Thinking of using a Warre hive

My topbar colony appears to have survived its first winter – the bees are out and about when the sun shines, collecting pollen. So, thinking ahead, I want to prepare for the possibility that they will thrive in the coming season and might even swarm. do you have any advice about how to do this? I’d like to try using a Warre hive – any thoughts on where to buy one, what I should look out for? And working from the basis that I dont know what I dont know – any other advice or thoughts on how to prepare myself would be most welcome. thanks!


About walthambees

I am a complete novice to bee keeping - eager to learn, willing to try, happy to acknowledge that I know little and prepared to write about that in the hope that others will share their wisdom and experiences!
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6 Responses to Thinking of using a Warre hive

  1. johnmkubwa says:

    It is good to see someone thinking ahead, especially about swarms and where to put them. You asked specifically about Warré hives and a supplier. I have used the hive for 4 years and seen the hives of 7 or 8 makers. The best quality and value for money is Matthew Mercy near Sturminster Newton in Dorset. His hives are accurate dimensionally; boxes are made of 25mm thick cedar (Warré prefered 24mm to the minimum 20mm thickness) and you get 4 hive boxes for 165GBPs. I buy his hives as do others in the Hampshire Group; they also comment on the quality. Don’t take my word – check out the others!

    As for using the hive; Warré wrote ‘Beekeeping for All’ which describes his use of the hive. BfA has been translated into English by David Heaf who has also written ‘Bee-friendly beekeeping’ which features the hive. David H also runs the Warré beekeeping forum. See also the Resouces tab on this web-site.

    By chance, I am running a course ‘ an Introduction to Natural Beekeeping using the Warré hive’ on Sat 16th March and Sat 13th April 2013; there are still a few places available. Matthew M will be attending Day2 with a hive and is prepared to speak informally about it and give advice on DIY building.

    Hope that helps. If you want to know more e-mail me at with your ‘phone number and we can speak in more detail.
    Regards John H

  2. simplebees says:

    I have uploaded a flyer from Matthew on this page.

    Gareth, Cotswolds

  3. Robin says:

    Can I add Paul of Bees ‘n’ Blossoms into the mix – I can personally recommend his hives.

  4. George Main says:

    there is a terrific international warre/natural beeking discussion group on yahoo – I suggest you join up!

    • simplebees says:

      Welcome to the forum. Could you give us a line or so about yourself and where you keep your bees, please? It helps others put some context around your contributions.

      Gareth, Cotswolds

  5. walthambees says:

    Many thanks -I’ve spoken to Mathew and will continue to watch the colony to monitor their progress

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