Refitting a Warre hive

Feb 01, 2020

Honey bees fare well in a Warre hive. However, commercial models may be built too thin and the bees waste a lot of energy controlling the inside temperature, in Winter and in Summer. These hives may be modified by molding a cylinder of plaster in the body.

The following video shows the steps to get the project complete. It takes about one hour the first day and 90 minutes the following one, once the plaster has cured. Bees usually build in one season about one warre box and a half, they may swarm the second season and would build in a third box nadired below the top two. Each box contains 20 liters, therefore in the first season the bees will build in about 30 liters, maybe a bit more if the conditions are propitious. The cylinder molded in the boxes presents a volume of 13 liters, it is therefore recommended to stack 3 boxes for the first season. Each box becomes very heavy, about 40 pounds without the bees and the combs, so nadiring the structure can be difficult. If some honey wants to be harvested, one can add a standard warre box on top that will be collected. I leave my hives live their life, I don’t harvest.