Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.


warre hive users

This is a group of people who want to learn more about warre hive's.. Share their experiences and knowledge..

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Link for PDF Beekeeping For All- by Emile Warre 2 Replies

Started by Ivy. Last reply by Raymond Espinoza Feb 8, 2015.

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Comment by Wm. Epps on July 30, 2014 at 7:15pm


I needed the length of the bars you have now. You are right about SVH's, build your boxes and use their accessories


Your thinking about your beekeeping needs are dead on! Also, the climate in your area should allow you to use thicker wood for the winters and us a screened bottom board and a spacer between the boxes for ventilation in the summer. The SVH box also comes with the build in comb guides no need for a stand alone.


I too build everything I need, mostly because when I started there was a limited supply. 30 to 50mph winds coming through the canyon and it's still standing 4 boxes high. I'm using the pitched roof design and for added stability I put a wedge midway up against the handles (don't like tempting fate). I consider the warre as a personal beehive, I can't see it being used commercially or commercial techniques being used to keep it. Beekeeping is a lot of work on it's own why make it complicated.

All other arguments about beehive design and the looks aside, the bees just need a comfortable clean environment to live in. I've learned a lot on my own over the years and this stands out; "the bees know what they are doing"! So I do my best to stay out of the way. (I'm a wuss when it comes to being stung!)

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 6:10pm

The Beethinking spacing tool is highly recommended when using their Warre hive.  I agree, though, Sweet Valley Hive has a few features that I like as well, especially the queen ring.  I'm hoping to purchase a Sweet Valley Hive sometime this winter. 

Comment by Samuel Lopez on July 30, 2014 at 3:31pm

Rhett, I'm for sure embracing the principles of the warre hive and agree there are improvements out there with any vendor or local adaptations (as Wm. states we should be incorporating due to our local climate). I see the foundationless boxes with the Beethinking langs - nice.

One of the directions i have made my mind up on is to use modified frames on the warre boxes - unfortunately Beethinking does not provide that (SVH's does). Another bonus as i see it with SVH's are the integrated spacers for their modified frames as well as they do provide 3 bodies in the base kit. Thinking i may purchase their modified frames and see if i can use them/adjust them in this warre hive i have now.

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 1:07pm

Sam, I ordered the 8 frame Langstroth with foundationless frames.  The order should arrive today or tomorrow.  I'm planning to order the Warre from them as well, I just don't know when.  They do offer a discount if you buy two or more kits, and another discount if you order 5 or more kits.  I also received a 5% discount that popped up on the screen as I was adding items into the cart.  Perhaps the discount automatically pops up once you reach a certain price limit????  Shipping was free. 

You don't need to be an architect to appreciate the aesthetics and simplicity of the Warre design.  Your explanation reminds me of the same explanation that I offer when people ask why I'm building a log home.  Many people have tried to detour me from building a log home saying it will be a lot of maintenance, etc.  I'm building a log home because I want a log home!  So I understand your desire to keep things simple while appreciating the Warre design.  I also like the simplicity of a log home.  There's no framing, insulation, drywall, etc.  It's a simple and rustic design that will last for generations.

Would you recommend both books?  I haven't read either.  I'm familiar with the Warre philosophy.  Like all philosophy, people either adopt it or turn away from it.  It sounds like you've done your homework.          

Comment by Samuel Lopez on July 30, 2014 at 12:28pm

Rhett- which ones have you ordered from beethinking ? langstroth ? nice. i spent a good amount of time researching, chatting and reading and the warre is going to suit our plan. Plus, being an architect, the aesthetics of it's design is the most appealing to me. Now someone may read this post and gasp at that statement but assuredly, appearance of a hive is not the motivating reason i've chosen to start with the warre. I've been reading the book by David Heaf on Warre's plus the Emile Warre Beekeeping For All text (actually starting to re-read that now that i've started to get my hands dirty (attended one inspection with Wm.) Talking with Wm. has also given me some experience to test the writings i'm reading. And now these chats with you all give me more to consider.


Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 11:42am

Jefferson, my biggest concern is making sure that the bees winter well in the Warre.  It's important that the cluster will move towards the honeystores or they will freeze.  The 10 frame langstroth box, in my opinion, seems a little too large and could cause the cluster to breakup to reach food storage.  I think the 8 frame Langstroth is a perfect size.  Convert that 8 frame Langstroth into foundationless frames and you might have the perfect hive!  I like the Warre method of stacking from the bottom, but you could do the same with the Langstroth boxes.

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 11:36am

Sam, in my opinion, the Langstroth doesn't require much more attention or maintenance.  If you're looking for ease of operation and less time commitment, then the Warre or Langstroth would work for you.  Top Bar requires the most maintenance and monitoring.  You can do foundationless in the Langstroth.  If you already haven't, take a look at this link:

I have a few of their hives on the way as we speak!   

Comment by Samuel Lopez on July 30, 2014 at 11:02am

My goals are to start 2 1/2 hives in the spring and eventually max out at 4 hives in our GARDEN. Time commitment from me supports the warre approach. Foundationless modified frames will be my way. I'm tempted to start working a possible swarm capture with the warre i have now but need to work on it and would most likely have to feed sugar/syrup to them over the winter which i would rather avoid. So i'll take my time on getting this hive squared away and decide on my 2nd one and the nuc as far as constructing or buying. My sons and i are heading out to the open space hive yard on saturday to help out and i'll be taking the Class that Daniel E. puts on in August to gain more exposure/experience with bees.

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 9:00am

And that's true also.  3 boxes will not be enough, especially for those of you who are fortunate enough to have a heavy nectar flow and a longer season.  There is a lot of additional cost to the Warre hive when purchasing from a company.  Mathematically speaking, the Warre hives are more expensive per square inch than the Langstroth hives.  For that matter, an 8 frame Langstroth is generally the same cost as a 10 frame Langstroth.  Jefferson, do you like the Warre design better than the Langstroth?  Are you successes about the same?  I'm interested in comb honey production, so that's one of many reasons why I'm switching to more and more foundationless frames.           

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 7:52am

Ha ha, I hear ya Jefferson.  It's not cheap, especially compared to the Langstroth components, which is much cheaper.  It may sound crazy, but these companies are staying in business.  People who buy the prefabbed kits have a few in their yard and that's the extend of their beekeeping.  I haven't priced out western red cedar, but I imagine you could build a few hives for $375 dollars worth of material.  The Warre Store has their kit listed for $249 which includes 2 hive boxes instead of 3 like the Sweet Valley has.  Bee Thinking has their bare bones kit listed for $219.           


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