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Warré hives

The Warré Hive comprises a vertical stack of identical boxes fitted with top-bars rather than frames. Its essential design and usage features can be summarised as follows:

  • hive-body box internal dimensions 300 x 300 x 210 mm, with projecting handles
  • eight 36mm centred 24mm wide top-bars resting in rebates in each box (No frames)
  • wax starter strips under each top bar (No foundation)
  • flat floor, notched with a 120mm wide entrance, alighting board
  • coarse weave cloth covering the top-bars of the top box
  • 100 mm high ‘quilt’ boxed with wood, filled with straw, sawdust, wood shavings etc., retained with cloth
  • gabled roof containing a ventilated ‘loft’ and separated from the quilt by a mouse-proof board

Here are some more features of the Warré Hive:

  • the bees build natural comb in the first (top) box and extend downwards into further boxes
  • new boxes are added at the bottom
  • one or more boxes of honey are harvested from the top after the main flow
  • the bees winter on two boxes of comb containing a minimum of 12 kg stores (France)
  • honey is harvested by draining, or by centrifuging combs in baskets
  • at the spring visit, the hive is expanded by one or more boxes, containing with starter strips or comb