early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Ft Collins, CO, USA
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    Default early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    I have 2 warre hives just got through their first cold colorado winter (front range) after having zero success with top bar hives the last two winters.

    Now everyone is flying around and very active on the 60 degree days we've been having lately.
    One of the hives is down to two boxes that were full of comb last fall and the other has 3 boxes. I'm not so worried about the larger hive swarming early but I want to make sure the 2-box hive has enough room.

    So, how early do you add boxes to the bottom of your warre hives? I'm planning to add two empty boxes so I don't have to worry about them for awhile, but I don't want to do it too early.

    As a side note, I see them bringing pollen in already, even though none of the trees around here (as far as I can tell) are blooming... Interesting!

    Thanks for the tips!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    Since no one has responded I'll take a crack at it. My up front disclaimer is that I don't have Warre experience. I did build a Warre hive with observation windows but I never put any bees in it and I did read Abbé Warré's book Beekeeping for All. If you don't have it, I suggest you download it and read it. So what I'm saying comes from a book, not from experience, factor that into your decision.

    On page 89 Warre says the enlargement is to be done five days before the nectar flow. That's kind of unspecific, it means you need to be watching the bees but he does give a hint on page 90 about what to watch for and on page 93 he states that the nectar flow requires temperatures above 20° (68° Fahrenheit)

    Looking at your 10 day forecast, based on the book, you can probably nadir the smaller hive now.

    I hope that helps.

    Just so you know though, my bees must read different books than the ones I read.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 03-08-2017 at 12:13 PM.
    Zone 5B

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    clarksville, virginia usa
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    29

    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    Only my second year as a beekeeper, but from what I read on the Warre's a lot of people add boxes when the dandelions start blooming. This is supposedly the start of the nectar flow. That's when I'll enlarge mine.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Ft Collins, CO, USA
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    28

    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    Thanks for the replies-
    Here's also a great tip from thewarrestore who I emailed directly:
    "You can nadir your hives whenever you're ready, but be sure that they are strapped or otherwise secured in order to prevent them from blowing over if there are high winds. You definitely want them nadired by the time dandelions appear."
    Goes along with what you said, muskrat.
    Seems like there really isn't anything wrong with doing it during these nice warm days, even if it is a little early. Perhaps also a good time to peek down the top and make sure they have enough honey to last until those dandelion blooms.
    Strapping them down is a good tip too because they'll be more top heavy with a couple empty boxes on the bottom.
    Thanks for all the tips!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Labette Kansas USA
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    71

    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    You may or may not find the bees are more apt to attach the comb to the bars in the nadired box if you nadir before they have finished the combs in the lowest box.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ft Collins, CO, USA
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    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    Do you mean that they will just attach the comb to the sides of the box (instead of the bars) or that they have trouble moving down if you give them too much space below too quickly?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Labette Kansas USA
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    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    Yes, from what I have seen nadiring once the combs are complete will help prevent those top bar attachments.

    I often times place an empty comb in the box I am nadiring to encourage the bees to move down and build right away. While not necessary it seems to quicken their move down into the lower box.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Ft Collins, CO, USA
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    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    interesting, are you using removable frames in your warre? I'm just managing by the box with fixed bars, so it shouldn't matter if they attach to the bars or the sides, right?
    Also - how do you judge where the combs are without opening the hive? Do you have a window or use a screened bottom? I have neither and am trying to figure a good way to 'see' in there. Right now, I use a little mirror and light and look up the entrance...
    Thanks for the tips!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Labette Kansas USA
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    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    I am not using frames. The side attachments are not a big deal and without frames I don't think you'll prevent the bees from attaching the combs to the walls of the box.

    I do have a partially screened bottom board, but no windows. The screened part is blocked with a pan to trap shb. I don't see in the hive unless I open it. I try not to open the hive unless I think there is a problem. If you keep notes (or have a good memory) you should start to correlate the time needed for another box with time of year, weather conditions, and strength of the hive. I have used a small mirror and a flashlight to quickly check the bottom box combs. It doesn't get much easier or quicker than the little mirror.

    In the spring if the bottom box has partially constructed combs that are empty I usually nadir an empty box and use the partially built box for a split or captured swarm later in the spring. I do take one of the partial combs from the emtpy box and put it in the new box. Last year I kept some partial combs too long and the moths got a few. This year I'll be more careful about putting them back on the hives in a timely manner if I haven't used them for something else.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,012

    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    kygreer
    I think you and T... are talking about two things. T.... is talking about letting the bees fill the box untill they start rounding the comb at the bottom. I read if you do this then they don't just incorperate the top bars of the next box into the comb so that when you try to seperate the boxes you have to use piano wire or fishing string to cut the comb between the boxes or risk lots of comb breaking off when you seperate the boxes. You are talking bout the sides of the box. They will do some attaching to the sides of the box but nothing a bread knife won't handle.

    I also have no windows in or frames in my warre (or bees yet). You could just tip the boxes off the bottom board and look. I will probly just add some room when the dandilions bloom and not worry about it after I get two or three built out for the brood nest. During the broodnest build up. I will probly just tip the box and look and when I get two figure out how fast it has been going and how long before winter and just add what I think they can finnish.

    I still have a bunch of lang equipt to fill but my warre is baited as a trap and so who knows. I will also probly not go the the effort to put a bait comb in each added box and so my bees might swarm before they reconize the box as space.

    I think T... (tmwilson) has a couple that he has been running for awhile and proby has good advice for others (if we were smart enough to listen).
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ft Collins, CO, USA
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    Default Re: early spring - When do you Nadir your warre hive?

    Thanks for the tips everyone! I went ahead and nadired two empty boxes below the two boxes of comb left over from the winter on both of my hives. I just wanted to give them plenty of space for the next few months without having to lift the beast again! I don't mind using a wire, and have been using it anyway to make sure the combs aren't attached between boxes.

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