My bees aren't following the Warre rules!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Worcester, MA
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    Default My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Happy November in New England. I decided to check my Warre observation windows to find out how the colony is clustered. My hive is 4-boxes tall.

    According to Warre, they start at the bottom and work their way to the top. Well, I checked the bottom 2 boxes. No bees, but each comb had capped honey. What!!!!???

    I checked the top box... there is the cluster! Nice and crowded. So, that messes up my plan for harvesting in the spring. If they make it.

    Will they actually move down instead?

    So confused. Thanks Warre.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Lansing, IL, USA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    The bees will not move down. I would move the honey above the bees or they are likely to starve this winter.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Well that's lousy. How did they end up there in the first place?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Bees move up in the stack following the warm air they generate.
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by grantsbees View Post
    Well that's lousy. How did they end up there in the first place?
    Bees don't read instructions!
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Worcester, MA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Well, looks like I'm going to be shifting some boxes around so they can get to the honey over the winter.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Every one I know in Nebraska says their bees spend the winter in the top box. Mine all do as well. The bees apparently did not read the books.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Worcester, MA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    I successfully moved the honey above the cluster. It was a beautiful sunny 68-degree day here. What I believe happened was that the queen got honeybound this summer. That is, I probably didn't nadir in time. Oh well, at least all their stores are around them or above them and not below them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    DuPage Illinois
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    33

    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by max2 View Post
    Bees don't read instructions!
    Well they sure cannot if op did not provide them with a copy of the book!

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    > Oh well, at least all their stores are around them or above them and not below them.

    If the weather is cool but not too cold for them to get the work done, they will fix that shortly and be back at the top again.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #11
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    May 2016
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >If the weather is cool but not too cold for them to get the work done, they will fix that shortly and be back at the top again.
    Michael, in your experience, do the bees starve if they run out of stores above them even though they have stores below them?

    Also, in my hive, the honey box I moved to the top was originally separated by empty brood box. So the bees would have had to cross an entire empty box downward in order to access the food in the box below.

  13. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    >Michael, in your experience, do the bees starve if they run out of stores above them even though they have stores below them?

    Since all my bees spend all winter in the top all the time, the ones that survive are in the top and the ones that starve are in the top... Bees often starve with stores in the hive especially if they start rearing brood too early or too much and won't leave the brood in a cold snap.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Worcester, MA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    That's quite fascinating. I still think I made a good choice. I forced them into the position of storing honey below the brood box because I waited too long to nadir. If they decided to move to the top again I am not going to intervene any further. I will trust that the bees will reorganize the honey on days that are "workable". The old brood box will stay in the lowest position.

    It's tough to argue when my local inspector, who has 60 years (no joke) of beekeeping experience, tells me that the bees won't move down in the winter so if there are stores below them, then they will likely starve.

  15. #14

    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Better listen to your knowledgeable bee inspector...

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Worcester, MA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    Better listen to your knowledgeable bee inspector...
    I did just as he recommended. He's got 59 years more experience than I. What do I know?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Worcester, MA
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    Default Re: My bees aren't following the Warre rules!

    A week after moving the lower honey box to the top, the cluster has stayed put in the box below. Which is perfectly fine with me.

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