Groups / Fora
Abbé Warré's book
hive modifications and accessories by Marc Gatineau
Photo: Marc Gatineau
Above one of Marc Gatineau's modified Warré hives with an an entrance hole (and cover) in each of the hive bodies. On Marc Gatineau's web page on which he used to display this photo, he wrote (translating from the French): 'Note the entrance hole in each box.The bees love these holes!'
Certainly adding extra holes (and covers) increases complexity and therefore cost. Whether they help or hinder the colony's ability to control water vapour and heat flow etc. would be a subject for experimentation, so too the contribution to foraging performance.
Gatineau praises the Warré hive, but advocates using frames in it on the grounds that they are useful and, for raising queens, even indispensable (picture of Gatineau frame). He points out that the space taken up by the wood can be reduced, compared with a conventional frame, because the frames are small and thus rigid, even with thin wood (for dimensions see the frames page). However, as the frames create voids at the edges of the combs, it is difficult to see how this modification enhances implementation of Warré's concept. Furthermore, Gatineau advises that the frames can be used with foundation or starter strips and at wider spacing (fewer than eight to a box), as is commonly done in the supers of conventional hives. For Gatineau, a Warré hive-body box suits all operations, nuc raising, queen breeding and honey collection and needs only one kind of frame in all three.
Two further contributions by Gatineau to Warré beekeeping are worth special mention. The first is his completely transparent Warré hive from which one can see at a glance the whole principle of operation. A photo is shown at http://www.apiculturegatineau.fr/photo_7.html or at the bottom of the home page of Warré beekeeping.
The second contribution, probably the most valuable, is the Warré hive lift, an example of which is shown below. It is a manually operated fork-lift whose fork inserts under the handles on either side of a Warré hive-body box. The fork is mounted on a board which slides vertically in grooves, somewhat in the manner of the French guillotine. The board is lifted with a cord passing over pulleys to a windlass. The gearing of the windlass and the pulleys give a high mechanical advantage and permit a gentle, smooth lifting of an entire hive complete with roof. The bees no not show evidence of being disturbed by this operation and fresh boxes or a new floor can be inserted with ease. The fork can be inserted below any pair of handles on the hive, depending on the height of the top beam of the lift or the positioning of auxiliary supports.
Gatineau reports his experience with the Warré hive in his book L'apiculture, telle que je l'aime et la pratique.
The information on this page was taken from http://www.apiculturegatineau.fr