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Bearding inside hive box


The bottom hive box on my Warre (got it from Beethinking) looked like it was full of bees and probably comb 3 days ago when I looked through the window. The hive has 4 boxes and I know that the top one and box 3 have comb. I haven’t looked at box 2 as it’s propolized. The only box with a window is the bottom one.

This morning I unblocked the window on the bottom box and looked in to find it empty but could see the 2nd box was full of bees and I saw some comb. I would have bet the bottom box was full of bees when I saw the wall of bees the first time I checked. It had to be an inside beard or if anyone has any other ideas I’d like to know. Maybe they were cooling the hive since it was in the low 90’s that day. I’ve seen minimal bearding on the outside. It was 58 degrees this am.

Has anyone seen a beard on the inside of a hive box? This hive is so pretty it makes my husbands Langstroth’s look pitiful! I’ll include a photo on future posting. This hive is awesome!

Being a Newbie to the Warre I appreciate any comments or info from the forum.




Thanks for the post and your beautiful photo!

Bearding inside any hive is quite normal. It sounds like your colony has sufficient space inside since they are bearding INSIDE and not spilling outside the hive. When they beard like that they often build comb, so be sure to be ready for another box once they starting building in the 4th one down!





Thanks for the info. The hive is really an eye catcher. I just got a couple more windowed boxes from you so I need to get one ready. I ran across the term festooning which sounds like the technical term for bearding.

After having Langstroths for 5 years this hands off concept is an adjustment. I really want to check the top 3 boxes but for now will leave them alone since they are so busy and look healthy. I’m really enjoying the Warre and got lucky with getting a large good natured swarm.

 Matt, I have the podcast you did with Craig on the Organically Managed Bee site. Your top bar conversation got us interested and here I am now with a Warre full of bees!   

One more question - are 4-5 boxes the first year average for a new hive? From what I’ve researched I should not take any honey away this fall and if there’s honey left next spring, harvest some after the nectar flow is well established.

 I appreciate any advice from the forum.  I'm interested in any forum members who have first year new Warre experiences that can give me an idea what to expect.