For some reason, I was thinking that if she had shallow boxes, she might use more area for the brood nest, but I see what you're saying now. The whole nest would just move with her to the new box. She wouldn't really have to go back to the old box to lay. And no, I don't want to use a queen excluder.

    Thanks again.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    >Thank you for being such a patient teacher! I have been using a KTBH, and have never really seen a Lang in action. Being a very hands-on kind of person, I'm having a weird mental block thinking about how the colony acts in boxes. In the KTBH, I just keep inserting bars, so the queen stays in one general area. For some reason, I was thinking that if she had shallow boxes, she might use more area for the brood nest, but I see what you're saying now. The whole nest would just move with her to the new box.

    The brood nest in a stack of eight frame shallow boxes will typically span five boxes at the peak of brood rearing season. It might even span six. She will move up and down through that area looking for room to lay.

    >She wouldn't really have to go back to the old box to lay.

    She will, though.

    Another thing you could do, if you want to imitate a Warre more, is leave off the bottom bars on the frames. If you assemble them but don't nail the bottom bar in, you can wait until they have them mostly drawn and then pull the bottom bar off. That will make less of a gap. The downside is (as with a Warre') it will encourage comb attachment to the top bar below...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >
    ...Another thing you could do, if you want to imitate a Warre more, is leave off the bottom bars on the frames. If you assemble them but don't nail the bottom bar in, you can wait until they have them mostly drawn and then pull the bottom bar off. That will make less of a gap. The downside is (as with a Warre') it will encourage comb attachment to the top bar below...
    What do you do when they attach comb to the top of the bar below? Do you draw a wire through to cut it? I had this today with my hybrid nuc and was able to take the undrawn frames out and get a blade down there to cut it but if all of them had been drawn it would have been a problem.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,443

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    When swarms take up residence in hollow tree trunks or the likes thereof the hive is not inspect able. Does that make these and other feral hives illegal?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    W. Oregon
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    What do you do when they attach comb to the top of the bar below? Do you draw a wire through to cut it? I had this today with my hybrid nuc and was able to take the undrawn frames out and get a blade down there to cut it but if all of them had been drawn it would have been a problem.
    I would love know the answer to this also.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    I have 2 warre hives and I purchased them this past year from Sweetvalleyhives.com Chris has a lot of video's you can check out and he explains how the hives work. You mentioned you were concerned about the weight of the boxes. One of the few things I dislike about the hive is you add boxes to the bottom of the hive not on the top. If you have any questions for me feel free to ask.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Can someone explain to me how the bars in a Warre work?

    >What do you do when they attach comb to the top of the bar below?

    I have always wondered how much of a problem this is.

    >Do you draw a wire through to cut it?

    That's what some people do.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads