Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
July 12, 2014, 11:45:05 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Warre hive experiences  (Read 24430 times)
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« on: October 25, 2008, 08:06:01 AM »

Seems earlier this year, there was much chatter about the warre hive.
I know there is a site with some followers. But I wanted some feedback from anyone with personal experience, that is not directly involved in promoting or has some slant towards them.

Has anyone thrown one together just for the fun of it? And how did it go? Pitfalls, advantages or comments?

I want to add one for demonstration and learning, but have held back this year. Would like to possibly build one this year, but could care less if this was just a passing fancy and if it will fade out very quickly anyways.

Warre hives have been around hundreds of years, and I think there was renewed interest, for one reason or another. But wanted to hear actual in-field first time experiences and not stuff posted on a website.

Thank you.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2008, 01:36:20 PM »

I started 2 of them this spring.  One from a swarm and the other I converted from a langstroth on natural comb.  Don't really have much to say yet,  just waiting to see how they make it through the winter.   They seem to be doing fine,  and have low mite drop,  but since one was a swarm and the other was on natural comb and untreated for 3 years,  I guess I expected it.   The hardest part has been to resist the urge to look inside. You get a new perspective of trying to judge only by what you witness at the entrance. It is human nature these days to want instant gratification and opening a hive up you get that.  I did give in and did a quick peak on one that I thought might have been queenless since they slowed down.   Turned out the queen was just cutting back earlier than the rest.  You can definitely feel the heat and smell the scent above the quilt.   So far things have been going as expected, but will have a better opinion come spring.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Pond Creek Farm
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 566


Location: Republic, MO


« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 10:07:56 PM »

Isn't using starter strips on the top of frames in regular Lang frames essentially the same thing?  I have several boxes of natural comb started this way.  The only difference I see is the 8 frame set up and the quilt.  Of course, I may have missed something in that I did not study it closely. 
Logged

Brian
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 07:09:39 AM »

Isn't using starter strips on the top of frames in regular Lang frames essentially the same thing?  I have several boxes of natural comb started this way.  The only difference I see is the 8 frame set up and the quilt.  Of course, I may have missed something in that I did not study it closely. 

Essentially yes. It does use the concept of under supering or building comb below the existing comb, which is good. This allows the bees to draw brood comb, instead of honey comb above the brood chamber. But it's the way many build comb anyways with standard setup, natural comb, etc. I use this same concept in building natural comb in frames with no foundation.

The whole quilt thing is but yet another way, that has been used over the years in moisture control, and is nothing unique unto itself.

The whole, trapped heat concept is nothing new either. Yes, the concept is one I use, but I don't need an entire new hive design to take advantage of this. It's one of the reasons I do not use top entrances, like the notch in the inner cover. I use upper entrances, but they are different than top entrances.

One of the talking points about the warre hive, is that you should not open the hive but for couple times a year, etc. Which is crap to me in that beekeeping should be fun, educational, and beekeepers should be encouraged to open their hive every once in awhile. The way comb in stacked upon itself while making free hanging comb, makes inspections and opening the hive a real challenge as comb rips apart. It's no wonder you should open it as little as possible. Using under supering, while using natural comb in frames, is easily done with traditional hives with frames.

All the benefits of the Warre hive can be used and duplicated in other type hive arrangements, with better management and more practical arrangements.

But as with all things, beekeepers are always looking for a new mouse trap, something to set themselves apart, or willing to try new things. Yes, the concept and use of the Warre goes back hundreds of years. But there is nothing magical, nothing easier, and nothing worth getting excited about.

I have seen one first hand after much looking. I will be putting one on the farm for others to experience. But I will not be pushing these as some better way of beekeeping and hyping the crap out of them.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 07:17:06 AM »

Isn't using starter strips on the top of frames in regular Lang frames essentially the same thing? 

Not at all.  Warre hives are square and much smaller so that the cluster can span the whole width of the hive keeping it warm and eliminating condensation.  The idea is for the comb to be built to the walls so that there is no dead air space between the hive walls and frames.  This dead air space is cooler and causes condensation. Warre and many others feel that the invention of removable frames was perhaps the most detrimental thing man has done for modern beekeeping.  But Warre's management principles are just as important has the hive design.  Warre's principle is the nest heat, scent,  and humidity is the bees strongest defense and that opening up the hive disturbs these aspects of the bees defense and productivity.  Warre only suggests opening the top of the hive once a year in the fall to remove excess honey.  The remainder of the time all monitoring is done by observing the activity at the entrance.   Supering is done from the bottom by lifting the whole hive so not to disturb the nest heat, scent, and humidity.  Warre hives and principles are about the closet you are going to get to replicating the conditions of a feral colony.

I have 2 that I started in the spring,  and so far they have been quite interesting and I pleased.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 08:14:39 AM »

Robo,
I do not want to get into a debate with you. But maybe as you have time, you can explain the concept of marking queens as it relates to the scent importance of the Warre hive and how this fits into the replication of a feral hive.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 09:31:11 AM »

There is no correlation between marked queens and Warre hives.   If one follows Warre's protocol there is no need to mark a queen because you will never see her.  If one strictly follows Warre's principles,  one must be willing to have hives fail from queen issues just like ferals.  You will truly breed "survival of the fittest" and the goal would be that these "fittest" bees would produce "fitter" offsprings and you would capture swarms/make splits at a rate equal or higher than your loss rate.    Warre seemed to have no problem with creating increase.

But if one is going to practice continual "look, see, react" beekeeping and react based upon their ability to locate a queen, or try and save a hive with queen issues, than I strongly recommend marked queens.

FWIW, I started one Warre with a marked queen.  May be an interesting piece of data if I capture a swarm from it next year and it has a marked queen.  At least I know they didn't supersede her.   From a human standpoint, the non-existant scent of dried paint pales in comparison to the natural scent of the hive.


On a side note,  the hardest part of the Warre method is resisting the urge to open up the hive and take a peek.  But,  learning to evaluate the condition of the hive by monitoring the activity at the entrance is quite refreshing and relaxing.  We as humans have become some conditioned to wanting immediate answers regardless of the consequences.   I truly have taken a new perspective on this method of beekeeping.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 10:05:57 AM »

Interesting about the "fittest" comments. One of the points I have read that is with an endless amount of room below the brood chamber by adding a bottom box, that swarming would be suppressed. So, I am a bit confused about a rate of offsprings, etc., in relation to a Warre hive.

My comment about marking, was the fact that Warre had very clear ideas of hive scent. And I do not think that marking queens went into his ideas. I actually do not mark queens as I, like him, have very distinct ideas of hive smell and what constitutes "natural". And for someone to understand what Warre was promoting, it may fly against your "No good reason for unmarked queens", as at least for me, having a queen running around with a paint spot (and yes, giving off an odor) is a bit contradictory.

I admit my beekeeping methods are no more natural than Warre's, in that I do many things that are a bit different than what a hive does in the wild. But Warre, by taking off comb off the top and crushing and straining, is also not allowing the bees to achieve equilibrium as bees often times make comb based not just on need, but by time of the year and flow. I can agree with the benefits of new comb. But if you study how, when and why bees build comb as they do, you may see that taking comb off the top and replacing foundation strips below, may actually throw off the overall comb placement that the bees would naturally build in feral colony's if left completely alone.

I can see many of the benefits of what Warre has promoted. I just would rather have the same benefits or promote his ideas, but perhaps in manners that would allow beekeepers to enjoy, monitor, and take action, more than a single yearly hive inspection. Between mites, SHB, and many other issues that Warre NEVER encountered, I think having beekeepers more in tune with their hive than What Warre calls for, might be best. Taking a way of keeping bees of 200 years ago, and plugging that into today's beekeeping situation, may come with some problems that Warre never even dreamed of.

Getting back to the hive swarming, etc,. as mentioned by you.  The hive dimension chosen time and again by swarms, as programmed over millions of years, has been to be a tad larger than a deep standard box. Studies out of Cornell has shown this. So, for anyone to compare the swarming rate, or anything else in regards to "natural" this or that, in keeping bees in one box or another called a Warre hive, all miss badly as to what happens in nature and what bees would do themselves. By bottom supering and expanding the brood chamber, you already are not doing anything close to what would or could be called natural.

As for the genetics part, mother nature actually swarms most colonies 2 or 3 times per season in smaller feral colonies. Mother nature also culls very heavily. To catch a swarm from a hive, even if it's called a warre hive, is no guarantee of better genetics of "fitter bees". Yes, mother nature may take the weakest, but that is done in any hive, whether managed or not, based on many factors. But you do not get in my opinion any better stock by rolling the dice and assuming that better bees will come about due to the type hive you use. If one wants to distinguish differences of non-treating versus treating, and letting bees choose their own queens, than that can be points shown. But to take a colony from a Warre, one from a TBH, and one from a standard hive, and if all kept chem free, if all allowed to raise their own queens, than it could hardly be an advantage of a Warre hive unto itself. Your taking a concept about selection and genetics, and applying it to a Warre hive as an advantage. But that advantage can be given to many hives, without using Warre hives. You do not gain this one advantage by the simply fact you have a Warre hive.

Interesting discussion.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 11:22:25 AM »

Interesting about the "fittest" comments. One of the points I have read that is with an endless amount of room below the brood chamber by adding a bottom box, that swarming would be suppressed. So, I am a bit confused about a rate of offsprings, etc., in relation to a Warre hive.
It has been my observation that the majority of ferals (exception being weak ones) swarm every year regardless of the space they have.  Yes they will continue to build the current nest size if room permits, but by nature they will swarm first.  It is the natural way of reproduction and required to offset nests that perish.

Quote
My comment about marking, was the fact that Warre had very clear ideas of hive scent. And I do not think that marking queens went into his ideas. I actually do not mark queens as I, like him, have very distinct ideas of hive smell and what constitutes "natural".
I won't get into another debate, but we each can pick our own poisons and hopefully respect the others view.  My personal thoughts is a spot of dried paint is no worse than the "man made"  fondant with highly-processed HFCS that may contain trace amount of pesticides that you feel does not violate your definition of "natural",  but we have been through that before.


Quote
And for someone to understand what Warre was promoting, it may fly against your "No good reason for unmarked queens", as at least for me, having a queen running around with a paint spot (and yes, giving off an odor) is a bit contradictory.

Looks like you DO want a debate tongue


Quote
I admit my beekeeping methods are no more natural than Warre's, in that I do many things that are a bit different than what a hive does in the wild. But Warre, by taking off comb off the top and crushing and straining, is also not allowing the bees to achieve equilibrium as bees often times make comb based not just on need, but by time of the year and flow.
First of all, Warre is not a strict proponent of crush and strain,  but does provide descriptions and methods for those with access to an extractor.  With Warre's method of under-supering, the bees can build comb just as they would in nature and by whatever catalyst drives them to do so.

Quote
I can agree with the benefits of new comb. But if you study how, when and why bees build comb as they do, you may see that taking comb off the top and replacing foundation strips below, may actually throw off the overall comb placement that the bees would naturally build in feral colony's if left completely alone.
All my experience and observations of feral nest has been that if given a choice, they will start at the top and continue to build downwards.  If they are obstructed from building downwards, they will then go horizontal.

Quote
I can see many of the benefits of what Warre has promoted. I just would rather have the same benefits or promote his ideas, but perhaps in manners that would allow beekeepers to enjoy, monitor, and take action, more than a single yearly hive inspection.
Once again,  you are making assumptions about Warre's method.   Yes you can do a once a year inspection, but that is not what Warre promotes.  One can truely enjoy and monitor the bees as often as one likes WITHOUT disturbing them.  Take action assumes we know better than the bees.  If one want to get as close to nature as possible, you must let the bees be themselves.  Yes this is not for everyone,  but I think it is a much better fit for many of our members who are not into the commercialization of the bees and are just looking for that natural balance between human and bees.

There is a book "At the Hive Entrance" by Storch that explains how to evaluate the conditions inside the hive by observing the activities at the entrance.  Many folks here enjoy sitting by their hives and observing and find it very peaceful and relaxing.  It is entirely different than what we are conditioned to do as beekeepers. There is a certain zen-like quality to it. 

Quote
Between mites, SHB, and many other issues that Warre NEVER encountered, I think having beekeepers more in tune with their hive than What Warre calls for, might be best. Taking a way of keeping bees of 200 years ago, and plugging that into today's beekeeping situation, may come with some problems that Warre never even dreamed of.
Yup, and all brought onto the bee by man.   Funny thing is,  it has taken us how many years to come up with small cell or natural cell size as a defense for varroa.  I guess Warre was ahead of us on that.  What is it so easily discounted that retaining nest conditions wouldn't fight off other issues we see in modern day beekeeping,  all of which man induced?  Because it is no fun for us unless we can rip inside and look whenever we need the enjoyment?
Quote
Getting back to the hive swarming, etc,. as mentioned by you.  The hive dimension chosen time and again by swarms, as programmed over millions of years, has been to be a tad larger than a deep standard box. Studies out of Cornell has shown this. So, for anyone to compare the swarming rate, or anything else in regards to "natural" this or that, in keeping bees in one box or another called a Warre hive, all miss badly as to what happens in nature and what bees would do themselves.
Is that by volume or actual dimensions, I haven't seen any of these studies, but would be interested.  I don't know about the size of the trees where you live,  but the dimensions of the Warre hive better represent the trees in my neck of the woods.   Furthermore, Warre recognized the value of a cylindrical shape, but also recognized that it would not be feasible for the average person to construct. He was very clear on this and that his hive is not the "ideal" shape.

Quote
By bottom supering and expanding the brood chamber, you already are not doing anything close to what would or could be called natural.
Interesting.  My experience with ferals shows that they build from the top down and the brood nest is indeed expanded downward as nectar is stored at the top forcing the brood nest continually downward.  Then in winter they consume honey from the bottom up and start the progression downward again when spring comes.

Quote
As for the genetics part, mother nature actually swarms most colonies 2 or 3 times per season in smaller feral colonies. Mother nature also culls very heavily. To catch a swarm from a hive, even if it's called a warre hive, is no guarantee of better genetics of "fitter bees". Yes, mother nature may take the weakest, but that is done in any hive, whether managed or not, based on many factors. But you do not get in my opinion any better stock by rolling the dice and assuming that better bees will come about due to the type hive you use.
I was not trying to infer better bees because of the hive used.  My point was if you believe that ferals have better survival traits and your goal is to have feral-like bees,  then you need to let mother nature take control.   If mother nature culls heavily and takes the weakest, then over time what is left?

Quote
If one wants to distinguish differences of non-treating versus treating, and letting bees choose their own queens, than that can be points shown. But to take a colony from a Warre, one from a TBH, and one from a standard hive, and if all kept chem free, if all allowed to raise their own queens, than it could hardly be an advantage of a Warre hive unto itself.
How about not disturbing the nest and it conditions?  How about framed vs. frameless? That is the main advantage of the Warre.

Quote
Your taking a concept about selection and genetics, and applying ti to a Warre hive as an advantage. But that advantage can be given to many hives, without using Warre hives. You do not gain this one advantage by the simply fact you have a Warre hive.
I apologize if I led others to infer that,  that was not my intent.

Quote
Interesting discussion.

Yes, but it seems to be turning into a debate.   I'm not trying to convince anyone that the Warre hive is the "answer" nor do I need/want to debate it.  I have chosen to approach it with an open mind and have two Warre hives that I am learning from. People can decide for themselves what they view as important and keep bees as they choose. I'm just putting it out there as an alternate method,  if one doesn't agree that is their prerogative. If anyone wants further details on Warre's protocol and my experiences, they know how to contact me.

You can now have the last word Wink
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 12:04:06 PM »

Why thank you Robo... grin

I think the only points I'll add, is that I think you misunderstood my comments about comb placement. I realize bees build from the top down. (and then feed going back up through winter.) My comments were from the angle that after the first season, IF you are placing the comb back on top of the hive come spring, you are essentially just supering the Warre hive, and the advantages of under-supering (for swarm control, etc.) are essentially lost. And for those that plan on taking the top off and expand the chamber by under-supering, you are now not anything close to what the bees built in the first place, as the comb is now moved up, and supered from below.

This of course takes into account the understanding that bees build comb in regards to cell size based on several factors, including time of year, flow, and need. The point being, is for those that will take off the top supers and harvest them by crush and strain, then the comb pattern is drastically changed from what the bees originally built, as to location, etc. Of course for those placing the supers back on the hive after extracting and storing them for the season (The warre hive is to winter in a smaller configuration without supers or extra space) then the advantages under-supering in my opinion are lost to some degree.

So contracting, changing the location of comb, and expanding the hive in the spring, can hardly be called natural. I know some want to call it "more" natural, but that's just semantics at best. None of that happens in feral colonies. So for any claims of natural or simulating feral colony design, is in my opinion hyping and marketing at best.

The studies about swarms were conducted by Dr, Thomas Seeley from Cornell, in the 1970's. Ironically, from the same state you are from.

Picking a debate....not really. I am very flexible to other opinions. Your statement that there is no reason for unmarked queens, leaves no flexibility. And my point is that for a system such as the Warre hive design and what Warre promoted, then marked queens are hardly needed or justified. He had very clear ideas about hive scent and mimicking a natural hive. I Just find it ironic, thats all. Of course we all pick our poisons. I'm just glad you acknowledge it is a poison....  grin

I'll choose another day to discuss your IMO "assumption" in regards to small cell... shocked

And of course I will not feel badly if you go last, or continue to discuss..... (afterall, it's not about me or you...it's about others reading an ongoing discussion and learning new viewpoints and expanding their knowledge base.)
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Paraplegic Racehorse
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 146

Location: Richland, Benton County, Washington State

Kilted beekeepers unite!


WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 03:02:44 PM »

Wow! It really does look like a good fight brewing. Wink

First, Warre was still experimenting with Langstroth, Layens, Dadant and other hive types during WW-1, so a claim that his hive has been around for hundreds of years is absurd. Let's keep that in mind.

Next, if we actually READ the book, we'll note that he DID experiment with "traditional" framed hives and found his to be better, particularly in terms of winter-stores consumption. (16-20kg stores, Lang; 20-24kg Dadant or Layens, if I remember the numbers correctly; 12-14kg Warre)

Warre was NOT all about "natural" beekeeping, else he would not have had hives, he would have visited the local "bee tree" for his honey. In his book, he continually espouses the benefits of SKEPS even over and above his own hive design. His hive was designed specifically to be as easy to manage (if not more so) as a skep. Its horizontal dimensions, while square instead of round, are very similar to skeps - about 30cm "diameter" with a similar number of combs.

He does state that foulbrood and other diseases - which WERE known at the time, BTW - were very rare in skeps, and more common in framed hives, which is part of why he set out to design his hive. Ease of management while maintaining profitability for the commercial beekeeper and reduction of illness. He believed he had achieved all of these aims and may well have done so - at that time. We, of course, have "new" illnesses since his death. Parasitic mites, CCD and a host of other nastiness plague our hives. Some claim that going back to small or "natural" cell size is The Answer, and this has proven to have merit, but it clearly has not proven to be The Answer as Dee Lusby and others have discovered with their massive losses in the last few years. Others claim "helping" the bees with assortment of chemical inputs is The Answer and, also, have shown us that this is not the one true way. The people's hive is probably also not the One True Way or The Answer or whatever you want, just as TBHs are not The Answer and One True Way.

Incidentally, Warre never wrote about marking queens. Also, while he did touch on it lightly in his book, preserving nest scent was not heavily commented on (see Christ for that). What WAS heavily commented on was preservation of cluster temperature, surface areas needing to be heated for various uses and the benefits of a more narrow hive-body. Remember, bees prefer to eat UP, not sideways. How many of us have found a dead cluster in the spring at the very top of the hive only centimeters away from plentiful stores off to the side? The requirement to search sideways for winter stores is eliminated with a more narrow hive. AND heat bleeds away from the cluster - sideways - INSIDE the hive more slowly.

And, yes, the size of tree boles in my area are more consistent with the Warre horizontal dimensions than any other hive type. In this regard, I do think he got it right in terms of emulation of feral nests. However, it has also been shown time and again that swarms will choose to build a nest ANYWHERE they can fit - gas tanks, gables, chimneys, tree boles, rock hollows, you name it - so that argument really is moot.
Logged

I'm Paraplegic Racehorse.
Member in good standing: International Discordance of Kilted Apiarists, Local #994

The World Beehive Project - I endeavor to build at least one of every beehive in common use today and document the entire process.
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 03:33:53 PM »

Quote
Incidentally, Warre never wrote about marking queens. Also, while he did touch on it lightly in his book, preserving nest scent was not heavily commented on (see Christ for that). What WAS heavily commented on was preservation of cluster temperature, surface areas needing to be heated for various uses and the benefits of a more narrow hive-body. Remember, bees prefer to eat UP, not sideways. How many of us have found a dead cluster in the spring at the very top of the hive only centimeters away from plentiful stores off to the side? The requirement to search sideways for winter stores is eliminated with a more narrow hive. AND heat bleeds away from the cluster - sideways - INSIDE the hive more slowly.


A good arguement for 8 frame verses 10 frame.  I've had bees starve in exactly that senerio too often with 10 frame equipment and never with 8 frame.  If they died out due to starvation in an 8 frame it was from lack of stores in relation to cluster size.  The cluster size to stores ratio is critical.  I've successfully overwintered small clusters in a 2 medium 5 frame nuc configuration.  Volume of hive can also be a critical component as the more square the box the more likely it is to find stores at the outer edges in a starved hive. 

Warre had a lot of good ideas, but in my experience the "ideal hive" would be an adaptation to 12 inch cubes and stacked 2-3 high and harvested like a TBH.  Open bottomed and small vent at the top.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 03:57:31 PM »

PR,
Geesh, has it come to this? Of course Warre hives have not been around hundreds of years. But the concept and the use of hives very similar to what Warre promoted has been. I guess I need to be  clear that it was the concept of his hive, and not the actual hives owned by Warre himself, that goes back hundreds of years.

And I'm not debating whether Warre painted queens. Although I guess it's nice that it has been noted that he did not mention it. My comments were along the lines of attempting to keep bees as Warre did, or in some better manner, all the while slapping paint on the back of queens, is a bit contradicted.

As for bees/swarms building in about anything they can find, is not moot. It perhaps shows a lack of suitable old growth habitat. (to which has been seen from anything from bees to eastern blue birds) But like I said, studies, if you would actually read them (I'll follow your lead and assume it not read yet) has clearly shown that bees will favor a specific size hive if adequate options are presented to them.

As for Warre comments about cluster heat and retention, I have been expressing this concept for quite awhile, while having it thrown in my face for years about the cluster NOT heating the hive, etc. Trapped cluster heat, especially in late winter and early spring is used by the bees to their advantage. Oversized hives of very unnatural volumes are detrimental to a hives operation. And it was the same  studying of feral hives and swarms, and the studies noted above, that led me to many of the same observations on the matter. I use many of these same concepts, with my other type of hives, even if they are not Warre hives.

Brian, I agree with your 8 frame comments.

Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 05:39:27 PM »

My comments were from the angle that after the first season, IF you are placing the comb back on top of the hive come spring, you are essentially just supering the Warre hive, and the advantages of under-supering (for swarm control, etc.) are essentially lost. And for those that plan on taking the top off and expand the chamber by under-supering, you are now not anything close to what the bees built in the first place, as the comb is now moved up, and supered from below.

This of course takes into account the understanding that bees build comb in regards to cell size based on several factors, including time of year, flow, and need. The point being, is for those that will take off the top supers and harvest them by crush and strain, then the comb pattern is drastically changed from what the bees originally built, as to location, etc. Of course for those placing the supers back on the hive after extracting and storing them for the season (The warre hive is to winter in a smaller configuration without supers or extra space) then the advantages under-supering in my opinion are lost to some degree.

So contracting, changing the location of comb, and expanding the hive in the spring, can hardly be called natural. I know some want to call it "more" natural, but that's just semantics at best. None of that happens in feral colonies. So for any claims of natural or simulating feral colony design, is in my opinion hyping and marketing at best.

You would always under-super whether you extract or not.    Actually the older feral colonies that I have dealt with all seem to abandon the comb at the top over time and move down.  I can't say why, whether do to pest robbing honey or just the comb being too old for there liking,  but it seems that all these older ferals had just remnants of  damaged comb and lots of propolized wax moth cocoons at the top of their nest.  So although the comb is not moving per se,  the top of the usable comb does change.

Quote
Your statement that there is no reason for unmarked queens, leaves no flexibility.
If you had been around here longer, you might understand it and not take it so literal.  So many of the "issues" that beginners/hobbyist seem to worry about could be avoided if they only had marked queens.  I have no problem if someone elects not to mark their queens,  my only point is that it makes the hobbyist/beginners life so much easier.  I'm sure you disagree, but hey,  people requeening, perceived queenless, queenright hives is good for business.  Say that 5 times fast.

Quote
I'll choose another day to discuss your IMO "assumption" in regards to small cell... shocked

You don't have to take that up with me,  I'm not a small cell zealot,  but there are others here who will surely "discuss" it with you.   I'm not here trying to sell anything to anybody.  Everyone can choose as they like.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 06:19:30 PM »

>>>>> (Robo) You don't have to take that up with me,  I'm not a small cell zealot,  but there are others here who will surely "discuss" it with you.   

But what fun would that be.  grin I'd rather have you to discuss it. You sound as if you know what your talking about... shocked

Good for business??? I bet at least 50% of the people who contact me, I talk out of ordering queens AFTER I ask them some basic questions on the phone. It's a nice slant, but if you are suggesting my whole take in suggesting NOT marking queens, is some attempt to increase my business, your dead wrong. Since I turn down at least twice as many orders as I can fill for queens, it's a laughable proposition. But nice try. On the other site, the past two years, with an in place market that would buy any amount of queens posted, I sold two 5 queen lots the past two years. This was from a better than expected queen take and I had a few extra. And I actually had made it a point NOT to seek a market via on-line forums, as they generally are a pain in the butt to deal with, and I openly stated this as such several times. And having an open contract with two large pollination operations to buy any amount of queens I can send them, really makes worrying about some hobbyist marking a queen in some attempt to sell a queen, really laughable.

Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Paraplegic Racehorse
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 146

Location: Richland, Benton County, Washington State

Kilted beekeepers unite!


WWW
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2008, 07:24:35 PM »

A good arguement for 8 frame verses 10 frame.

Unfortunately, when I ordered my langs two years ago, I got 10-frame instead of the 8-frame boxes I ordered, so I've had to live with what I have since I chose not to completely waste my investment. Freight to Alaska cost more than the woodenware, so I couldn't just send it back and ask for the right stuff. Sad

And, yes, I am keeping my Langs around. I actually want to compare performance with the Warre, not switch wholesale to something essentially un-tested. 

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
Warre had a lot of good ideas, but in my experience the "ideal hive" would be an adaptation to 12 inch cubes and stacked 2-3 high and harvested like a TBH. Open bottomed and small vent at the top.

Oddly enough, this very nearly describes the Warre. 30cm square (internal) = about 11 7/8 inches. The height thing is merely due to noticing that 40cm heights often had brood in the bottom of the combs when trying to harvest. Precisely how he decided to cut down to 20cm (+10mm for bar support), as opposed to 30cm is not really explained in his book. Maybe you should build an ideal hive or two and see how they perform as compared to your langs.

Quote from: BjornBee
My comments were along the lines of attempting to keep bees as Warre did, or in some better manner, all the while slapping paint on the back of queens, is a bit contradicted.

Okay. Sorry for my confusion. As an aside, I never mark my queens. It just seems an awful lot of wasted effort when I can see evidence of her presence by looking for properly laid eggs in the cells or watching for incoming pollen at the entrance. I think finding the queen is stressed too much in beginner books and classes.

Quote from: BjornBee
As for Warre comments about cluster heat and retention, I have been expressing this concept for quite awhile, while having it thrown in my face for years about the cluster NOT heating the hive, etc. Trapped cluster heat, especially in late winter and early spring is used by the bees to their advantage.

I agree! I agree! While, at the same time, disagree ... sort of. I think the cluster does not heat the whole hive. I do think, however, that when the cluster heats the area it needs to heat, much of that heat escapes into the large amounts of air around the cluster until it reaches some insulative layer such as the wooden wall of the hive. In hives with a small cross-section (round, square, rectangular, trapezoidal, who cares?) less of this heat would be "lost" to the surrounding air which is not intended to be heated. In this sense, it is both true and false that the winter cluster does not heat the whole hive. Escaped (from the cluster) but trapped (by the hive-wall) cluster heat is certainly used by the colony to its advantage. It certainly makes it easier to heat a larger area to raise larger and larger brood patches in. It certainly allows the bees to feed less because they expend less energy maintaining the cluster temperature.

And, while I have not read, in depth, those studies you cited, I did skim them well enough to get the general gist of the papers and I cannot (nor would I) dispute the claims therein.
Logged

I'm Paraplegic Racehorse.
Member in good standing: International Discordance of Kilted Apiarists, Local #994

The World Beehive Project - I endeavor to build at least one of every beehive in common use today and document the entire process.
Pond Creek Farm
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 566


Location: Republic, MO


« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 07:29:07 PM »

A few questions: ( I am learning and not advancing a position by rhetorical questions, so please do not take this as any challenge to a position or philosophy)

(1) As with many things in beekeeping, I am ignorant of the whole bottom supering issue.  I see that a Warre hive would be supered from the bottom.  That is, the entire unit is lifted and a new box with bars and strips is inserted into the assembly.  To do this with a Lang set up, I would take each box off separately and then restack.  I am guessing from your posts that this would be contraindicated with a Warre hive due to damaging comb.  Do you recommend unstacking the boxes and restacking or trying to lift the whole assembly as a unit?  The latter approach seems like it would be quite heavy.

(2)Is bottom supering with Lang equipment a good idea too?  If so, why?  Has the common practice of top supering simply been a matter of time and convenience?

(3)  Does Brian's 8 frame method address the retained heat issue as well as the access to stores issue?  I note that both Brian Bray and Michael Bush both advance natural cell with 8 frame equipment and both post good results.  It would seem, at lest in their experience, that the space between the frame and the hive body is not a significant source of heat loss (or at least not a source that has proven detrimental on a widescale basis).  

(4)  Is there a negative effect of hive heat on the pests and diseases that plague the bees, or is the heat issue simply a matter of keeping them warm and conserving energy?


ps.  I will comment on the marked queen thing just for kicks and am wide open for criticism here.  I am a new beekeeper and have had an instance of queenlessness and countless occasions of opening the hive, not seeing a queen and then wondering if I am queenless. Robo's position has great merit for me.  I would love to able to see that dot when I am tearing into a hive to learn ( a practice I believe Bjorn advances as a good thing to do for folks like me).  Perhaps a dot on a queen is no big threat or perhaps it is, but in the end, I feel the relative threat of the paint to the queen versus the threat of me to the bees when I am concerned about not seeing a queen or not learning from my encounters with the queen is small.  I hope to grow to the point that I do not need the paint ( I don't have any now, but I wish I did) and then, I will likely follow Bjorn's advice on the subject.  Through his marked queen position, Rob is, I believe, simply helping to advance the craft among beginners, and Bjorn is challenging the intermediates to grow beyond the need for the paint.  I appreciate you both.  Thanks.
Logged

Brian
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2008, 07:56:21 AM »

Quote
(1) As with many things in beekeeping, I am ignorant of the whole bottom supering issue.  I see that a Warre hive would be supered from the bottom.  That is, the entire unit is lifted and a new box with bars and strips is inserted into the assembly.  To do this with a Lang set up, I would take each box off separately and then restack.  I am guessing from your posts that this would be contraindicated with a Warre hive due to damaging comb.  Do you recommend unstacking the boxes and restacking or trying to lift the whole assembly as a unit?  The latter approach seems like it would be quite heavy.
[\quote]
It is not so much of damaging comb because you can use a wire to separate supers.  It is the whole principle of opening up the hive and disturbing the nest.  Warre advocates lifting the stack without disturbing the bees.  The Warre hive is much smaller than a Langstroth so it is easier to get your hands around.  Warre also recommends supering in the spring when the hive is at it's lightest.   Some Warre keepers have built portable lifts to jack the hives and insert new supers underneath.

Quote
(2)Is bottom supering with Lang equipment a good idea too?  If so, why?  Has the common practice of top supering simply been a matter of time and convenience?


Convenience and time are probably the biggest contributors. 

Quote
(3)  Does Brian's 8 frame method address the retained heat issue as well as the access to stores issue?  I note that both Brian Bray and Michael Bush both advance natural cell with 8 frame equipment and both post good results.  It would seem, at lest in their experience, that the space between the frame and the hive body is not a significant source of heat loss (or at least not a source that has proven detrimental on a widescale basis).  


Perhaps not significant, but any dead air space will be cooler than the cluster and the inside of the hive body will collect condensation and then possibly mold.  Eight frame does not eliminate this because you still have the dead air space between the frame ends and hive body. This is one reason why some believe frames are detrimental.

Quote
(4)  Is there a negative effect of hive heat on the pests and diseases that plague the bees, or is the heat issue simply a matter of keeping them warm and conserving energy?


You sure your not looking to stir up another hornets nest Wink

Here is some info to ponder -> http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,16851.0.html

My observation has been that I have never come across a single feral colony that wasn't sealed up tight except for an entrance. Of course I can't say it is solely for heat retention,  it could be a combination of things like scent and humidity, or even something we don't even know about.

Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6390


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2008, 08:10:20 AM »

Good for business???

I admit that was a little pretentious on my part.  Sometimes I get a little worked up in these discussions rolleyes


I still maintain that a marked queen reduces a lot the stress and issues for the beginner/hobbyist and the bees.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2008, 09:32:25 AM »

Brian,

I'll address #4, as I will type a book tackling all 4 at one time...and who wants that....  rolleyes

There is not a negative affect on the pests and diseases directly. But it does effect them in so many ways.

First let me say this....

I have studied many feral colonies, and what many have in common is a smaller cavity than what we keep. (If they have a choice, then they will select smaller cavities over larger ones. But I think a lack of old growth trees and a loss of habitat does effect that in that they take what they can get sometimes) They also (again, shown in studies) favor a bottom entrance. In feral colonies, (where beekeepers do not have the opportunity to break the propolis seal every week) they will have the upper part of the chamber sealed tight. Keeping in mind that the R-value in most large old growth forest trees (the ones that probably programmed the bees over millions of years, keeping mind bees came from traditional warmer climates years ago) is more than the 3/4 inch wood we build hives with, and the benefit and advantage of this trapped heat is much greater than what we provide them in our hives. (which is why in theory, I think Warre was correct about heat loss. Although I disagree about opening the hive in summer when it is 90 degrees and claims that this hurts the hive, etc, as Warre claimed or suggested)

So this heat, from an early timeframe of the year is used by the bees to save resources, maintain a larger brood area, and raise new bees faster. *And for anyone who raises nucs, it can easily be seen by taking two frames of bees and placing them into a five frame nuc, and another two frames in a ten frame box. The two frames will expand to 5 frames much faster in the five frame nuc. And it all has to do with the smaller area of the box and the benefits of that trapped heat.

That heat is also shown by the benefits and advantages in things like hive placement. Again, studies have shown that hives in full sun, and in the morning sun in particular, will be more productive, have less stress diseases such as SAC, chalk, etc. The sooner the cluster can break, the faster they can get on with their duties of the hive. Many think that is just nectar collection and foraging. But those duties also include housecleaning, grooming, pest removal, etc. Full sun hives will work early in the morning, later in the evening, earlier in the spring, and later in the fall.

Hives that can not expand fast enough in spring, and must concentrate on duties such as prolonged heating of the cluster and brood, will be less productive, have more pest issues, and have more disease issues on average.

There is a reason why nature has bees go up in the winter and not down. By looking at the natural size of the cavity that bees prefer, this allows the bees to be in a position come late winter and early spring, to best take advantage of this trapped heat, and to utilize it's benefits. That is why having extra boxes, and empty comb, above the brood chamber is not a good idea. And neither is having unnatural amounts of extra boxes of honey, while thinking you are doing them a favor. (another point that Warre was correct about, in having the bees overwinter in smaller volume hives - which is in line with feral colonies and what nature has selected.

The bees are designed or programmed to use much of what they store, be at the top of the chamber come late winter, benefit from trapped heat, and be in a position to raise unlimited amounts of brood as they expand downwards, while storing honey above. And it is the beekeeper that feeds way beyond whats needed, and uses poor manipulation management, that screws all this up. I'm not against doing manipulations, but with the knowledge of what the bees are telling you or have shown you, I think understanding this should be used to a beekeepers advantage.

Warre was correct about hive heat, trapped heat, and such. I just do not take it to the point that opening the hive is as detrimental as Warre suggested. I agree with his concepts of what he has seen in nature, just disagree with his practical approach and what he calls for.

I'm not suggesting that mites will be handled by the mere fact that you have Warre hive. But if you understand the benefits that he was stating (keep in mind - He had NO mites), and couple these IPM strategies, and add others such as Brood breaks, the benefits of young queens, having the best stock you can, and eliminating detrimental issues that many times are just beekeeper ignorance induced....together, they all add up to a beekeeping experience that is successful, and rewarding....and many times outside the box of traditional treatments and the yearly loss that many experience.

Someone once posted photos of infrared pictures of a hive. It clearly had shown the hive cluster position and the outside cluster temp. as well as the trapped heat at the top of the hive. Maybe someone knows where to find these pictures.

And why there is a need for someone to distinguish whether bees purposely heat the hive, or the heat is a byproduct of convenience, is lost on me. The fact is, bees use trapped heat to their advantage, they seek out smaller cavities if given a choice, many time seal the top shut, and are in a position dictated by selection criteria over millions of years, to take advantage of this trapped heat, giving them the best chance to fight disease, raise more brood, be more productive and maintain hive health. It seems a bit more than by chance, that this happens. And it should not be minimized by suggesting they do not do this intentionally. They can not do it because of beekeeper induced situations they can not overcome, but if they had their way, using their own created trapped heat is clearly shown to be an item they understand and use to the fullest extent.

Hope this helps.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 2.051 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page July 11, 2014, 12:00:35 PM
anything