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Cross comb


Started my Warre Hive the last week of May. Have been monitoring the bees progress through the observation windows. Just noticed today that the bees have built their rows of comb across the bars, not 1 per bar. I took the quilt and cover off today to see how bad it was, and it looks like it will be hard to fix. I tried to get a photo but cant figure out how to attach it from my phone. (Sorry!) Do I need to go in and rearrange all of this? The comb is straight, but is crossing all of the bars, making inspection of individual comb impossible. Is it okay to leave it like this and hope that when they move to the lower box the comb will be more organized (1 comb per bar)? I hate to interfere more than is needed. I also worry that I’ll destroy everything they’ve done if I try to fix anything. Thanks for any advice.


This has happened in my warre as well

I left it and haven’t touched it since i saw mine in june but again i didn’t plan on harvesting a drop until their second year…the bees seem fine and once spring comes i’ll pop it open and take a gander and might take it out and try to leave in what i can that the bees can salvage.

to answer your question, in just my opinion…i’d leave it…

what did you end up doing? did it work? was it stressful/harmful?



Warre originally designed his hive with the notion that the beekeper would at minimum only need to interact with the hive two times a year: once in the Spring to nadir empty boxes to the bottom, and at the end of summer to take off the top boxes filled with honeycomb. While some keepers like to be more interactive with their hives, the Warre hive is designed to be as hands-off as you like. In this situation, you have the opportunity to try that out, at least within that particular box. this next season, as you add boxes to the bottom, and eventually take boxes off of the top, you will be able to remove the honeycomb, utilizing the Crush-and-Strain.

In the future, you may want to consider some preventative maintenance, when your bees build into their first box, and when they build down into a new box.
–About one week after they start building into a new box, do a hive inspection. The new comb they will have made is pliable (and weak). If they are beginning to cross comb, this is early enough to manipulate the comb into a straighter position.
– You can CAREFULLY twist and adjust the malleable comb with your gloved hand. Some of the comb may be sacrificed while straightening up the cross comb, but better now than later.
– Be careful not to adjust the comb on a hot day (over 85 degrees fahrenheit). Much of your attempt will end with clumps of fallen comb
– Make certain to consider gravity when adjusting comb. Anytime the comb is not perpendicular to the ground, it has a greater chance of warping and collapsing.

This may sound a bit complex, but if it is done around a week into a new box, the amount of comb is small enough that it isn’t overwhelming.

Once the comb is straightened, they will continue to build straight… MOSTLY. Occasionally, they may slightly cross comb on the edge bars. This is usually quite simple to adjust… as long as you catch it before they’ve built the comb completely out.

I hope that helps!
Andrew at Bee Thinking