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Bees are fascinating creatures with complex behaviours some of which we still don't understand. In order to keep honey bees the best way possible we need to try to understand how and why bees behave the way they do, and endeavour to allow bees to live as nature intended with minimum interference - after all bees have been around for a few more million years than we have... Take a look at the sections below for information on the honey bee and natural bee keeping, and an introduction to the other 249 species of bee we have in the UK

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20-04-2018 by 

The Warre hive was invented by the clergy man Abbé Émile Warré (1867-1951). Abbe wanted a hive that was cheaper and easier to build and something that was more 'bee friendly', it was nicknamed 'The peoples hive'

The set up of the warre is almost like a vertical top bar hive, in that it is frameless having only top bars that the bees build their wax on.

Abbe taught that the warre hive should only be opened once a year (harvest time) and that when new boxes are needed they would be added on the bottom and not the top. In adding boxes this way no heat loss would occur and the bees would experience minimal disturbance. This is in comparison to a conventional hive which when new boxes are added to the top this involves removing the crownboard, disturbing the bees and letting all that heat the bees work so hard to stabilise out into the air.

However having to add boxes to the bottom does pose the interesting question of how to lift the whole hive to add to the bottom...! Many a clever lift contraption has been invented to solve this!          

Another benefit of the Warre is that it is very easy to make yourself and not that expensive. There's no 'bee space' to worry about and you can easily get the wood from most timber merchants.

For free plans to build your own Warre click here - http://www.warre.biobees.com/warre_hive_plans_metric.pdf

If you want to buy Abbe Warre book on the warre hive and bee keeping click here - http://www.northernbeebooks.co.uk/

And for lots of handy tips and help on how to manage a Warre hive click here - http://www.bee-friendly.co.uk/