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..

Members: 8
Latest Activity: Jun 2, 2021

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 Gavin McCullough on April 5, 2021 at 3:17pm

Hello. Long time no talk. I have a warre hive, but no bees. If anybody is interested in selling a hive, or catches a new swarm, my hive would be happy to house them. I'm not a traditional bee keeper, mostly just like having bees in the neighborhood to pollenate. We had walls bees for 15 years. I tried to get them to come to the new hive as the wall is hot, but they liked the wall. Last week the new neighbors added to the wall and...well I don't like to talk about it. I wasn't home, but my wife said they...well it wasn't good. At least this hive will be out of their reach.


Comment by Rhett Renoud on August 13, 2020 at 3:32pm

Sharolyn, I am interested! 

Comment by Sharolyn Berry Eitenbichler on August 13, 2020 at 12:46pm

Hi all,

I don't know if this group is still active, but . . .

I have two complete Warre hive set-ups that I will give free to an interested beekeeper who is willing to come get them from my house in Sandia Park. The hives include  2 roofs, 2 quilt boxes, 2 bases with screened floor and removeable bottom boards, and 5 boxes each with top bars. They are 3/4" red cedar, good quality, and in good condition.  Also have top feeders and a few other Warre-specific supplies.  I am located in Sandia Park.

I am now keeping bees in Layens-style hives and will not be using the Warre's in the future. 

Please contact me if interested! :)

Comment by Rhett Renoud on July 26, 2019 at 6:21am

Kris, I’m glad to hear that your bees are doing well.  Monsoon season isn’t going to hurt the bees.  Sugar syrup is acidic and isn’t an ideal feed, so I wouldn’t use it unless in an emergency situation.  Being in the Albuquerque area, your bees will forage nectar well into October, so you still have plenty of time.  

Also, bearding mostly occurs when the hive is extremely warm and crowded. Since you have an empty third box, your hive is not crowded, hence no bearding.

Keep the updates coming!          

Comment by Rhett Renoud on June 10, 2019 at 10:03pm

I promised to post this picture and never did.  All of the honey that we took to the New Mexico State Fair came out of Warre Supers!

We took first place in cut comb, first place in liquid honey (taste), and second place (twice) in the chunk comb category.  We had two varieties of chunk comb (light and amber).  According to the judge, we missed first place because we didn't clean the top of the honey.  The top of the honey can't be seen unless you open the jar, but now I know to clean the top (bits of floating wax) after putting in the cut comb.  But hands down, the combs looked beautiful!      

Comment by Rhett Renoud on June 10, 2019 at 9:47pm

If all possible, try not to keep your hives in full sun.  As for temperature, if you don't see beading on the outside of your Warre, the temp is probably just fine.  Remember, bees try to keep the hive temperature around 93 - 95 degrees.  The reason why I don't think adding ventilation is necessary in a Warre is because research has shown that too much airflow may interrupt colony communication.  In other words, too much ventilation disturbs the pheromones.   I've heard Michael Bush talk about this very issue.  He says there's a difference between cooling the hive and ventilating the hive.  Bees have to cool the hive which they can do easier when the ventilation is controlled.  In the Warre, the ventilation is controlled.  When you remove the sawdust and drill holes, you no longer have a controlled environment for the bees.  It's a fascinating discussion, really.  Bush even points out that hive openings should be very small.  Apparently research has also shown that multiple entrances have a negative affect on the hive.   

What I've been experimenting with is a variety of insulating materials.  I've seen some people use sawdust that is nearly as fine as sand.  I've seen others use sawdust that looked like garden mulch.  In my opinion, you want a sawdust that is fine enough to have insulating properties but course enough to breathe.  Since I live amongst the ponderosa pines, I've even been using pine needles.  Pine needles, for example, breath better than sawdust that is packed like sand.  So, my suggestion is that you find a material that will insulate your hive, but provide a little better ventilation, but controlled ventilation!         

Comment by Rhett Renoud on June 10, 2019 at 7:10pm

Kris, I think the next question is, are your bees in full sun, partial sun, or mostly shade?  

Comment by Rhett Renoud on June 10, 2019 at 6:02pm

I see why there’s some conflict. I don’t think you’ll have problems either way. Personally, I practice leaving the sawdust in place, which I also believe makes the most sense. Honestly, removing sawdust and increasing ventilation is being reactive to the fact that the hive itself lacks thermal properties to keep the bees cool. If hive manufacturers didn’t use such thin boards, there would be a higher thermal value. For example, log homes that uses 10” logs have more thermal value than a home built with 8” logs. Bees survive in their natural habitat (a hollow tree) and do not have ventilation, but they do have better thermal value (insulation). This is why I build my own hives with 4” thick walls. The Warre Store, the last I checked, doesn’t use a full 1” inch board. The minimum that Warre regarded as sufficient was 22 mm; however, he recommended 24 mm for improved insulation. In cold climates, people will use 50 mm or larger. If people in warm climates used 50 mm or larger, they wouldn’t have an overheating problem.

Comment by Rhett Renoud on June 10, 2019 at 4:52pm

Hi, Kris.  Leave the sawdust in the quilt box year round.  Just like in the roof of your home, insulation helps maintain a consistent temperature in the hive.  The sawdust also helps absorb condensation when you have extreme temperature swings and helps maintain the odor in the hive. 

Comment by Rhett Renoud on April 18, 2019 at 1:14pm

That looks good, Kris.  Two boxes are not required for startup, but it won't hurt, either.  Make sure the hive stands are anchored down.  A good wind will blow the hives and hive stand over.  Keep us posted on your progress!   


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