Warré beehives for sustainable bee-friendly beekeeping.
THE WARRÉ HIVE is used extensively by backyard apiarists (beekeepers) in the United States and Europe and is meant for hands-off, minimalist and sustainable beekeeping practices. Abbé Émile Warré (1867-1951) experimented with some 350 hives of various designs with the aim of producing a hive that was simple, economical and bee-friendly which also assured a surplus of honey for the beekeeper. The result was a hive whose construction and operation is described in his book “Beekeeping For All”. Rather than “supering” or adding empty boxes to the top of the hive, Warré hives are “nadired” meaning that empty boxes are added to the bottom without the need to open the hive. This mimics the environment of a wild colony as bees prefer building downwards from the top of their cavity. This means that the hive only need be opened only once a year, namely at harvest. A Warré hive is a vertical top bar hive having eight foundation-less top bars in each box. As these hives were designed most specifically for overwintering of bees in the cold French climate, they therefore provide a comfortable home for honeybees to flourish here in the Pacific Northwest.
The Warré Hive demonstrated by David Heaf at the 2011 Natural Beekeeping Conference: YouTube Video