|'The bee master must be
first of all be a bee lover
or he will never succeed'
The Lore of the Honeybee 1923
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|MALFROY'S GOLD - WARRÉ BEEHIVES
The Warré hive is named after its inventor, Abbé Émile Warré (1867-1951).
Responding to the obvious decline in beekeeping in France since his youth,
Warré experimented with some 350 hives of various designs with the aim of
producing a hive that was simple, economical, bee-friendly and assured a surplus
for the beekeeper. The result was his People's Hive (Ruche Populaire) whose construction and operation he described in his book Beekeeping For All
(L' Apiculture Pour Tous, 12th edition)
Beekeeping For All was made available to the English-speaking world when Pat
Cheney and David Heaf translated the text in 2007 from the original French.
Various articles about the Warré hive by David Heaf were published in bee journals around the world, including The Australasian Beekeeper issue of June 2008.
We read this article and immediately recognised that the Warré hive represented
a paradigm shift in beekeeping– albeit over 50 years after Warré’s death.
|About Malfroy's Gold products: MEDIA - AWARDS - TESTIMONIALS||Abbé Émile Warré|
|Features of a Warré Beehive|
Without wanting to go into a detailed comparison between the conventional Langstroth hive and the
Warré hive, here we present an overview of the standard features of a Warré.
| The Warré hive is a divisible hive, and quite simple by design.
The hive features a number of square wooden boxes of 300 x 300 x 210mm internal dimensions. Our modified version is slightly larger,
and features dimensions of 310 x 310 x 244mm.
Each box features protruding handle cleats that are angled to shed water. A standard Warré hive is 3 boxes high, although a height of 5
or 6 boxes can be achieved during a large honeyflow.
| 8 evenly spaced top-bars or open frames are located in each box,
and feature a starter strip or
that allows the bees to draw natural comb from the top-bar.
No foundation is used, and wires are not needed
to support the comb due to the small surface area.
Importantly, the colony is enlarged by adding boxes beneath the
existing boxes. This is called nadiring and is an excellent method of providing space to the colony, particularly in early spring, without
fear of chilling the brood or disturbing the cluster.
The bees build natural comb down into the boxes beneath, and the honey stores are located above the cluster. This is a beneficial arrangement for the bees – all their stores are located directly above them, and the honey acts as an insulating thermal dome. By allowing the bees to draw natural comb, the colony is also able to limit its size relative to the amount of nectar available.
| Above the frames in the uppermost box rests a simple hessian cloth, which is vapor permeable and much
gentler on the bees than the
typical wooden crown board.
On top of the cloth sits a 100mm deep quilt box, which has a calico insert for holding straw or wood shavings. This quilt section acts as
an insulator and prevents solar radiation from penetrating the roof and overheating the hive. It is also vapor permeable, and helps the bees
to control their ventilation. Moisture is absorbed into the quilt filling, which can be easily and quickly renewed once a year if necessary.
| A wooden cover board sits on top of the quilt section. We use a weathertex board, as the white coating allows
us to record our impressions of the colony each time we visit. Therefore, every time
you open the hive, you are greeted with the history of the colony.
A roof covers the top of the hive. The traditional Warré design is an attractive, gabled roof with sloping sides to shed rain and snow.
In our dry climate we have found that a standard telescopic roof is sufficient and less bulky. The hive sits on a stand at least 200mm
off the ground.
|Warré vs. Langstroth|
For more information about the benefit
of using the Warré hive compared to the conventional framed Langstroth hive,
please refer to Beekeeping For All,
and The Bee-friendly Beekeeper
by David Heaf.
To order a Warré hive,
please go to the Products page.
Please visit Natural Beekeeping to
read more about the Warré hive.
Malfroy's Gold Warré Beehive and modern Langstroth Beehive
| Click here if you are interestered in learning Natural Beekeeping.
|ABN 79 921 638 711© MALFROY'S GOLD 2011|