>>* Facilitate natural beekeeping. Bees build the broodnest their way.
>Ummmm...does anyone really think that making a box for bees is the 'natural' way, regardless of the type of box? Plus, the bees are still being 'guided' as to where to build the comb, so they are really not building it 'their way'.
But not guided on what size cell to build. So they will build comb their way.
Tautz mentions that honeybees substantially the same as today's have been around 30-odd million years. This monkey man would never presume to tell a Bien how to build its comb; I think they've got it down by now, and don't need the "help" of embossed foundation -- I know I don't need the expense & bother.
That said, the Warré topbar with a little wax prompt is cheap, easy, and an effective compromise that discourages wavy comb which makes the state inspector raise his eyebrows.
>>* Inexpensive. Cost $30 versus $200 for a standard hive
>I just built 3 TBHs and the cost of the wood was about $40/hive.
But if you scrounge lumber from a construction site you could probably build it for free.
The initial capital expenditure for my Warré building was pretty high starting from scratch, but the per-hive cost is low. The greatest challenge was building with lower-grade cupped lumber that could have used a good planing, something I have no budget for at present.
>>* No extracting equipment needed.
>The crush and strain is very messy as well.
As is extraction.
I''ve found some cider or wine presses that might work off the shelf for small-scale work. Some have claimed (sorry, no URLs -- ban for this forum newbee is not lifted yet) that honey that has been flung against the side of a rotary extractor is inferior to that that has been crush 'n' strained.
But with a Warré we're not concerned with reusing comb -- something to think about with disease & wax contamination. Whack comb off the topbars, slap the 'bars back in place, redeploy box almost immediately by subbing ("under-supering"). No frames, no foundation ($$), no decappers (just a knife to cut out brood & pollen -- if desired) no fancy high-speed extractors.
Downside is that with Warrés it's presently DIY with higher capital costs because nobody makes optimized honeycomb crusher-extractors, and precious few offer Warrés off the shelf. Sure, a carpenter might be convinced to make a hive set, but one I RFQed wanted $300 in qty 12, and that was unfinished with butt-jointed fab; not a long-life hive compared to fingerjointed Langs et al.
So I made my own, adapted to US measures & lumber from the metric proto plans available online. Fingerjointed, sealed & traditionally finished w/ linseed-pinetar, nonmagnetic fasteners to avoid field gradients that disrupt comb orientation & navigation... been fun & totally different so far. Can't wait till this spring!