What is Warre beekeeping?
You will find lots of great information on Phil Chandler’s website. There you can download plans to build your own Warre hive and also download the e-book version of Emile Warre’s book “Beekeeping for all”.
The Pacific Northwest climate is very special and a great challenge for bees and beekeepers. Not too many places in the world have a rainforest on the doorstep. Common beekeeping practice is to have a ventilation hole on top of the supers to prevent the build up of mold inside the hive. My experience is that a ventilation hole together with a insulation layer underneath the lid does a great job. So the big question is: can the bees handle the moisture without a vent hole and the chimney effect that it creates. We are very interested to find out how Warre beekeeping is suitable for this region.
It is great that in our beekeeping community no less than 13 people have started one or more Warre hives this spring. We will have a broad range of experiences here and we are looking forward to hear them.
Here is our version of a Warre hive:
We have adopted the original inner measures of the Warre hive and added the following changes:
1) Board thickness is 1.5 inches (3.81 cm instead of 2 cm)
2) We use a screened bottom board with a tightly closing drawer to minimize extra air intake but allows to control for varroa mites (see picture 1 and 2)
3) Quilt has a mosquito screen instead of burlap (see picture 3)
4) The roof is made out of red cedar and has a gable that is glued and nailed with a vent hole directly underneath it on both sides (see picture 4).
The complete hive consists of 4 boxes made from fir, hemlock or cedar with 8 top bars each, a screened bottom board with drawer, a quilt and a roof (See picture 5). These hives are hand made in Yelm WA.