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Warre hive for pollination-only bees?


I currently have two hives living in different cavities of a mostly dead 100-year old pittosporum in my front yard. A previous swarm that took up residence a few years ago suddenly disappeared after making a ton of comb. I am not sure if they were victims of Colony Collapse or just got uneasy about living in an extremely creaky structure; but these new girls seem very happy even though the entrances to the two cavities are almost adjacent and I have been working very close to them, trying as hard as I can to prune away any other trees that seem to be putting any strain on the pittosporum. I, however, live in fear of the next big wind storm just taking the tree down and have decided I should have a hive ready for the displaced gang (or will I need two?) I grow fruit trees (organically) so am eager for the pollination and also grow tons of wild flowers and clover so there is almost always something blooming around here (in Southern California) , but I really have no interest in the whole beesuit/honey harvesting aspect of things. After reading through the website, I have come to the conclusion that I am a perfect candidate for your Warre hive, but with all the talk about adding boxes from the bottom, etc. I just want to make sure I am not missing anything. Is it okay to keep hives and NOT remove any honey at all? If so, do I still have to keep adding boxes (which I assume requires a suit)

Also, given that I live in very close proximity to three neighbors with small children and pools; and expect to be getting a new puppy myself soon, I had thought that the safest place for the new hive might be a rarely-used SE facing deck on the second floor of our house. Are hives so high above ground-level acceptable to the ladies? The current hives are eight-ten feet up the tree. Thanks!


You can certainly do what you’ve explained – but I’d simply add 3-4 boxes at one time and then bait it with lemongrass oil. Bees love to be high up – in fact, most colonies are at least 10-20 feet in the air! Even if you don’t catch your own swarms, you’ll keep some bees from moving into a wall or other space that humans don’t like, thus saving the colony from possibly being poisoned!





Make sure you have a water source for your bees. Otherwise they will be at the neighbor’s kiddies wading pool!

I have two concrete fountains, which autofill when the sprinkler turns on. The pumps are small, just allowing a trickle of water which wets the rough concrete. The bees love to drink there. A rough service which is wet works well.

In the summer heat, the flight path from our hives to the fountains reminds me of the fighter jets coming into the mother ships (StarWars, Battlestar Gallactica, etc). They have never stung me as they whiz by, too busy carrying water back to the hive.


OOPS: ‘rough surface’, not ‘rough service’.