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Author Topic: Low Maintenance Beekeeping - are Warre hives the answer?  (Read 2200 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 5

Location: Newfoundland

« on: July 03, 2010, 03:51:39 PM »


I live in Newfoundland and can obtain the nuclei for two hives the middle of this month. Because I travel in the late fall to early spring, I want to do this only if there is a way to keep bees that involves no to little maintenance during those months.

I have read several claims on the internet that the Warre hive design will not only let me achieve this objective, but encourages non-interference except at harvest time. My questions are, is this true and is there any other design which will achieve the same thing?

To anticipate, perhaps I should add that Newfoundland's winter is not as harsh as you might think, and the province has not been affected by the parasites, etc. that are an issue on the mainland.


House Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 127

Location: St. Clair Co, Missouri

« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2010, 04:53:57 PM »

IF you're getting nucs they are most likely set up for langstroth style hives.   I can't imagine trying to convert a langstroth frame to a warre hive.   they have different specs. 

For low maintenance during the fall/winter you shouldn't be doing much of anything with a hive anyway.  The less you disturb a cluster the better. 

There are several styles of beekeeping, and many beekeepers who advocate a less is best philosophy.  If you want a hive or ten in the yard with little effort on your part you can do it, especially during the off nectar seasons.   Even during the spring/summer if you have enough stacked up boxes you could get away with it.  Your hive mortality might be different, you might not know what is going on in the hive at any point in time, or may loose swarms, but all beeks loose hives eventually. 

Go with whatever style feels right to you.  Smiley 

Charla Hinkle
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 6436

Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!

« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2010, 05:02:10 PM »

Well,  even a Langstroth requires little to no intervention from late Fall until early Spring.  I guess it depends on what you want to get out of beekeeping.  If your not looking to have any interaction with the bees and observing the inside of the colony,which by the way is very addictive,  than a Warre hive is the perfect type.  But you must be content with doing all your observing from the outside.

I have a Warre hive amongst my collection and it has done remarkably well with no intrusions on my part.  I do enjoy the challenge of monitoring it from the entrance and trying to correlate what is happening on the inside against my other hives.

Good luck...

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

Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 3773

Location: Lewisberry, PA

« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2010, 05:50:58 PM »

Here is our observations on the Warre hives....
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New Bee
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Posts: 5

Location: Newfoundland

« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2010, 06:06:33 PM »

Hi Bjornbees,

I read your really helpful page on these hives before posting this. What's your view on the maintenance question vis a vis Langstroth hives?

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