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I’m thinking I found a package that really likes building comb. I have 90% of the top box drawn, and what looks like prep work to start in on the second box. Today was week 2. According to bee math, I’ll have new bees hatching in just over a week.

My blackberry flow is about two weeks from starting. (97436 Elkton, OR) While I’ve been socking the feed to these bees for build up..... how much will they build during the flow? I’m definitely worried they won’t draw out and become honey bound and swarm.

Other hand, how quickly will they draw out when the flow is on? Not sure I have enough hardware to keep ahead of them......

Anyone have any input on how fast a warre can draw out??? Should I have 6 boxes available instead of 4? Can they safely be stacked 6-8 high?

Thanks everyone. Probably should have just went with 8 frame mediums and used a warre style quilt and roof. These things are just so **** intriguing though!
 

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Can't answer your question about rate of drawing comb, as much depends on colony strength and the flow in progress. My only experience related to this was with nucleus colonies, and we never get that much of a flow here that it ever becomes problematic.
But - I just wanted to say that with regard to Warre Hives there are two separate aspects to them: these could be called 'the hardware' and 'the software' - the hardware being the boxes themselves, and their Frames or Top Bars. The 'software' being the management style which is adopted - which can vary considerably.

On the one hand there are the Warre purists or devotees, who follow Emile Warre's methodology (nadiring etc) to the letter, as spelled out in his book 'Beekeeping for All'. At the other end of the spectrum there are those who keep Warre-style hives in exactly the same manner as regular vertical beehives. (This was my approach when working with the Russian 'Alpine' Hives I once made.) In-between these two extremes can be found Roger Delon's 'Climate-Stable' approach. So - how these hives are managed can vary depending upon each individual beekeeper's philosophy.

With regard to the number of boxes and their height-stability, I found no problem there at all when testing boxes made from relatively heavy 1.5" timber (lumber). Some photos of these stability tests can be found at:
http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek17.htm - first picture
http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek17a.htm - last picture

Sorry can't help more ...
LJ
 

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My experience with a Warré was that they will draw the first couple of boxes very fast, then they slow down. Comb production is expensive for the bees. I never got above four boxes, but that included harvesting boxes. I used Emile Warré's management method of nadiring the boxes. (If you don't have his book, get if free here) When I supered the bee just built a comb pyramid on top of the top bars instead of going up and drawing comb down, but I wasn't using foundation or starter strips, just top bars with a vee comb guide. My Warré used movable frames (a requirement in most US states). When I nadired I found that moving a frame or two down encouraged them to start drawing the lower box right away.

I had two different colonies in my Warré. The first was a package, the second was a swarm. I found equipment compatibility with my Langstroth hives to be my major challenge; my vaporizer wouldn't fit in the traditional Warré entrance and frames were not interchangeable, my ill conceived attempt at extraction was a disaster, and I am so done with doing crush and strain harvesting. I transferred the second colony to a Langstroth after a season. Its daughter queen is still one of my better hives.

The first picture is a package at 7 days. Second and third picture are the package in the top and bottom box at four weeks. The second swarm colony drew comb faster than the package colony did but it was a big swarm. The last two pictures are the swarm in about mid August.

My Warré boxes were the standard 300mm inside square boxes 210 mm high. The sides were 24 mm thick. They were stable stacks even in wind at four high with either a 90mm feeder or a 100mm quilt box on top. I can't speak to the stability of higher stacks or stacks of boxes made from thinner 3/4" (~19mm) imperial dimensional stock. Did you make your Warré or buy it? Warré gear tends to be more expensive so I'd be reluctant to just buy something you may not need. However if you have to buy it then you have an order lead time and shipping time, which is underlain in our current world situation. If you made your own then you can wait until you see if you'll be needing another box and build one on demand. Also if you are using frames then you can harvest the capped ones and re-arrange, making four boxes work.
 

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Seems they realized they were going to need room. Never had an issue with cross comb on any foundationless frames. Turned my back for a week and these ladies drew two nice fat combs across 7 frames as well as following the ‘correct’ path.

I think I’ll be keeping this hive for a novelty. Thinking 8 frame medium Langs are in my future. I like to inspect and tinker more than what these are going to allow me. Hopefully I can split and raise nucs to help me feed this hobby.

Someone once said easy way to become a wealthy beekeeper is to start a Very wealthy beekeeper. All the wood adds up quickly!
 

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..........All the wood adds up quickly!
Free 1.5' wood is plentiful in dumps, roadsides, and Craiglist (similar platform) "free" ads.

You will not get rich.
But you should not go bust either.
In general this is a very cheap hobby (should be).
 

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Free 1.5' wood is plentiful in dumps, roadsides, and Craiglist (similar platform) "free" ads.

You will not get rich.
But you should not go bust either.
In general this is a very cheap hobby (should be).
+1.

I have never bought even a single piece of wood - can't afford to, as wood is uber-expensive over here.

I use pallet wood - free - not great wood, sure - but the price is right. All I ever buy is wood-glue, wood-filler, screws, and the cheapest paint I can.
LJ
 

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+1.

I have never bought even a single piece of wood - can't afford to, as wood is uber-expensive over here.

I use pallet wood - free - not great wood, sure - but the price is right. All I ever buy is wood-glue, wood-filler, screws, and the cheapest paint I can.
LJ
+1, that's right.
But I don't even buy paint!
That cheap I am.
Checking for free paint/free primer on social media and such.
 

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It's August 8th. I picked up a swarm in late June that had suffered loss due to a heavy rain. The swarm had about 2000 bees in it. It is int he top box of my Warré hive but with only four combs built, it doesn't seem to be getting any bigger at all. I found a mummy yesterday and checked to see if it was a worker bee, with smaller eyes, it believe it is, so about three weeks ago the queen was still laying. I'm in Zone 4a of Colorado. I plan to put a hive cozy on the hive this winter, but should I be feeding these guys. I've looked for saddlebags and the bees move so fast I can't see for sure that they are bringing them in. I can stick a stick into the hive with honey on it each day. It has bee very dry here. I've been watering, but not much is blooming right now. Any chance they can make it if i feed?
 

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It's August 8th. I picked up a swarm in late June that had suffered loss due to a heavy rain. The swarm had about 2000 bees in it. It is int he top box of my Warré hive but with only four combs built, it doesn't seem to be getting any bigger at all. I found a mummy yesterday and checked to see if it was a worker bee, with smaller eyes, it believe it is, so about three weeks ago the queen was still laying. I'm in Zone 4a of Colorado. I plan to put a hive cozy on the hive this winter, but should I be feeding these guys. I've looked for saddlebags and the bees move so fast I can't see for sure that they are bringing them in. I can stick a stick into the hive with honey on it each day. It has bee very dry here. I've been watering, but not much is blooming right now. Any chance they can make it if i feed?
Four combs is not going to get those bees very far. Yes - feed.

I don't know what you mean by "honey on a stick" - what's that for ?'

If you've got a quilt box or whatever on top of the Warre stack, suggest you pull it off and replace it with a plain piece of plywood with a two-inch hole in the centre. Over the hole place an inverted jam-jar with holes punched in the lid containing 2:1 sugar syrup so that they can draw more combs out with it.

Right now you need more combs, and with some brood in them - those will be your winter bees. As soon as they've emerged, you'll then need to keep feeding in order for the colony to put away some stores for winter.

It'll be a push to get that colony up to a viable size for winter and save it, but with luck it's do-able if the queen is laying and if you act right now.
Good luck.
LJ
 

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Thanks, LJ. I don't use sugar water because of it's higher pH, but I can make honey water and set up a jam jar. I'll do this and cross my fingers. Not sure they will make it. Robbers might decimate them, but I'll try.
 

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honey on a stick is just my way of saying the I put a line of honey on a top bar spacer and slide it through the entrance. On hot days the honey works well. On cold days the jar with 2:1 syrup will be better.
 

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Sorry my reply was a bit rushed - I was on my way out of the door ...

As you mentioned "honey" that suggests you have other hives ? Have you considered pinching a few combs of capped brood from a strong hive and donating them ? It might make all the difference. Just an idea (which I should have suggested before :) ).
LJ

BTW - you can lower the pH of 2:1 with citric acid, vinegar etc if that's a concern.
 

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If your hive is a traditional sized Warre I suggest you feed with this instead of a jar: https://www.amazon.com/Rapid-Feeder-Round-Hive-Easy/dp/B07FNW2VDB/. It fits nicely inside a 300mm Warre box. Place it on top of a piece of plywood with a large hole in the middle and then place an empty box around it. I love this feeder, my only complaint being that it only holds 1/2 gallon. This feeder will let the bees access the syrup a lot more rapidly and they can safely crawl down to the syrup level. A normal size hive will empty this feeder in about one day, your colony may take a little bit longer. You can re-fill it without disturbing the bees. You may also need to give your bees a pollen patty and treat for mites. A small population cannot cover as much brood so the queen does not lay to her potential. That makes for a higher mite to brood ratio and a higher percentage of weak bees.
 

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If your hive is a traditional sized Warre I suggest you feed with this instead of a jar: https://www.amazon.com/Rapid-Feeder-Round-Hive-Easy/dp/B07FNW2VDB/. It fits nicely inside a 300mm Warre box. Place it on top of a piece of plywood with a large hole in the middle and then place an empty box around it. I love this feeder, my only complaint being that it only holds 1/2 gallon. This feeder will let the bees access the syrup a lot more rapidly and they can safely crawl down to the syrup level. A normal size hive will empty this feeder in about one day, your colony may take a little bit longer. You can re-fill it without disturbing the bees. You may also need to give your bees a pollen patty and treat for mites. A small population cannot cover as much brood so the queen does not lay to her potential. That makes for a higher mite to brood ratio and a higher percentage of weak bees.
Such a rapid feeder is the very last style of feeder to use - because - the OP only has four combs. There would be a very real risk of that colony becoming 'honey-bound' (or more correctly sugar-bound), when the pressing requirement is currently for more brood. What is required is a constant supply of small amounts of feed - enough to keep the colony active, but not enough to pack away as stores.

An inverted jar feeder is ideal for this purpose, as small amounts of syrup can be given each evening. In contrast, a rapid feeder of the type you have linked to is ill-suited for light continuous feeding. If you try doing that, then this is the sort of thing which can result:



Here, the bees have actually moved into the feeder and have spent a lot of time within the cup - why wouldn't they ? - it's the warmest place in the hive with a constant supply of feed on hand.

Rapid feeders are ideal for their purpose - the rapid feeding of large quantities of syrup - they are ill-suited for other purposes.
LJ
 
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