Suggestions for transfer from Warre

I’m really excited to start using the Flow Hive, but I have a little dilemma. I currently have a Warre hive which is getting a tad old and needs to be refurbished (or retired). I’m wondering if anybody has any ideas for transferring the bees into the Flow hive. I’ve tried reading around, but mostly I only find information on transferring the other way, from Langstroth to Warre, and it doesn’t sound all too reversible.

My current notion is to set up a Langstroth box, and then put the Warre on top, with an “adapter” to cover the rest of the Lang and keep the elements out. Then over time I can harvest the top Warre box but not replace it. If all goes to plan and the bees start filling the Lang, then I can add another Lang underneath and if I find the Queen on a Lang frame, I can put in an excluder below what’s left of the Warre and continue to coax the girls down.

Does that sound like a plan? If I happen to get a swarm, then I suppose I could put that in the Langstroth with the newspaper between, and that ought to kickstart the population in the Langstroth boxes down the bottom. I’d probably have to give the Warre an entrance at the top for a couple of days while they eat though the newspaper I guess.

Of course, things often don’t go according to plan with bees, so if anybody has any insights, I’d appreciate them!

Hi Bindibagi,

I think that the plan to use an adapter to let the bees progress down into another hive will work fine. The main trick will be carefully bracing this against a post, as to begin with the contraption will be very top heavy, there is a definite risk of tipping.

I make Warre hives, so I know that the adapter should be pretty easy to knock up.

I would suggest letting them progress into the brood box, and then start taking off the upper boxes as the brood hatch out and they are filled with honey, then as soon as they are all in the bottom box with no brood in evidence, smoke all the bees down, put on the queen excluder and over-super with the flow box. Save their honey and feed it back to them to make sure that they never have a dearth of nectar as they re-build.

Of course, you can just keep using a Warre hive, they are great - catch a swarm for the Flow hive and you now have two hives :smile:

Thanks for the encouragement. Haha, yeah two hives in the yard would be great, but I’m not sure I’d get away with it! :smile:

My Warre boxes really need to be replaced anyway, so I think I’ll give the Warre a break for a while, hence my plan. I agree that I will need to brace it somehow; I’m always paranoid about the hive tipping over! Also that’s a good idea about feeding the honey back to them during this process. That should help them to get established in the new hive.

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