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Bee inspectors & quality of honey


Thanks for this forum!

  1. I’m a former “Langstrother” looking into your Warre hives. Here in Indiana, we’re supposed to get our hives inspected by the state. The biggest pitfall I see with this design is checking for mites, FB, and other deseases. How can inspectors or keepers verify healthy hives when the brood comb is not movable?

  2. Since Warre hive manipulation puts new boxes below and harvest top boxes, it seems that most or all harvested honey is housed in comb formerly used as brood comb. This infers that the quality of the honey is dark in color due to staining from the brood comb. Has this been your experience? Does this also mean the Warre hive is not suitable for comb honey production?

Thanks again for your efforts here. I’d really like to try a couple of your Warre hives in the spring, but having been brainwashed “Langstroth”, am concerned about hive health and quality of honey.



Great post!

  1. One doesn’t need to open the hive to check for mites, at least not in my experience. I assume all of my hives have mites. I do monitor for high mite populations, but I usually do so by watching activity outside of the hive. Things such as deformed wings, bee bodies, etc. If I’m really curious I can lift the hive off of the base and look for mites – even without a screened bottom you’ll find mites on the floor.

If I have good reason to inspect individual combs (rare), I’ll open up the hive and pull out combs that ARE removable. Some may not be, but I assure you that at least some will be relatively easy to remove with a hive tool. Due to the bars we use with guides on them, the first combs are almost always straight – or at least straight enough to remove. We sell a couple hive tools specifically for managing Warre hives. They detach the comb from the sides of the box and allow you to pull out the individual bar.

In general, I assume everything is all right in my hives unless they provide me evidence to think otherwise!

  1. I’ve harvested many hundreds of pounds of honey from my Warre hives – all of which have had boxes added to the bottom (nadir) – and I’ve never noticed any sort of honey discoloration compared to my Langstroth hives or horizontal top bar hives. It looks identical.

However, your assumption regarding comb honey is correct if you are ONLY bottom supering. Note that Warre did create different, shorter boxes to top super. You could do this if you’d like cut-comb honey.