This fall has been unusually warm. Last weekend, the Sunday after Thanksgiving it was 70°. So I checked on all my hives. The Warre was full of busy girls doing last minute foraging.
It was still 65° today, but I decided to go ahead and put on the quilt boxes. And that was when I discovered the Warre was completely empty. There were four dead bees on the bottom board, none in the hive. Sometime in the last five days they bolted. It had not been robbed yet. The top two boxes were still packed wall to wall with honey, the bottom box had some brood under a honey dome.
I considered giving some of it to my other hives (all Langstroths) but the compatibility problem is the main reason I decided not to continue with a Warre once this hive was gone. I decided to harvest. It's a dark but tasty honey.
I was hoping to make some queens from this queen next spring as she was a great queen with gentle girls.
So there I was being happy we had a very warm fall and the girls were still foraging - usually there is a foot of snow on the ground by now - when it occurred to me that had it been a normal December weekend they would probably not have flown.
I'll leave it out as a swarm trap next spring, but if no one takes up residence I have no plans at this point to put a package in it.
I'm building a long Langstroth this winter, plus I've got a dozen hive boxes cut out and sitting in my shop waiting for assembly, so growth is going to to there.
The Warre was a pretty hive, and it was neat to watch the bees build beautiful comb and round out and finish the bottoms. And I am going to copy that feeder for my Langstroths because it absolutely did not drown bees.
So ends my Warre experiment.