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Yes, I was rather surprised, that this being the Warre section, there were no voices in support of Warre hives.

But anyway the OP asked the question, and they got answers.
 

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I run mostly Warré hives and far prefer them to Langs as I find them much, much easier to handle. A Warré box stuffed full of honey weighs 35 lbs and I can lift that all day long; a medium Lang 10-frame weighs 50-something lbs and they are long and awkward and I really don't care for them. I can build my own equipment and get 90 or so lbs a hive on average and for a hobbyist that's enough; as someone with back problems it is just so, so much easier to manage them.
But if you read "the book" and think you're not going to have to actively manage then forget it; you need movable frames and to manage like you would a Lang. Or don't bother; and forget about top bars, that's for experts not rookies.
7 Warré hives and 1 stupid Lang (there, I said it)...
 

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..... A Warré box stuffed full of honey weighs 35 lbs and I can lift that all day long; .....
7 Warré hives and 1 stupid Lang (there, I said it)...
What you really have is not a proper-Warre.
If I recall, you have so called alpine-style multi-body hives (LJ mentioned this many times too; very popular in Europe).
So, you maybe confusing the OP in that regard (the Warre ideas in N. America still very much mean the classic Warre - low maintenance, etc, etc).

I myself kind of wanted to do what you have - but that requires further customizations (and time spent from me).
Instead, I am testing this design for myself.
20180922_155652.jpg
20180922_155556.jpg
 

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Yes, I was rather surprised, that this being the Warre section, there were no voices in support of Warre hives.
My own experience with a couple of Russian 'Álpine' Hives (108mm quarter-height boxes; sealed hive tops (with no quilts) as per Roger Delon's Climate-Stable principle) was positive from the bees' point-of-view - that is, the bees did exceptionally well housed in that narrow chimney-style hive format.

However, from a beekeeping point-of-view they weren't so good. The main problem was a lack of interchangeability with existing equipment - so that these Warre variants didn't fit into 'the system'. I've since modified those boxes to accommodate standard deep frames, and the bees are yet again flourishing very well indeed.

The 'Alpine' Hive frames were made of thick wire (2.5mm dia) attached to a wooden top bar, and although Roger Delon spoke well of them, as did the Russians, I found that my bees simply ignored the wire, and attached their combs directly to the box sides, incorporating the wire as they did so. Those combs then had to be cut away - so in practice there was zero benefit in using the wire-frame system.

In the 5th Edition of Beekeeping For All, Emile Warre describes a 9-comb Framed Hive, and should that design be adopted, I see no reason why such hives couldn't be used for queen-rearing and just about every other purpose that beehives are used for. But - if interchangeability is an important requirement, then I'd say use 8-frame Langstroth boxes - just as if they were Warre boxes - and enjoy the benefits of swapping frames with those of a popular and thus commonly used system.

The height of a Warre stack (as with the 8-frame Langstroth) is something to take into account if you happen to have a prolific type of bee.
LJ
 

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johnof
Since I am the one writing this, it reflects my definition of what a warre is. Abby in his book was clear on his position of movable frames. It was one of the things he used to say his way was better and seemed clear to me. So any one using movable frames is keeping a modified warre which abby talked about also. So when the subject of warre keeping comes up, it is in my mind that we are talking about fixed top bars. I agree with LJ that having mixed equipment makes it harder to keep bees. I don't consider it warre bee keeping per abby warre's plan if using movable frames. That does not make me right but I do think reflects abby warre. For the weight issues you mention, you could keep 8 frame mediums or five frame deep nucs and end up in the same place as a single warre box. I found the fixed frame warre bee keeping to be harder to fix problims but not impossible.

If I decide to, I can run lang hives just like I would a warre from a management perspective. So why run a warre unless you think the cavity gives enough merrit and that is changed if I change what is used in the cavity like movable frames.

I will probably put more bees in my warre at some point and may even build more but already know that I will not work them like I do the langs and so will be a bee haver with those hives, which will be ok too in my mind. I reconize that I will only be playing and not trying to max out my bee keeping potential when I use them. I might even end up likeing it better but to this question of this thread, If I was just starting and wanted to have the best chance of getting something back from any bees I got, I would go lang. Just easier to get help and to address problems that come up. When I put bees in my warre, I will not have an investment that I want to profit from, I will just be playing and what happens will happen. I will work harder on the langs to keep stuff to play with and believe they give the best chance of success in that.

I do love the ideal of just putting bees in a warre and adding boxes to the bottom and taking from the top if there is something to take. I would not love it so much if I was buying bees and needed success.

I am not against the ideal of warre and will do some and probably like it but I have had bees in both and have more control in the langs. I did more work with the langs and could have did more with the warre but had the langs and so did not feel compelled to do all that was needed to the warre. I could have did more but it was not worth it cause I had easier stuff to work with. Fixed frame and nothing to interchange with is a little harder.
If I discount the question that was ask for this thread. There is nothing wrong with keeping warre.

Cheers
gww
 

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Why? Because the lighter weight allows building the boxes with a simple lap joint rather than a very complicated and not-so-reliable finger joint. Because the roughly "square" internal dimensions allow the bees to simply move up in the winter and not have to move "sideways". Because the quilt box does an excellent job of controlling winter moisture.
Consider that a winter cluster is roughly the size of a volleyball and a volleyball drops down into a Warré box quite nicely. I live in a fairly rough winter climate (Zone 4a) and I don't have to mess around with wrapping the hives in additional insulation, I just try to have a box and a half of stored honey and then ignore the bees until the end of January maybe. My overwintering results are generally excellent - not every winter but most of them - and for me it's a good way to go. For me Lang hives are awkward as a get-out and I really don't care for them. But I also consider that 95%-plus of the hives in North America are Langs, managed the way that Langs are, and Warré hives were developed in a time without Varroa mites and other issues that we have to deal with - so it makes little sense to try to run them the way that they were run 100 years ago. To do it that way leads to frustration and failure....
 

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Unsure what "why" is aimed at, but..

Back to OP:
Here are my general questions:
What is the time commitment difference between Warre and Langstroth hives?
What is the production difference between Warre and Langstroth hives?
The modern Warre designs (while VERY MUCH ergonomic - and I like it just for that) can not be called "low maintenance".
When I get a bit older and maybe retire (and have not much else to do, hopefully), I might just build and run few of these and have all kinds of fun while at it.
 

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This is how one modern version of "warre" looks like.
If it works for you - great.
I really like it in theory; be great as a retirement project.
Just jump to 1:30 and watch from there.
Technically, these are multi-body nucs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYrkr2hp0Ow
 

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When I get a bit older and maybe retire (and have not much else to do, hopefully), I might just build and run few of these and have all kinds of fun while at it.
LOL ! If your retirement is anything like mine, it's completely the reverse ...

... because: now you have 'time on your hands', and - rather than having your face pressed up hard against the grindstone - you are now able to look around at leisure and find stuff to become curious about, or get involved with in some way.

Since giving up 'work', I've never been so busy. :) (currently working on a OA vapouriser design - like nothing else currently in use - crazy or what ?)
LJ
 

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LOL ! If your retirement is anything like mine, it's completely the reverse ... LJ
I am sure this will be about me too.

Just unlike now (bored to death by keeping track of the "latest and greatest" IT noise - so to pay the bills), I'd much rather keep myself busy building wooden-ware from scraps and breeding/selling low maintenance bees.
So, I am totally interested in building and maintaining ergonomic vertical system where working "by the box" is the way.
Ergonomic for both the bees and the keeper.

Well, I also collect and graft heirloom apple varieties, most are totally unsuitable for commercial-scale production (of course, just like those un-cultured, primitive bees I am ranting about).
(I now own several old English apple varieties too - tada!)
People are really missing out on the real apples and they don't know any better.
All the most consumers know are - red apples/yellow apples/green apples.
Those three kinds offered by the corporate commerce.
Sad.
 

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Pretty cool video of another Warre variant.
The video is titled "Beekeeping in the hive of Roger Delon (unsure of the spelling)".
I like the frame size and box size.
The box/frames are equivalent to 8 Lang mediums (but more ergonomic for both the keeper and the bees).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isoJyQCZrgA
 

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'Morning Greg ...

Interesting video, thanks.

Delon spelling spot on - if you haven't already read it, there's a useful article at: https://warre.biobees.com/delon.pdf There's another at: http://www.users.callnetuk.com/~heaf/delon_ruche_climatstable.pdf but written in French.

I've always had positive comments to make about the Warre 'chimney' format - but negative ones with regard to interchangeability of combs and Delon's wire frames. However, with 'by the box' rather than 'by the comb' thinking, I've just figured out how I could operate with both formats in the same apiary. Not 100% ideal, but still workable - with the answer (for me) lying in the use of conventional wooden frames.

I've already converted my original Warre 'Alpine' boxes into full-depth boxes dimensioned to fit 8 British National frames lengthwise, with the internal width left - as before - at 300mm. So - I can now retro-fit rebates (rabbets in the US) to the sides, and run either standard frames lengthwise, or Warre frames cross-wise. :) That will provide interchangeability using those particular boxes.

In order to provide interchangeability with the rest of the circus, I've come up with yet another ruse - this being quite simply a Warre Box housed within a standard British National Deep box, thusly:



To be pedantic, this will actually be a National feeder shell made from (say) 15mm timber/lumber with outside dimensions 460x460mm (c.18"x18"). Inside it will be a Warre box of 300x300mm (internal), made from the same stuff. The voids could either be filled with insulation or left empty - with strips of thin plywood covering them. The depth of this adapter box will be whatever depth is chosen for the Warre frames - it looks like 225mm is favourite right now.

I think with these two different methods of providing box-wise interchangeability between the two formats, co-existence could well become feasible - not perfect, perhaps - but workable.
LJ
 

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'Morning Greg ...

.......run either standard frames lengthwise, or Warre frames cross-wise. :) That will provide interchangeability using those particular boxes.
...... simply a Warre Box housed within a standard British National Deep box, thusly:
........the two formats, co-existence could well become feasible - not perfect, perhaps - but workable.
LJ
Evening, LJ... :)

Yep, totally - what you are doing should work.

~300mm (plus/minus) custom frames do work fine for me in the standard Lang boxes (which I have a high stack of).
Just using my 300's "cross-wise" and very minor mods to the existing Lang boxes.

I really like the looks of it AND how I can build Warre-type chimney configuration for winter just by using the dummy frames right inside the Lang wooden-ware.
The benefit of this - in summer I can easily expand the brood next up to 14 frames - about perfect brood-nest size.

Anyways, I now want to make all bunch of ~300mm wide frames out of 435mm Lang frames/Dadant frames I have a big pile of.
Gonna have to shorten the top bars/bottom bars somehow - I think johnsof (just above) does exactly this, pretty sure, need to review john's writings.

For non-commercial beeks, the ~300mm frames are the way to go IMO (allows for ergonomic/efficient equipment, especially looking forward to the long retirement years - might as well get setup now, not later).
 

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While on topic, here is an excellent video discussing different frame designs for Warre-variants.
This guy also runs Warre-variants (sort of Delon).
I really like his work.

Jump to 3:19 and watch the author's favorite and final frame design after his experimentation.
This is my favorite frame too (in theory) when made from scratch (almost unfortunately, I got lots of Lang frames to retro-fit IF to get any use out of them).
This frame:
- looks stupid simple to make,
- very efficient in material, no waste (can be made even from junk cuts),
- no silly Hoffman separators - just simple straight cuts,
- no wires and the like non-sense (notice the narrow, OFF-CENTER, 1/2 inch top bar - this IS the guide for foundation OR foundation-less comb starter),
- and yet plenty strong given the small size.

You can watch prior to that point too if want.
You will see the other frame designs he tried (including the classic Delon wire frame).

Non-English, but there is plenty of material to see as-is.
Audio is not required if you know your stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ-papk9tMk
 

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While on topic, here is an excellent video discussing different frame designs for Warre-variants.
This guy also runs Warre-variants (sort of Delon).
I really like his work.

Jump to 3:19 and watch the author's favorite and final frame design after his experimentation.
This is my favorite frame too (in theory) when made from scratch (almost unfortunately, I got lots of Lang frames to retro-fit IF to get any use out of them).
This frame:
- looks stupid simple to make,
- very efficient in material, no waste (can be made even from junk cuts),
- no silly Hoffman separators - just simple straight cuts,
- no wires and the like non-sense (notice the narrow, OFF-CENTER, 1/2 inch top bar - this IS the guide for foundation OR foundation-less comb starter),
- and yet plenty strong given the small size.

You can watch prior to that point too if want.
You will see the other frame designs he tried (including the classic Delon wire frame).

Non-English, but there is plenty of material to see as-is.
Audio is not required if you know your stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ-papk9tMk
Great stuff! Thanks GregV, very good find!
Lots of good stuff on his channel!
 

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Great stuff! Thanks GregV, very good find!
Lots of good stuff on his channel!
Right.
I really like the ideas of the "low technology" frames.
Why, exactly, any curve cuts are even needed when making the bee hive frames of all things?
Just nonsense.
 

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I've already converted my original Warre 'Alpine' boxes into full-depth boxes dimensioned to fit 8 British National frames lengthwise, with the internal width left - as before - at 300mm. So - I can now retro-fit rebates (rabbets in the US) to the sides, and run either standard frames lengthwise, or Warre frames cross-wise. :) That will provide interchangeability using those particular boxes.
Weather was kind today, so I was able to get a jig knocked-up and routered the first box - shown with a couple of my old Warre (Delon) frame top-bars in place, now with their wire frames removed - upside down (or course):



Will be attacking more boxes tomorrow - one down, eleven more to go ...
LJ
 

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Weather was kind today, so I was able to get a jig knocked-up and routered the first box - shown with a couple of my old Warre (Delon) frame top-bars in place, now with their wire frames removed - upside down (or course):



Will be attacking more boxes tomorrow - one down, eleven more to go ...
LJ
Cool, LJ.
This is exactly the way I mean to run my experimentals too.
You can trivially create a 300x300 (or smaller) volume using the dummy frames for wintering.
You can expand the fill the entire box wall-to-wall - say in summer time.
You can run 2-3 boxes vertically BUT each only partially full (essentially creating a narrow-vertical setup inside the same boxes) to attempt at harvesting early flow - my goal.
This setup is more powerful than just the square 300x300 box.
It is also better for mobile settings - more stable due to larger foot print (compared to 300x300 - too easy to fall sideways).

Here is what I really want - multi-configuration hive boxes to handle both wide/short frames - Lang/Dadant (if have to) and narrow/deep frames - Ukrainian/Lewicki/Gallup (preferred)
Jump to 4:25 and watch this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEFwIdaD_AU
 

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What is the time commitment difference between Warre and Langstroth hives?
That depends on a lot of things. I would say half the time you spend on a Langstroth.

What is the production difference between Warre and Langstroth hives?
Only half of what you can make in a Langstroth, in my experience.

I have read people praising the virtues of Warre hives for the sake of leaving Bees natural. I like that idea, but it is not really motivating my decision.
Ha, then you better choose Langstroth. :)

For all those natural beekeepers here are some thoughts by Tom Seeley: https://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/darwinian-beekeeping
 
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