Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.


warre hive users

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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 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 Kris Price on June 10, 2019 at 5:22pm

That’s what I thought, BUT the Warre store wrote in a recent newsletter that sawdust should be removed in summer...

  • No harmful condensation will occur during the summer months even if all of the insulation is removed from the quilt. In fact, the insulation can cause the hive to overheat during the summer months and should therefore be removed, or at least pushed into the corners so that more heat can escape from the hive during hot weather. Basically, reduce the R-value (amount of insulation) in the quilt when night temperatures are no longer dropping below 50F. If you have a problem with pests (ants, earwigs, etc.) hanging around in the quilt box during the summer months, just remove the sawdust altogether. “

and when i further consulted david heafs book warre natural beekeeping....

he states... in 7.3 ventilation ... that warre was in a cooler climate and that in extreme heat  to aid ventilation  cooling at the top can be created by removing quilt contents.  He even states that drilling 1/8 inch holes in roof mouse board will aid in heat escape with the quilt contents removed. 

Soooo... I’m still not clear on if keeping sawdust in in summer heat is the way to go.

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 Kris Price on June 10, 2019 at 4:25pm

Does the sawdust need to be removed from the quilt box for summer? 

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!   

Comment by Samuel Lopez on February 19, 2019 at 5:46pm

Sigrid - sure thing. 

Comment by Rhett Renoud on February 19, 2019 at 2:46pm

My theory is that the bees had enough nectar to make brood, but not enough nectar to maintain a growing population.  If I had to guess, I would say they were stressed due to a lack of available nectar, then absconded.  In short, a dearth year = shortage of food storage.  I see no signs of robbing.     

Comment by Gavin McCullough on February 19, 2019 at 2:38pm

and the no cap mystery?

Comment by Rhett Renoud on February 19, 2019 at 2:35pm

Unless it's unseasonably dry, the Albuquerque area seems to have a sufficient amount of nectar through October.  If it's a dry year, then sometimes the bees have to work hard to find nectar.  Working harder means to fly further.  If they were stressed, they could have absconded for that reason alone.  I just don't know your area.    

Comment by Gavin McCullough on February 19, 2019 at 2:28pm

Caught June 222 weeks later...nice comb

3 weeks later....gone... :(

so end of june to end of july? I was sad as I wasn't sure they would have enough time to forage before winter...


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