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Abbé Warré's book
Beekeeping for All:

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2. free e-book (PDF)

Warré Beekeeping

Pierre Louis Du Couédic de Villeneuve's 'Pyramidal Hive'

In his book La ruche pyramidale: méthode simple et naturelle pour rendre perpétuelles toutes les peuplades d'abeilles1 Du Couédic (1743-1822) describes a hive concept similar in basic principle Warré's. Warré comments on it on pages 148 of Beekeeping For All.

ducouedic_pyramidal.jpg (46279 bytes)

Above: engraving from Du Couedic's book showing the hive with one, two or three storeys. In the upper right corner is the hive-body box lying on its side showing the hole 34-41 mm (15-18 lignes, pied du roi post 1799) for the bees to pass from one box to another.

The hive is 729, 810 or 891 mm (27, 30 or 33 pouces) high and 243, 270 or 297 mm (9, 10 or 11 pouces) diameter.

In Chapter 1 The invention of the pyramidal hive, Du Couedic points out that wherever a swarm establishes itself in the wild it always works downwards, the brood gradually abandoning the upper combs and leaving them filled with honey. It is relatively easy to remove the upper honey combs without disturbing the work of the colony below. The pyramidal hive is thus based on this principle. Boxes are added underneath in the spring and harvested from the top in the autumn leaving enough honey for overwintering.


1) P. Ducouédic,  President du Canton de Maure, Département d'Ille-et-Vilaine, La ruche pyramidale: méthode simple et naturelle pour rendre perpétuelles toutes les peuplades d'abeilles, 2nd ed.; Mrs. Ve. Courrier, ed., publisher, Librairie pour la Science, Quai des Augustins, No. 57, Paris, 1813. Downloadable from:

2) Émile Warré, Beekeeping For All, 2010, trans. from L'Apiculture Pour Tous, (12th ed. 1948) Northern Bee Books. PDF available (see link on left).  (In this book Warré incorrectly writes Philippe du Couédic's name as C. Decouédic.)