A warre hive is a vertical top bar hive that uses bars without frames, usually with a starter strip or wedge as a guide from which the bees build their own comb.
The Warre hive is named after a French Monk named Abbé Émile Warré who developed the hive in the early 1900s after trying over 350 other designs. He wanted to create a hive that was simple to build, easy to manage, the right size for the bees, all while still producing surplus honey. During this process, he wrote a book called Beekeeping for All that documented his findings and reasons he made the hive the way he did. We've used Warre hives since 2008, and find them to be the most hands-off of any hive design.
Why use a Warre hive?
With a Warre hive, you don’t have to frequently inspect the hive, purchase an expensive honey extractor, use foundation full of chemicals (that the bees don’t prefer anyway), or agitate the bees as much as a Langstroth hive when adding additional boxes. If you’ve get windows in your boxes, it’s even easier!
What makes our Warre hives so special?
It Starts With the Best Wood
Our Warre hives are constructed from Western Red Cedar in Portland, Oregon. Western Red Cedar is the ideal wood for hive construction due to its strength, light weight, and weather resistance. Our wood is kiln dried and milled to full 1” thickness (not ¾”-7/8" like our competitors) for improved strength and better insulation for your bees. Unlike a pine hive, you don’t have to paint the Western Red Cedar roof or hive boxes to help them last. We do recommend sealing at least the roof with tung oil, however. We pre-drill all components for easy assembly, and offer fully-assembled hives if you don't want to put it together yourself. Don’t settle for a hive made from pine!
Viewing Windows (Optional)
Viewing windows are awesome. While some other Warre hives offer small viewing windows in their boxes, ours run the full length, giving you an unhindered view into your hive without disturbing your bees!
Rabbet Joint and Screw Construction
Most readily available Warre hives are built with butt joints or nails and glue. We know from experience that anything rabbet joints and screws are superior, and avoid the chemicals used in glue.
Copper Top (Optional)
Beautify and improve the life of your hive by adding professionally bent and riveted copper to the roof. Not only will it help rain and snow run off the hive, but you’ll never have to paint or seal the roof with tung oil!
Beautiful Feet (Optional)
Our Warre hive comes with the best stand on the market. The stand itself has a standard sized Warre entrance, but a sloped landing board to improve rain runoff. A screened bottom is included. To further elevate and stablize the hive, we offer optional precision milled and rounded feet that screw onto the stand itself.
One Piece Wedge Top Bars
Wedge top bars have proven to be the most effective and strongest design to promote beautiful, straight comb attachment and longevity. We manufacture ours on precision equipment from the finest Western Red Cedar lumber. These are the same bars we’ve used and trusted for years in our own apiary. Don’t settle for bars made from multiple pieces or without wedges!
All of our components are pre-drilled for easy assembly. The entire hive can easily be assembled with the provided screws in 30-45 minutes depending on skill level and tools available. Or you can pay a little more and we’ll assemble the hive for you!
Our Warre hives ship free to the lower 48 United States. We ship anywhere in the world – if you’re outside of the contiguous states, please contact us and we’ll get you a shipping estimate!
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