Warré Beekeeping

Abbe Emile Warré developed the Warré hive over 50 years of research. Culminating in what he liked to call “The People’s Hive” in the early 1950s. He studied over 300 hive designs, ranging from straw skeps to the modern Langstroth hive. Analyzing their ease of use and suitability for honey bees. Warré focused on simplicity, ease of management, and natural qualities including the building of natural comb.

Warré frowned upon the invasive, tedious micromanagement of individual frames and combs as practiced by most beekeepers in his day. He also found it optimal for bees and beekeeper, to manipulate the hive box by box only a couple times a year. This is key to the beekeeping philosophy that corresponds with Warre hives. Less bothering of bees means more productivity and less disturbance to the colony.

Warre would typically add a couple empty boxes to the bottom of the hive in the spring and remove the top boxes from the hive in the fall. This allows for something few other hives offer; The continual cycle of new comb into and old comb out of the hive without the destruction of the precious brood chamber. As each year prior to winter the bees move the excess honey stores to the top of the hive. This removes the pesticide-laden comb from the hive every couple years, making for a healthier, happier colony.

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