Well, my motivations for trying it are strictly recreational. I would like to see how bees do in a Warre (or modified Warre design), but I am also a hobby beekeeper with a limit on the amount of time/money I can spend on bees. I can't really have hives that are 'conversation pieces' that are limited in their ability to contribute to the overall productivity of my yard. I have a top bar hive and, while that is certainly fun and educational, I built it outside of Lang dimensions, so when it is going strong - I can't use it to boost my slower hives; when it is weak, it is on its own.
That limits its utility towards my overall endeavors. In order to save time and money, anything within which I keep bees, has to be compatible with my dominant equipment - which is standard Langstroth.
Mike - I like the idea of 8-frame Lang dimensions for a modified Warre hive with standard, foundationless frames. This limits the amount of new construction (mostly just boxes - as I run 10 frame equipment otherwise) and keeps all my hives compatible with one another. It will also give me an opportunity to evaluate the performance Warre ideas (quilt, undersupering, etc.) in my climate.
I also understand your point regarding upper entrances - I can only tell you my limited experiences to date, I ran only bottom entrances when I first got here and had high losses. I am now using the ventilated inner cover (built from plans on www.honeyrunapiaries.com
) which has a top front entrance and, to date - I have lost only one hive and the others seem to be going strong. Now, that doesn't eliminate the possibility that I am doing/have done something else incredibly wrong that contributed to my high, previous losses, as well. Unfortunately though, each winter for me is a 'process of elimination' experiment, so I will see how they are in March!