In this section of the Warre Hive Construction Guide we will install the completed Warre hive. Once installed, your beehive will be ready for a new package or swarm of bees. Let’s begin!
To install a Warre hive, find a good flat area on your property. It should be somewhat shaded, but not so shaded as to be completely blocked from the sun’s warmth. The area that you select should have good soil drainage, and preferably be out of the path of strong prevailing winds. The area in the photo below satisfies all of the above criteria.
Place your Warre hive floor on a level space of ground in the area you have selected. Use a carpenter’s level to make sure the floor is level. You can lay the floor right on the ground, or you can put the feet on bricks or cement blocks. Alternately, you can build the floor without feet and just use a stand of your own construction to support your Warre hive.
Next, place your Warre hive box onto the floor. Situate the hive box so that there is an even overlap on all sides of the box. The box is designed to be slightly larger than the floor. This prevents water from running down the sides of the box and into the hive via the floor.
Go on to the next page where we will finish installing the Warre Hive.
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Now for the Warre hive cloth. In his book “Beekeeping for All,” Emile Warre recommends coating the cloth in a flour paste to prevent the bees from chewing the cloth. This is a messy process to say the least. My personal solution was to purchase some metal window screen material from a hardware store. I cut a piece from it the same size as the cloth. Then I taped the cloth and the screen material together to make one assembly and put this assembly on the beehive with the metal side down. This prevents the honeybees from chewing the cloth. If you want to use a flour paste to stiffen your cloth, the instructions can be found in “Beekeeping for All.”
Lay the Warre hive cloth over the uppermost hive box. The cloth should measure 31cm by 31cm (12 3/16″ by 12 3/16″). For more information on the cloth please see the Materials List.
Now place the quilt on the top hive box, sandwiching the cloth between the box and the quilt. Fill the quilt with your choice of insulating material. In the photo, you can see that I have used some chopped pine shavings for insulation.
Once the quilt is full of insulating material, place the roof over the quilt. The sides of the roof will cover both the quilt and a small part of the top hive box. Center the roof over the hive, so that there are equal amounts of air space on all sides of the hive box.
Congratulations! You have built, finished and installed your own Warre Beehive! Stand back and admire your handiwork, pat yourself on the back…and then go find some honeybees to live in your amazing new beehive.