Keith and Laura in Clarkston recently called me to help get their new Warre hives ready for the season. Having never seen a Warre style hive, I was curious and was glad to help.
Here are some images from my visit:
This is an photo of the bees drawing out the top bars with wax comb. Photo angle is from the bottom. Bar pacing is similar to a Langstroth hive but but there are no frames or foundation. It is amazing how fast the bees “drew out” these bars with comb. The bars have shaped with a ridge on the bottom and it is seeded with wax so the bees can make an easy attachment to the bar.
Another interesting feature of the Warre hives is an observation window built into each box! You can do a hive inspection without opening it up!
Here is their warre hives ready for the honey flow. Keith made some home made honey supers and added straps to stabilize the rather narrow hives. One of the advantages of the Warre hive is it is really easy to build your own boxes and bars. With Warre hives, the honey supers are added to the bottom, not the top like Langstroth hives.
There are lots of differences between Warre hives and the Langstroth hives I use in my apiaries. Want to learn about the pros and cons of the different types of hives? See this Mother Earth News article called, “Langstroth, Top-Bar or Warre?: Choose the Right Hive for You and Your Bees.” Want to explore Warre hives further, refer to the book that Laura used to get started. It is titled Natural Beekeeping with the Warre Hive by David Heaf: