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Suitability of Warre hives for the South


Are Warre hives suitable for the deep South? Haven’t read anything about keeping hives cool. Everything seems to be about how to keep them warm. Are there any considerations for using this type of hive in high heat and humidity?



Thanks for your post! Over the past few years we’ve shipped a LOT of hives to states like Texas and Florida and we haven’t heard of any issues. According to “Honeybee Democracy” feral colonies in any environment, when given the choice, tend to choose cavities with tiny entrances and no ventilation – something that closely matches a Warre hive. The bees manage the temperature within the hive using evaporative cooling, something that many argue would work better with minimal ventilation rather than a wide open top or bottom as some Langstroth beekeepers like to use.




How much sun can they take? I am starting 2 Warre hives in the spring and have been scouting locations in my back yard. I have the perfect spot ( morning to mid afternoon sun then shade till dusk) unfortunately, I have a neighbor who is a bit of an a-hole and would prefer to not get on his radar again. My secondary choice is in the center of my garden but this gets all day sun and the temps where I iz can get to 107 as it did last year and hang there for weeks. Your thoughts?

Stephen Hopper




Thanks for your post. Since I don’t live in such a hot climate, I don’t speak from experience. In your case I would try and get it into a location that has some shade in the afternoon. Many in VERY hot locations swear by screened bottoms and some sort of ventilation at the top of the hive. I would urge you to use ventilation sparingly, however, as bees do use evaporative cooling in the hive. If there’s a chimney in the hive it may have a negative impact on their ability to reduce the temperature. I would probably start off normally with only the standard Warre entrance as ventilation. If the colony ends up bearding a lot you could prop or drill a hole in the top box to allow for some more ventilation. If this reduces the bearding, then I wouldn’t do anything else. If not, you could try a screened bottom and see what impact it has.




Thanks. I am going to go with my original location. It is right near my garden and is backed-up by a stand of bamboo that I will hope redirect the flight path from my neighbor’s yard. The only problem I foresee is not being able to access the hive from behind and I really don’t know why that would be an issue anyway. I am very excited about getting started.


The problem I know of with not being able to access hive from behind is that the hive stations guard bees at the entrances of the hive, (which are typically in the front). If you can’t access the rear of the hive to do your work, you are more than likely to aggravate the guard bees which will come at you to sting you. Also they will release an alarm pheromone when aggravated which will alert other bees which will then be in defender mode. You can avoid this if you do your work at the back of the hive.


Due to the panic regarding the west Nile Virus, Dallas has taken to the air with Duet, a pesticide that seems to drop any and all flying insects. They are doing this at night and according to the area propaganda, it breaks down quickly in the light. My question is how do I protect my investment?


I’ve heard of some beekeepers putting sheets or large boxes over their hives to protect them from the spray. Colonies with a lot of bearding on the entrance will be especially susceptible.