Getting to Know the Warre Hive: Examining the People’s Hive

One of the common designs for natural beekeeping is the Warre hive design.

This is a type of beehive has an upright top bar hive that is uncomplicated in design, not hard to construct and effortless. The cost for the Warre beekeeping method is minimal. Compared to the Langstroth hive it is about a fourth of that expense to build.

People who use this type of beehive appreciate it because it makes doing regular beehive maintenance easier than other methods.

It is very functional for the bees. They can pull out their honeycombs, with little effort and they are not hindered by the construction of the hive. The Warre hive is also known as a supered top bar hive.

How was the Warre Hive Invented?

Photo credit to Beekeeping Forum

Emile Warré, who was born in France about 1876, invented the Ruche Populaire or People’s Hive. He died in 1951.

Warré consistently tried out over 350 different types and designs before he came upon this final beehive plans. His main objective during his experiments was to create a more uncomplicated, natural, inexpensive and bee-friendly hive system.

The general populace preferred this design to others.

In his book, “Beekeeping for All,” Emile Warré summarized how to assembly the beehive and how it was intended to enhance the bee’s honey production.

Johann Ludwig Christ, who is a beekeeper out of Germany also supported Warre’s discovery and his beekeeping model is closely similar in design.

The beekeepers in Japan also use a similar method to Warre’s that has been carried over from as far back as A.D.1586 to A.D.1911. This was known in Japanese history as the Edo period.

About the Warre Hive


Photo credit to Primal Woods

This structure comes with an uncomplicated hive design that doesn’t have any frames in the hive box.

It allows the insects to pull down their honeycomb from top bars fastened to all boxes. The cover also allows for some stratum of padding to the hive. This can be found situated just beneath the roof on the apex of the highest box.

If you are interested in using the Warre beehive plans, then visit your local hardware store for available materials for construction. You will find that it is not too laborious to build and only requires a small amount of time.

In summary, this type of type of beehive, also known as the “People’s Hive” is a less complicated alternative to beekeeping. Beekeepers who want a more basic, ordinary and healthy way of keeping bees, should try this methodology.

Specifications of the Hive

This hive has layers of matching boxes fixed with top-bars, however, they have no frames. The basic outline of the beehive plans is outlined and summarized below.

  1. The entrance is 120mm wide and has a flat floor, made from alighting board
  2. The hive also has a rough weave material on top of the top-bars of the crown box.
  3. The ‘quilt box’ is 100mm in height and can accommodate wood shavings of straw. This is kept down by a cloth.
  4. The roof is a gabled kind, and it has proper ventilation.
  5. It has a mouse proof board that is divided away from the covering.
  6. Below all the top bars is a wax starter strip.
  7. Supported by rebates, there are 8 (36mm centered 24mm wide) top-bars in every box.
  8. There are no frames.
  9. The internal measurements of the hive are 300 x 300 x 210 mm.
  10. There are handles projected on the outside.


Photo credit to YouTube

Features of the Warre Hive

  1. The bees construct natural comb in the top row of boxes. Then they move down to the ones below.
  2. If necessary more boxes can be placed at the bottom
  3. During harvest time, you can easily access the top boxes for harvesting once the main flow is done
  4. During the Winter, the bees hibernate on 2 honeycomb boxes that have approximately twelve kilograms if food stored
  5. To get the honey, you can centrifuge the honeycombs in baskets or drain them directly from the hive.
  6. During Springtime, you can increase the size of the hive using more boxes that have more starter strips.

Start With the Warre Beehive Design

If you are just starting out with beekeeping, this is a great method to try. It will allow you an easier time of mastering the art of beekeeping until you can learn other methods.

Then as your knowledge grows, you can later choose a preference that works best for you.

However, the Warre Hive is a great alternative.

You have easy access to retrieving honey. You won’t have to spend a lot of money. And you won’t need to spend a lot of time building a complicated hive system.

But the greatest benefit is that it is bee-friendly.

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