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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I mentioned in some of my earlier posts that I'm a newbee BK and have just one Warre hive.

The protocol documented in Abbe Warre's book "Beekeeping For All" (see suggests nadiring (bottom supering) the boxes. Since the hives can become quite heavy, a number of Warre beeks have built hive lifts.

Here's my first prototype of a lift:
Folding chair Chair Shorts Outdoor furniture Picnic table

The base is attached to two uprights with a "differential windlass" (Chinese windlass -- see attached. The windlass is constructed entirely of PVC and has a double-handle crank so that two hands can be used to lift the hives. The movable portion of the lift (the "fork") runs on a pair of 12" ball bearing drawer glides.

This lift is designed so that the base rests on the handles of one Warre box and the fork either: 1) lifts the box immediately above to insert a new box between them; or 2) lifts the second box above to remove the box that's between them. Using this design allows the lift to be smaller/lighter since the 12" reach is all that is needed.

The two-piece uprights were necessary since I decided to add aluminum support straps to the fork to ensure its stability during a heavy lift.

After some bench testing, I brought the lift 15 miles to my be yard (my Dad's acreage). I then found that the traditional Warre hive base that I constructed didn't allow the lift to be properly placed. My solution was to build a new base:
Apiary Beehive Pollinator Natural material Insect
The new base has Warre handles mounted allowing me to lift the bottom most box (the old base is in the foreground). The back side of the base provides access to the "sump" for checking varroa and sliding in a camera. There is wire mesh separating the sump from the box above:
Plant Tree Pollinator Apiary Insect

I used the lift to raise the entire hive just a fraction of an inch but the nuc at the top projected too far for me to get the base and fork across the entire handle.
Plant Plant community Wood Land lot Grass

I'll have to wait for the nuc to be removed before I can perform more testing. This will allow me more time to work out a mechanism to hold the lift's position when I take my hand off the crank.


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