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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Latest Activity: Feb 19

Discussion Forum

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 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.           

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 7:11am

Sounds like exciting times, Sam.  I would keep Wm. Epps close to your side!  Perhaps you guys could work together to design and build what works for you.  I'm still in the learning stages of beekeeping, let alone learning what works in my area.  Jefferson made a good point by saying that the Warre is the people's hive.  Warre tried to make things simple.  Even though I believe that Warre did his homework, I do not think his design is necessarily the end-all.  I still think using the top bar method is a 8 frame langstroth produces similar results and effectiveness.  Would you agree with that statement Wm. Epps?               

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 30, 2014 at 7:00am

Jefferson, the cost of the Sweet Valley Hive is $375 for the entire kit which includes 3 hive boxes with frame.  It's not cheap.  I would buy one, see how it works, and then build my own.  I currently do not have the time or equipment to build a Warre hive using 1" cedar.  Plus, the kit comes with a queen ring and beeswax coated comb guides.  We'll see how much money I make off honey this year.  If I can make enough money to pay for the Warre, then I won't look back.   


Comment by Samuel Lopez on July 30, 2014 at 6:48am


Those are the same 3 vendors I've been looking at with Sweet Valleyhives as the co. I'd go with if the budget works out for me. Wm. and I met a few months ago - he's made some of his own warre hives which are great - he's done his homework when it comes to them and has become an informal mentor to me .

Wm. - yes, the whole support network of the hive in terms of frames is important - that's my question right now (I'm working on building skills and I'm not sure if I want to take on both at the same time - 1. learning to build with wood 2. keep bees. One thought is to work with the warre hive I got from Christina and hone my building skills when it comes to that fixer-upper (it needs some work , esp. with the top bars) and then buy 1 hive from sweet valley to have one ready to go and then use it to see how I can modify the fixer upper . We'll see, maybe you will feel pity on a newbie and help me build one on my own ??? :)

In any case , I'm going to see about getting the warre hive I do have ready to go for next spring.

Wm. -what was the dimension you were asking about for the top bars on this hive I have ?

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 29, 2014 at 8:16pm

Great, it sounds like all three of us are familiar with Sweet Valley Hives.  I spent some time talking with Chris Kohl about his design.  I like his noninterventionist approach.  I agree that NM has it's own unique climate.  Here at 7,000 feet, we certainly have a micro-climate.  We can see -30* F at night during the winter months.  The cold usually doesn't stay around for long, but our longer winters are worth noting.  We do not have problems with the varroa mite or small hive beetle, but we lack nectar flow when we've had a dry winter/spring,  Our honey flow is a very short period of time.  We can see frost as early as the second or third week in September.  Our last frost can happen at the end of May or in early June.    

Comment by Wm. Epps on July 29, 2014 at 6:49pm


Sam and I discussed sweet valley hives, I like the design. What they have done to their hives is something I have been thinking of for awhile. Most of the modifications that I have been thinking about are for NM, I really believe that we are unique in terms of climate and environment.I think that micro-climates need a beehive for that, not something that is universal. So, techniques and tools that work in Europe or North Dakota may not be best here but, the experiences they gain may.

My checking on Canada and Alaska beekeepers gave me incite on getting the bees thru our winters

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 29, 2014 at 6:18pm

Wm. Epps, I have no problem with space.  The hives are rested on 15 acres that is nearly surrounded by the Cibola National Forest.  ;)  The three links that I posted are pretty devoted to the true Warre design and dimensions, but each has made slight adaptations or improvements, and that's why I use the word "modified".  I recently became certified with CNG (Certified Naturally Grown).  They are fairly strict when it comes to holistic hive management.  This is one reason why I'm not longer using paint.  The tung oil that I'm buying is 100% pure whereas most of what you buy has some chemicals in the tung oil.  I like the idea of mixing the beeswax and linseed oil, seems like a neat idea.      

Comment by Wm. Epps on July 29, 2014 at 5:59pm


I used Linseed oil and beeswax on my hives. I was searching for something that was low-toxic or non-toxic when I ran across this because I didn't want to paint the hives with house paint unless it was really necessary. I used 2(oil) to 1(beeswax) mixture on just the outside of the box, I left the inside a bars raw.

Comment by Wm. Epps on July 29, 2014 at 5:50pm

I've heard many beekeepers use the word addictive!

Have someone host your hives if the bees outgrown the land or its just not suitable for multiple hive.

Building your own equipment will happen because the source stores are selling warre hive owners equipment that the Lang owners use, just adapted for warre. Good in theory but if you check out some of the on-line warre blogs you will see that this rarely turns out well.

I'm still learning too

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 29, 2014 at 5:49pm

Thanks for the beeswax/tung oil tip.  How would you mix them? 


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