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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have built a non-standard hive that I plan to experiment with next year. It has the same volume as a medium 10 frame Langstroth but it is square like a Warre. It has frames, but they are foundationless (I'll use wire or fishing line to support).

I also plan to build myself a Warre hive as well.

And as I was pondering the Warre system...even though this new hive will have removeable frames, does it makes sense to add boxes the same way one would with a Warre hive (i.e. new box on the bottom)?

Thanks!
 

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Smart move on the frames and foundationless system.

Undersupering does have it's drawbacks. All the wax will have brood in them as they draw down. So comb for chunk honey or comb honey (which is great for foundationles systems) is not the nicest. Lifting off boxes is another thing to consider.

Hyped claims of undersupering over the years has been to decrease (or as some has suggested "stop") swarming, to claims of natural this or that. That somehow, over supering and maximizing your honey crop by reusing your comb is some nasty "honey-money" ploy of exploitation. Which is all nonsense.

Oversupering, controlling where brood is placed, keeping comb free of brood, flow timing and season, and other factors should all come into your decision.

Here is a bit on Warre hives: http://www.bjornapiaries.com/warrehivebeekeeping.html

Of course, everytime I post my own opinions on the Warre hive, I have lovely emails with rather descriptive choice words from the Warre crowd, suggesting nobody but them are keeping bees "el Naturale". Just remember to take small sips from the cup. ;)
 

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I know I ain't suppose to but...

a Bjorn snip..
Just remember to take small sips from the cup.

tecumseh:
almost made we laugh as I was sipping my morning cup of coffee. laughter generated because it is so true and not actually funny at all. I see even the bee magazines have caught on to how the current surge in hobby interest in bee keeping has produced a bit of extremist in the bee keeping community. phases like 'bee keeping Taliban' to describe this thinking seem to irk some folks but does appear accurate for some of us old hands.

for myself I like to practice my bee keeping right down the middle of the road where there ain't nothin' but a yellow stripe and a dead armadillo (somewhat steallin' a book title from our former ag commissioner Jim Hightower).
 

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I generally have 12-15 Warre hives at any given time. I undersuper (nadir) all of them. Like bjorn said, there are some drawbacks. One not mentioned is that sometimes the bees are hesitant to move down for whatever reason. It could be colony strength, flow, bars -- no one seems to have found the root cause yet. Moving a couple combs down from the box above seems to help with those stubborn colonies that would rather swarm than move down.

To me, however, even with the occasional issues, undersupering is preferred. The weight of the boxes above is no bother to me, as I'm generally only pulling boxes to undersuper a couple times a year. The main advantage to me is that there is a natural cycle to the whole process. By harvesting from above and adding below, I'm cycling out old combs every couple years without any need to cull them manually.

This coming year I plan to make some smaller cut comb honey boxes (like Warre describes in his book) for top supering. This will solve the cut comb honey issue that bjorn described.

Best,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Seems to me that undersupering would be easier with my hive design since I have removeable frames and I could move a few frames of brood and honey down to the undersuper. While possible to do with Warre hives seems it would be easier with removeable frames, no?
 
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