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Author Topic: Warre Hive Dimensions  (Read 4055 times)
Tyro
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« on: January 18, 2010, 09:37:59 PM »

I am thinking about spending some time in the wood shop building a Warre Hive in order to make the winter pass a bit quicker.

I have found some websites with construction dimensions and all are smaller than standard Langstroth dimensions.  I am interested in trying to keep bees in this hive design, but I don't really want another hive that isn't compatible with the majority of my equipment.

Is there a functional benefit to the traditional Warre dimensions that I don't know about?  Information that I have collected makes reference to the interior being smaller, thus requiring less stores to keep warm in winter.  Can the design be built to Lang dimensions and house bees successfully?

Thanks
Mike
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 09:55:21 PM by Tyro » Logged
BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 08:43:54 AM »

If you want equipment compatible to your other hives (frames), you could always opt for 8 frame boxes. This will not be as small as the Warre in size, but it's a step in that direction if that is what you want.

Not sure if the smaller size really makes the difference in using less stores to keep warm. If the bees are two boxes from the top, regardless of any type box, I would think they use about the same amount of honey.

I think the smaller space (width) means less travel side to side, and in addition to the design of the hive itself, makes heat retention increase as compared to a traditional hive.

Limiting moisture issues, heat retention, and other factors are important to hive health. I personally, have commented about the use and negative impact for top entrances. The Warre hive does use a quilt and shavings, but anyone who has a Warre, knows they propolize that top very air tight. (as they do with feral colonies, to which they will always choose lower entrances) Warre at least nailed it on the head in regards to heat retention and a sealed (unopened) hive. Why some run a round and suggest top entrances is a mystery to me.

I have commented some observations both good and bad on our website. You can read them here...

http://www.bjornapiaries.com/warre-hive.html
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Tyro
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 09:19:32 AM »

Mike,

I read your info on the Warre hive.  I like your idea of 8 frame Langstroth dimensions for a Warre and, I have another question, if you don't mind:  You mention that inspections are difficult because the comb is built foundationless and typically glued to the bars below.  Do you think this could be reduced (and successful) if standard frames (with bottom bars) were used without any foundation in the frames?  My thinking is that this would allow the bees to draw foundationless frames but provide a lower limit to foundation building at the bottom bar.

Thanks again.

Mike
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »

Absolutely. I use foundationless frames in many types of hives.

But.....where should one just abandon the whole Warre concept, in favor of just another hive altogether?

I built the Warre as per the established protocol. And I guess each needs to modify as one See's fit.

I think a smaller hive, such as an 8 frame hive with standard frames, foundationless, moisture control and NO upper entrance, and even under supering....gives you many of the advantages that Warre spoke of, but yet allows standard equipment, and an ease of management with removable frames, etc.

I think the problem I see, is the following of rigid protocol as Warre outlined. I would rather see others learn from his writings, while implementing specific advantages into more manageable hive designs. I think Warre hive had many great observations. But for some of the positives, there are some negatives involved. So for each of these items, is it important to be so rigid that perhaps small changes would be beneficial, yet lost on the fact that some say that these changes "might" change something so drastic to make it useless? I don't think so. To suggest that it is stressful for bees when the hive is opened, may be correct. But does that mean we need to totally skip the enjoyment of opening a hive and showing a visitor the bees? What I like to think, is that we should be aware of the damage we do to hives by our manipulations, etc., and tailor our practices to minimize them. But not totally go off the deep end by suggesting detrimental damage will happen each and every time we open a hive.

The Warre hive purists may not like this approach, but I think that is the best approach.
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 09:51:54 AM »

Well, there are at least two ways to learn from Warre.

If one wants 'the' Warre experience, then one should stick with his 'pure' form.

If one just wants to take what they feel are the ideas that fit thier needs and interests best and adapt those to the way they currently keep bees, I don't think that's out of the question at all either.

It's something else though to just cherrypick Warre's methods and management then turn around and tell people you are running a Warre hive.  that is not accurate.

Learn what you can where you can and take those things that fit your style and needs and helps you be the most successful.

just my two cent,

Big Bear
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Tyro
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 10:27:59 AM »

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!

Mike


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