Yield of Warré hive

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jantref 

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Totally agree with Pargyle. I mainly run Nationals, but also have a Warré and two Kenyan top bars. I am so glad I had experience of conventional hives before getting into top bar hives, as they are more difficult to manage responsibly. The first KTBH I built has a window. On the whole it is a waste of time.
Thanx for sharing your experience! Good advice 👍
 

rolande 

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I've read at several places the yield of a colony in a Warré hive is lower compared to a 'standard' hive. Is this because the colony hibernate with their own honey, instead of sugar, so as a beekeeper you can harvest less?
No.

Our choice of hive doesn't (shouldn't) dictate how much honey is left at the end of summer. Personally I tend to strip out a lot of the honey (if there's any to take) this isn't a case of beekeeper greed, rather, a necessary step to get old combs out of the brood chambers and new combs drawn on a syrup feed at the end of the summer. I will point out here that I also have a great ivy flow which has never failed -but, if it ever does, I'm totally confidant that the bees would still come through in good order (based on long experience of overwintering a lot of 5 or 6 comb mating hives based around an half length dadant shallow frame which simply don't have spacial capacity to store enough honey to see them through).

I'm in the early stages of setting up some warre hives but have zero interest in the warre method which, speculation here, is probably the main problem. As others have said, it's what's in the box that gets the honey not the box itself although yet again, I'll qualify this by saying I don't know for sure but do expect that there may be some reduction in harvest as compared to our main hives, I'm not sure why I'm thinking this so I'll call it 'gut instinct'. I've still got lots of questions which will take a couple of years to work through.
 

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CaptainCymru 

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It is less heavy but i don’t want bees in plastics. Maybe a too romantic idea, but i prefer a more natural setting 😉
You also have to remember, France on the whole is warmer than say the north of UK. And what constitutes natural ,as previously mentioned bees being kept by humans is not natural, but fair play to you for trying .Do what makes you happy though, that's what counts at end of the day. You may wish to consider a hardier bee strain that deals better with cold and is less swarmy .
 

jantref 

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... rather, a necessary step to get old combs out of the brood chambers and new combs drawn on a syrup feed at the end of the summer.
i think the main concept of warre is putting boxes underneath. Harvesting from the top. So i would think comb will never gets older than two years. So syrup is not a choice of the bee but of the beekeeper. Or am i wrong. 🤔

I'm in the early stages of setting up some warre hives but have zero interest in the warre method which, speculation here, is probably the main problem. As others have said, it's what's in the box that gets the honey not the box itself although yet again, I'll qualify this by saying I don't know for sure but do expect that there may be some reduction in harvest as compared to our main hives, I'm not sure why I'm thinking this so I'll call it 'gut instinct'. I've still got lots of questions which will take a couple of years to work through.
Curious, what is the reason for you to try warre when you don’t want to use the warre method? 😊
 

drex 

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It is less heavy but i don’t want bees in plastics. Maybe a too romantic idea, but i prefer a more natural setting 😉
I too prefer the aesthetics of wood, even though I know poly is better for the bees ( I have two polys and dislike them intensely)
 

jantref 

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You also have to remember, France on the whole is warmer than say the north of UK. And what constitutes natural ,as previously mentioned bees being kept by humans is not natural, but fair play to you for trying .Do what makes you happy though, that's what counts at end of the day. You may wish to consider a hardier bee strain that deals better with cold and is less swarmy .
France is warmer in summer in The Netherlands but colder in the winter. I agree keeping bees is not natural. So i want to find a compromise. So i won’t use 20 mm sawn timber but rather 30 or maybe 70 mm. To get better isolation.
 

Boston Bees 

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France is warmer in summer in The Netherlands but colder in the winter. I agree keeping bees is not natural. So i want to find a compromise. So i won’t use 20 mm sawn timber but rather 30 or maybe 70 mm. To get better isolation.
Have you worked out how heavy a 70mm box would be?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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One of the reasons why Warre yields are lower is that the honey is harvested by the 'crush and strain' method, so each spring the bees have to start from scratch making new comb (which at least means you never get old comb in the hive) this also means you have to leave some of the honey for the bees as, it would be a 'big ask' for the bees to make fresh comb and store enough winter stores if you start winter feeding in the autumn where comb drawing at the peripheries of the nest is going to be difficult in reduced temperatures.
 

jantref 

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One of the reasons why Warre yields are lower is that the honey is harvested by the 'crush and strain' method, so each spring the bees have to start from scratch making new comb (which at least means you never get old comb in the hive) this also means you have to leave some of the honey for the bees as, it would be a 'big ask' for the bees to make fresh comb and store enough winter stores if you start winter feeding in the autumn where comb drawing at the peripheries of the nest is going to be difficult in reduced temperatures.
Thanx. This is exactly what i was thinking. In my humble opinion a nice compromise if you prefer a more natural way of beekeeping. And not getting old comb is a good thing isn’t it? in regard to diseases etcetera.
 

BugsInABox 

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One of the reasons why Warre yields are lower is that the honey is harvested by the 'crush and strain' method, so each spring the bees have to start from scratch making new comb (which at least means you never get old comb in the hive) this also means you have to leave some of the honey for the bees as, it would be a 'big ask' for the bees to make fresh comb and store enough winter stores if you start winter feeding in the autumn where comb drawing at the peripheries of the nest is going to be difficult in reduced temperatures.
Though in practice if last years tbh experience tells ( not talking about this year ‘cos I lost a colony 🥺 - so maybe ignore what I say 🥴) they have room for stores as the brood shrinks.
 

madasafish 

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Did you use only top bars? I think using half frames will prevent wax on the windows. But i have doubt about the light and energy effects. But i have time to decide 😉
Lifting all would be heavy 😅. So only the first underneath is better option i think. Thanx for your response!
top bars
 

madasafish 

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France is warmer in summer in The Netherlands but colder in the winter. I agree keeping bees is not natural. So i want to find a compromise. So i won’t use 20 mm sawn timber but rather 30 or maybe 70 mm. To get better isolation.

You will also gain muscles and a bad back if you have to lift them all on and off as proper warre beekeeping says.
 

rolande 

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i think the main concept of warre is putting boxes underneath. Harvesting from the top. So i would think comb will never gets older than two years. So syrup is not a choice of the bee but of the beekeeper. Or am i wrong. 🤔
Well, In this instance it's the beekeeper's choice but believe me if they can get their hands on it bees are more than happy to take syrup -Langstroth writes about masses of bees descending on a local confectionary shop. You can even now buy 'bee feeders' which you fill with syrup and hang in the garden. I saw one in action last summer, covered with bees (no doubt spreading all sorts of nasties between themselves) all day long, the owner actually complained that it was costing a fortune to keep up with them. All of that said, I appreciate your decision not to feed syrup -just so long as you're not planning to watch a colony starve to death if it runs on hard times.


Curious, what is the reason for you to try warre when you don’t want to use the warre method? 😊
It's a financial move on my part in the sense of being a cost saver.
I refer to using warre boxes because I don't want to be accused of trying to invent a new hive, infarct Warre had no claim on that approximate size of box -he was actually very late to the party, +/-100 years after Bevan who himself wasn't the first.

You yourself seem not to be too tied to the method, one box underneath and others on top (Warre himself admitted that section racks had to go on top) so there's some flexibility in his ideas.
Personally I'm a scavenger of both, information and experience, who sees no need to be tied to a snapshot from the 1940s. That's like reading Manley's books and then saying we should keep old brood comb as long as possible; I've done just that, said that, then I woke up and started living in the present.
 

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