I am considering setting up a Warre hive. I have read that in a Warre hive, the honey should be harvested late summer or in the fall because of the risk of brood still being in the honey area. I live north of Dallas and we have a plant called Snow-on-the-prairie that puts a hot flavor in the honey. Apparently is does not take much to make the honey hot. Because of this, we tend to harvest before the 4th of July. What are your thoughts on this? Do you see this as an issue? Is anyone using a Warre in the area?
In the state of Texas you are required to have movable come in a beehive. (source). That means that you must use a modified Warre, one that uses frames. That is actually good news. Frames will offer you significant advantages, especially at harvest time. You can remove capped frames from lower boxes and move frames with brood down.
I ran a Warre as a curiosity experiment for two seasons. I transferred my Warre to a Langstroth last spring so that I'm only working with one set of equipment. When I went to harvest at the end of 2018 I had brood in all four boxes. I'm identifying the boxes starting at the bottom and number the boxes ascending. Here in the first photograph is box 3 and 4 unstacked and sitting on their side. Box 4 is the lower box in the photograph with box 3 on top of it. The frames in position 5 and 6 of box 4 have brood along the bottom part of the frame. In box 3 (top box in first photograph) you can see that frames 4, 5, 6, and 7 have brood and four capped frames of honey. I swapped the box 4 frames with brood for the capped honey frames from box 3 and was able to take all 8 frames from box 4 plus two more frames from box 3. I lifted two frames from box 2 to fill the space in box 3 and then lifted two partially drawn frames from box 1 up to box 2 and let them start new comb in box 1.
Having the ability to rearrange the frames let me take a larger harvest than one box, where with top bars I would not have been able to harvest at until after the brood emerged from box 4 and then those combs were filled and capped.
Frames will furnish other advantages as well. If you use comb reinforcement you will be able to extract instead of crush and strain, you can transfer a frame of eggs if one hive goes queenless, you can more easily inspect for brood problems.
In the fall your hive is at its maximum mite population. That max is happening at the same time that the bee population begins to decrease, so the mites per bee ratio goes through the roof. If you have to wait for core brood to emerge from top boxes (as indicated in the article you linked) and then wait for those cells to get filled then you can't begin mite treatments that should not be done with harvest honey still in the hive. Meanwhile the colony is starting to raise infected winter bees. Frames and movable comb give you control over the harvest timing and all the dominoes that fall after it.
Thank you for the info. I like your stands. Are you running Langstroth and managing like a warre? I assume that would work and the frames would fit. Maybe a little to much room between boxes but other that that the space works. Right?
Sorry for the confusion. I normally keep Langstroths managed like Langstroths. I had a Warre for a while as a curiosity experiment. Last spring I discontinued my use of a Warre for equipment compatibility reasons and shook them into a Langstroth as an artificial swarm. The Warre I had was a standard Warre with 300mm x 300mm inside dimensions. The frames were a Hoffman self spacing frame design like the frame used in a Langstroth but sized for a Warre with a 315mm long top bar, 35mm wide by 200mm high side bars. My frames did not have a bottom bar. You can see the frame sides bars in the photographs.
The stand is a single hive version of my ant proof hive stand with adjustable levelers, my other ant proof stand design holds 3 hives. Click here for a post about the stands. I've changed to using the less expensive 4" test caps as grease cups on the second and third of my three hive stands (test caps shown in second and third pictures attached to this post, pvc caps shown in the other post). I have access to an almost endless supply of free granite posts, they are spent test samples, but the leveler bolts can sit on any solid surface such as pavers or cinder blocks and will work perfectly fine.
Last edited by JConnolly; 05-29-2020 at 10:21 AM.
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