Prepping the Hive

I have been getting my Warre cleaned up and up to speed in time for the swarming season this year. I have one top bar box full of last years virgin comb which I was considering to use as the top box in the new hive, with one empty box below this. Does this sound like an ok thing to do? I just thought it might give the bees a headstart.

Also, once a new swarm is on place do people recommend using a queen excluder for a couple fo days just to make sure they don’t abscond? If so, can anyone tell me where to get one for a Warre? I looked at Thorne’s but they only seem to have them for conventional hives.


Graham, Reading Berkshire

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2 Responses to Prepping the Hive

  1. johnmkubwa says:

    Graham, a box of clean comb will certainly give a new swarm a running start and bees seem to appreciate its value. I find a box of comb works really well as part of a two box bait hive. If the bees select such a bait hive as their new home there will be no need to use a queen excluder.

    If a swarm is hived by you in the early evening i.e. allowed to walk in they usually stay. I have known bees abscond from a hive they do not like – it may smell wrong, sometimes after chemical cleaning, gluing or the bees may have been subject to rough handling or other disturbance.

    If you really want to use a queen excluder, Matthew Mercy will be able to make one. He does make transit screens for Warré hives consitsing of a frame with a bee proof metal mesh.

    JohnH, Stockbridge

  2. John, thanks for this. I would prefer to avoid a QE if possible as I’m sure they are stressful for the bees.
    Graham, Reading Berkshire

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