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Author Topic: The Daniel's creel : a radical improvement in Warre pioneering method  (Read 2584 times)

Offline DocBB

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let me introduce you  the Daniel's creel

Daniel is a recently retired beekeeper which used this method on various type of hives and has decribed the method and the device on a french Warreist forum

It s an improvement of the method of total transfer of the hive initially described by Abbé Warré which called it "méthode héroïque" and was translated by "pioneering method" in the English version available on D. heaf website  The principle is simple, it involves transferring the whole cluster in new clean elements, bodies, bars or frames. This causes the renewal of beeswax and a complete (or nearly) elimination of parasites present in the brood. It significantly reduces the swarming of the colony.
An additional treatment with formic acid (FA) in the new hive , can eliminate 90% of the mites present in the cluster.

the principle:
When the honey flow starts, colonies are in the swarming period, the presence of brood in the hives is not very important. The girls are very active and suddenly, we remove everything. They find themselves in empty boxes.
The wax workers will immediately begin to build, the queen, with no more place to lay, stops laying, nurses which do not know what to do with the royal jelly they produce, feed then all the bees with it, foragers are in partial unemployment, then everybody goes to work to build quickly, boosted by royal jelly distributed by the nurses.
Milestones for the transfer:
• Out-wintering on 2 elements. - Start of the nectar flow in the first days of March on goat willow (great sallow) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
• 1st dandelion flowers • 10-15 April: Add to the bottom of two empty elements on all hives, so they are on 4 bodies.
• 1st buttons Hawthorn early May: Checking buildings.
• Flowering hawthorn + / - 15 May: Add 2 bodies (under) before transferring (after removal of the first element filled with honey).
For strong colonies give them on the whole 5 bodies , 4 for medium and lowest 3.
Place the bee escape under the first element at the top, put a piece of queen excluder at the entrance in order to avoid the queen escaping from hive....or install the creel (see below) .
The next morning, no more girls in the first element.
- Remove the cover, cushion covers or frames.
- Remove the first element -> (isolate in) trash bag.
- Smoke quickly and generously the second element. The girls quickly get down into the lower elements.
- Remove the 2nd and if builded the 3rd element  -> trash bag (!! carefully close to avoid robbery).
- Then place back cushion and with feeder roof to help restart. (specially in case of bad weather :  feed).
Then everybody goes in "et voila" !
The duration of the transfer is very short, the bees have only one , maximum two hive bodies to leave to find themselves in brand new empty elements.
The bees who are in the creel, usually come back home quickly.
(You may give them a little honey in an body to encourage them to come back)
If you don't want to wait, you can pour them in the top (empty) body using the creel as a funnel.
If they are clustered (outside) on the net , they return to the hive without problems as soon as it is removed.
Then the hive is placed on 5 or 6 bodies following the buildings (in the case of the Warré hive be aware that they build a lot and very quickly ! )

You may also treat the cluster with formic acid (10 to 20 ml of 60% solution on a sponge on the floor for a day , redo it in case of strong infestation) with no dammage to the brood as there is no  brood no more !

For smoking , no particular method (enough, with a good white smoke) but you can also help you with an leaf blower (use it nicely).
Destruction of the brood and waxes:
The former hive is in the plastic bag : if in the first body honey is sealed it can be harvested. Otherwise it is given back to the girls (in a feeder to avoid robbery).
For others parts, they have to be sulfured to destroy brood and parasites. Waxes are also destroyed by fire (or melted). In any case, nor wax nor brood are reused for bees.
Then leave the girls alone until late June or early July for harvesting first element.

Harvest late July early August the 2nd or 3rd element. If it is not sealed, leave it to the bees.
The last body below is not often occupied only a few early buildings are found, depending on the strength of the colony. It will provide an "sanitary" underfloor space.
usually 2 bodies are builded, the third being to be completed and the fourth (which it is built and not completed will be removed at the  fall visit  (and reposionned back in spring).
2 bodies on the 3rd (3rd = underfloor space).

The creel:
To prevent bees from spreading everywhere, Daniel has invented kind of a creel which adapts on the entrance hole.
When smoking, the bees come and stay in the net without being bothered by smoke. They are less aggressive.
It consists of two flanges of 12mm (0.5") thick plywood / 40cm(16") in diameter connected by four oak slats 70 cm (27.5")set in slots provided for this purpose. All covered with mosquito netting. One of the flanges is cut to fit over the entrance hole allowing the girls to go out and in.

(here : a lot of invisible pictures . :(...)

According to Daniel, which used to keep successfully bees in supers of all dimensions, this method of  transfer can be performed on all divisible hives (Dadant or Langstroth supers (shallow or medium), Rose hives, Warrés of course, Voirnot, etc...) because it is somehow a hived swarm with a naked cluster , in empty boxes.
He uses the same creel on every hive, with greater hives entrances, you simply have to stuff the free sides of the hive entrance with paper, foam or sponge.

too bad it is impossible to post picture ! so you have to go an search by yourself google this "warré méthode héroïque nasse" and you'll find the original post