Monday 3 May 2021

Warre Bee Hive

 During the first lockdown last year I decided that I needed a simple project to keep me creative, a project I'd wanted to do for a long time! - A beehive!

And more to the point a Warre Hive. 

Last year for fathers day the children bough me the book "The Idle Bee Keeper" By Bill Anderson. It was on the recommendation of a friend who keeps bees. I was quite taken with the book and loved the idea of these simple to build hives.

Now my experience with bees is, other than being stung a few times, pretty much zero. and although I've read plenty of books on the subject (like pretty much every subject to do with woodwork or homesteading) I still feel that I need some hands on experience. So my friend said that if I made the hive I could keep it at his, we would try to catch some bees and keep them in there and maybe I could come and learn a bit as well. 

Unfortunately by the time I'd finished making it, it was too late in the season. So we had to wait until this year! But I was still excited, also I had it set up all winter and it didn't blow over - one of my concerns with the design. I had built it with thicker timber than recommended to help the bees with temperature control. 

My friend currently has 11 hives in his beautiful gardens. Some set up in a group, with a few dotted elsewhere, and bait hives set up to catch any swarms. He insulates his in winter to help them maintain temperature easier. 

For the Warre, we set it at the end of his garden, just using two boxes to start with, to give the ideal sized hive that bees are looking for. 

On top, a box of sawdust goes (separated by mesh and cloth) to help them get the humidity right. 

With the roof on they look quite smart! 

Whilst we were there we also had a quick look in one of the hives, a frame with a sheet of Perspex on top makes this a really easy job - he could see that some queen cells were being created and he needed to deal with this that afternoon. 

So I'm hopeful we might get some bees in that hive this year and see where it goes from there. I'm fascinated by the subject and I'm sure it would fit with our lifestyle really well, whether I'd have the time would be a different matter. 

I think the wax for my woodwork would be amazing though! And honey for mead would also be incredible! But going at it slowly like this seems ideal. 


  1. That is an unusual looking hive for sure. Good luck.

    1. We're talking about building something even more unusual yet as an experiment!

  2. That is a thing of beauty, Kev! You are such a talented woodworker. I love the idea of the plexiglass on top so you can see what they are doing. Brilliant!

    1. Thank you - it seems a lot do the plexiglass as it makes it so easy to do a quick check, the bees didnt even react so long as I stood away from the entrance.


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