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Converting Langstroth to Warre Style

 
Kevin Gant
Posts: 15
Location: Oklahoma City
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So, what's the best way to convert a Langstroth hive and method to Warre?

I'm guessing these steps would be involved. Is there anything else I'm missing?

1. Switch to foundation-less frames.
2. Convert a shallow to a quilt with burlap on top and bottom and filled with wood chips. Also, what's the best kind of wood chips to use? Is there one that's not good to use.
3. Super from the bottom only.
4. Sit back and enjoy.

Actually, what's the best way to super from the bottom on a Langstroth? I guess one could construct a lift of sorts that could use the existing hand holds.

Thanks for any suggestions/comments.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I tore the frames in my Langs apart and just use the top bars. Warré management typically involves leaving the hive closed as much as possible, so even frames without foundation would likely be welded to the walls by the end of the couple of years that any one box is typically occupied before harvest. seems better to me to forgo the frames altogether if you're really after the Warré experience.

a shallow super should work well as a quilt, but you would only need burlap on the bottom. I use cedar planer shavings since I've got them around. they work well. in addition to that, you would want a top bar cloth treated with flour paste to prevent chewing through and a modified telescoping roof that covers the junction between your shallow/quilt and the uppermost hive body.

and take out the queen excluder. use it for swarm collection.
 
Kevin Gant
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Location: Oklahoma City
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tel jetson wrote:and take out the queen excluder. use it for swarm collection.

never bought one of those.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Kevin Gant wrote:
tel jetson wrote:and take out the queen excluder. use it for swarm collection.

never bought one of those.


they're very handy for gathering swarms. keeps the queen in while all the scouts are returning and prevents the swarm from leaving. you can jury-rig one relatively easily, though.
 
Matthew Reed
instructor
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Location: Portland, OR
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Kevin,

Your steps sound fine, and they are how I've run a few Langstroth hives in the past. I use all 8 frame mediums at this point -- foundationless.

I use cedar shavings or sawdust. I did read a study recently out of an Oregon university that Juniper has a negative impact on mites -- so it could be worth a try using that in the quilt box.

Sometimes I super on the top and bottom -- both on Langstroths and Warres. Occasionally you'll find the bees hesitant to move down in Warre hives, while they seem to move up without a problem. If you do super a Warre, just be sure to add at least a few drawn out combs to the top box so they build from the TOP down. Otherwise you'll end up with some VERY creative combs as they build from the bars below upward!

Best,
Matt
 
Matthew Reed
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Location: Portland, OR
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In regard to the best way to super on the bottom -- I think the same principles apply to both Warre and Langstroth. I lift only what I can comfortably. I usually leave the quilt box on while taking the roof off to reduce weight. Leaving the quilt on avoid disturbing the bees so much. If you separate the boxes, be sure to set them down on another box at an angle so there's minimal surface area for bees to get crushed. Then when putting it back together, slide the boxes onto each other to avoid killing so many (though you will kill some).

Best,
Matt
 
David Heaf
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I know some do make this conversion this but I expect it is a bit hard on the back when it comes to nadiring, unless one wants to make a king-size Gatineau lift ( http://warre.biobees.com/lift.htm ).

I took the approach of keeping the two systems separate. My first two Warrés were populated from Nationals, a UK frame hive not unlike a Langstroth:

http://www.dheaf.plus.com/warrebeekeeping/warre_experiment_heaf_2007.htm .

Thereafter I just used swarms to start Warrés. The bees in the frame hives that I used went on to raise new queens, so I used the procedure to make increase.

Last year I started converting my remaining 3 National colonies to foundationless comb by just using starter strips in the frame.

Some 'grow' National and Langstroth colonies (including nucs) down into Warrés using an adapter board and then remove the frame brood box when it is free of brood:

http://warre.biobees.com/hiving.htm .



 
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