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Author Topic: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions  (Read 1731 times)

Offline Steampunked

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New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« on: January 20, 2016, 10:06:23 PM »
Hi!  I'm very new.

Due to cash restraints and obeying the all powerful Google, I constructed my own Warre hive (more or less, timber shape required a weird roof, I only paid attention to beespace) and ordered a swarm from a local bee keeper.  He came and installed it (rather late!  In December!), and all went well - though he did state he'd never heard of such a hive and he seemed really cautious about it.  It's all good, I'm in Australia so some have come across them, some haven't.  I've only spoken to a few beekeepers here and everyone was suspicious of it, but that's fine, I know there are also some serious natural purists.

I don't even know what type of bees I have, though I have photos.  They are super gentle, no stings, very little interest in me, TBH.  I cleaned a few frames of propolis buildup and burr comb to keep them inspectable, the bees couldn't care less, so I'm lucky.  Got to see the queen once, so very excited, like any other newbie.

It's not a true Warre hive - it has frames with a top bar and two sidebars, though no bottom bar.  No foundation.  My other one will be just the same, prolly with the same wonky roof, I'll build it over winter and try to double my bees in the Spring.

1.  Will my bees likely regress in size?

2. Given that I'm nadiring, does that make any regression faster, because they'll be making new comb more often?  Or is it more to do with the queen reproducing and new queens gradually getting smaller?

3. Any hints for new folks like me about Warre hive keeping?

4. Does new comb appreciably make any difference to disease issues, or are other factors far more powerful?

Have a picture of one of the girls drinking a drop of honey that came from some burr comb, her tongue is visible, which is pretty cute:

Kept by a tiny miniature suburban farm by chickens, parrots, a wallaby, a 3.5 year old and my partner.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 09:40:15 AM »
>1.  Will my bees likely regress in size?

In somewhere between two and five turnovers of comb they should be down to natural size.  Some go faster.  It's not time, but turnovers of comb that will get them regressed.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#whatisregression

2. Given that I'm nadiring, does that make any regression faster, because they'll be making new comb more often?  Or is it more to do with the queen reproducing and new queens gradually getting smaller?

3. Any hints for new folks like me about Warre hive keeping?

4. Does new comb appreciably make any difference to disease issues, or are other factors far more powerful?
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Rurification

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 03:15:14 PM »
Welcome to the forum.   It will be great to hear how things go with your set up. 
Robin Edmundson
www.rurification.com

Beekeeping since 2012

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 07:12:40 PM »
Welcome to Beemaster.
Not a lot of Warre hivebeekeepers here in the states.
Europe has a lot more than we do.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline little john

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2016, 12:29:51 PM »
Any hints for new folks like me about Warre hive keeping?

If I were a backgarden beekeeper, then I'd have Warre hives and nothing else - but I'm not, and so I don't. I do have two Russian 'Alpine' Hives (a Warre variant - shallower boxes, and wire frames) which I keep for a bit of fun - and find that they need little or no attention during the year. Bees love 'em.
 
Michael's already addressed the regression issue - as he says, it's a function of comb turnover. It'll just happen in it's own sweet time.

New comb & disease ? The jury's still out on that one.

Regarding advice - there are three good sources I'd recommend.
The first is Emile Warre's book, "Beekeeping for All" - there's a downloadable edition in .pdf format on the Barefoot Site.

The second is David Heaf - you'll need to Google for his latest site (I've pretty-much lost touch with the 'natural' people - as that world's become a bit too 'religious' and intolerant for my taste).

The third source is a guy named Bernhard Heuvel - again, Google for wherever he posts these days. He used to post on David Heaf's site, but there was far too much traffic there, and it became impossible for him to give each query enough detailed attention - and so he moved on.
Bernhard is the only beekeeper I know who keeps Warre hives by the hundred. As you might imagine with such numbers, he's far more 'hands-on' than the average Warre-or and even does weekly inspections during the season. A very knowledgeable guy.

Hope some of that helps ...
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.site90.com

Offline Steampunked

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 11:36:01 PM »
Thanks everyone for the advice, and the reading recommendations - I love reading, and my work involves a disgustingly long commute every day, so those can keep me entertained.

I've also been looking at the scientific beekeeping site just because I like to read biology papers.  I've got the Warre book on my iPad, and a few others.

I try to keep an open mind - my work is at an institution of scientific research in climate, so I'm lucky - it's a nice mix of conservation and reality.
Kept by a tiny miniature suburban farm by chickens, parrots, a wallaby, a 3.5 year old and my partner.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 10:27:21 AM »
>2. Given that I'm nadiring, does that make any regression faster, because they'll be making new comb more often?  Or is it more to do with the queen reproducing and new queens gradually getting smaller?

Queens do not get smaller.  A queen cell is overly large and does nothing to constrain the size of the queen.  Smaller cells for workers or drones does constrain the size of the bee.

>4. Does new comb appreciably make any difference to disease issues, or are other factors far more powerful?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#studies
http://www.bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Steampunked

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 03:20:09 AM »
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#studies
http://www.bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm

I'm waiting for Varroa to hit here so we can look forward to all the delight and joy the US did in 1987...though it looks like the quarantine for queen bee imports is less intense(*) for bees than other farmed animals so some government approved importing of resistant genetics is happening.
Kept by a tiny miniature suburban farm by chickens, parrots, a wallaby, a 3.5 year old and my partner.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: New beekeeper, Warre Hive questions
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 08:58:07 AM »
In the end *IF* (maybe it's really "when", but I like to be optimistic) the Varroa arrive in anyplace they are not currently it will likely be a swarm hanging on a ship that no one notices... though it also could be someone foolish enough to smuggle a queen in their pocket...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin