Warre population?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Menlo Park CA
    Posts
    21

    Default Warre population?

    How do you gauge the strength of a Warre hive? One often hears of Lang keepers talking about how many frames or boxes they have of this or that. How do you mentally convert that? It seems that Warres will tend to not be super populous as our boxes are small. I have a colony that, due to mistakes and problems the first year, overwintered in a tiny cluster. How fast should they be filling out the boxes and drawing comb now that we have good flow? Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Parthenon, Ar,USA
    Posts
    266

    Default Re: Warre population?

    a traditional Warre, (no frames, top bars only) has slightly less room than an 8-frame medium. Each comb is about 2/3s of a lang deep. If your broodnest is most of two boxes that is a strong hive, easily equivalent of a 10-frame deep box.
    When I inspect I look down into the combs and count how many combs (frames) are covered with bees. I jot that down and add up all the covered combs I have. I consider 75% very strong and likely needing another box.
    You didn't say if you have all drawn comb from last year, but once the flow is on they should be growing exponentially. Mites are one issue that can keep them from thriving.

    Hope this helps
    Neill
    Herbhome Farm USDA zone 7a

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Menlo Park CA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Warre population?

    Thanks for the info, Neill. They are almost fully occupying two boxes, mostly brood, also some stores. They have their comb from last year plus some from a failed colony from last year that I ended up combining into this one. I'm suspecting that they are just not mite resistant enough. I have new queens coming in May, so if things don't improve I can re-queen. I guess I'm the meantime we will see if they get going a bit stronger. I hope to eventually raise my own stock and overwinter nucs, but until I get enough traction and population to do that, I'm a bit at the mercy of our very early flow season and a lack of sources for new bees and queens when I need them. Thanks again!

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