Friday, February 01, 2008


I can say only one thing: I’M HAPPY. All the bee colonies are Ok, and No dead hive.

It was 26 January 2008 when I made the first trip to my beeyard. The out side temperatures are –6 Celsius degrees. It’s not the good time to do visit but I have to.
The first thing I did see entering in my Cabin were a lot of dead bastards named mouses.
About 11 o’clock the temperatures were around +7 Celsius degrees. I started opening the hives and put the “cakes” I made for my girls.
For minutes I made plans for the new placement of the beeyard.
I did meet my neighbors for the first time this year.
See you next trip.


akmm said...

Salut,din Babadag
Alpine hive ca dimensiuni este de fapt stupul People's hive al abatelui Eugene Warre, decedat in 1951.Daca aveti amabilitatea sa-mi raspundeti va voi trimite prin E-mail cartea pe care a scris-o ca urmare a experientei de o viata in apicultura si dupa experimentarea a catorva sute de cutii timp de 20 de ani.Eu abia acum construiesc doi stupi ca experiment.In prisaca mea de acasa am stupi Dadant pe pe 12 rame (se intelege cu magazin 1/2) si sunt tare curios daca argumentele zdrobitoare despre hibele cutiilor moderne si apicultura intensiva chiar contravin stilului salbatic de viata al albinei.
Mi-ar face placere daca ati avea amabilitatea sa-mi raspundeti.

akmm said...

Abbé Warré
Beekeeping For All
The purpose of beekeeping
Apiculture or beekeeping is the art of managing bees with the intention of getting the maximum
return from this work with the minimum of expenditure.
Bees produce swarms, queens, wax and honey.
The production of swarms and queens should be left to specialists.
The production of wax has some value, but this value is diminished by the cost of rendering.
The production of honey is the main purpose of beekeeping, one that the beekeeper pursues
before everything else, because this product is valuable and because it can be weighed and priced.
Honey is an excellent food, a good remedy, the best of all sweeteners. We shall go into this in
more detail. And we can sell honey in many forms just as we can consume it in many forms: as it is, in
confectionery, in cakes and biscuits, in healthy and pleasant drinks – mead, apple-less cider, grape-less
It is also worth noting that beekeeping is a fascinating activity and consequently rests both mind
and body.
Furthermore, beekeeping is a moral activity, as far as it keeps one away from cafés and low places
and puts before the beekeeper an example of work, order and devotion to the common cause.
Moreover, beekeeping is a pre-eminently healthy and beneficial activity, because it is most often
done in the fresh air, in fine, sunny weather. For sunshine is the enemy of illness just as it is the master
of vitality and vigour. Dr Paul Carton wrote: 'What is needed is to educate a generation in disliking
alcohol, in despising meat, in distrusting sugar, in the joy and the great benefit of movement'.
For the human being is a composite being. The body needs exercise without which it atrophies.
The mind needs exercising too, otherwise it deteriorates. Intellectuals deteriorate physically. Manual
workers, behind their machines, suffer intellectual deterioration.
Working on the land is best suited to the needs of human beings. There, both mind and body play
their part.
But society needs its thinkers, its office workers and its machine operatives. Clearly these people
cannot run farms at the same time. But in their leisure time (they must have some of it) they can be
gardeners and beekeepers and at the same time satisfy their human needs.
This work is better than all modern sports with their excesses, their promiscuity, their nudity.
Thus if the French were to return to the land they would be more robust, more intelligent. And as
the wise Engerand said, France would again become the land of balance where there would be neither
the agitations, nor the collective follies that are so harmful to people; it would become again a land of
restraint and clarity, of reason and wisdom, a country where it is good to live.
And let us not forget the advice of Edmond About: 'The only eternal, everlasting and
inexhaustible capital is the earth'.
Finally, one more important thing: the bees fertilise the flowers of the fruit trees. Apiculture thus
contributes greatly to filling our fruit baskets. This reason alone should suffice to urge all those who
have the smallest corner of orchard to take up beekeeping.
According to Darwin, self-fertilisation of flowers is not the general rule. Cross-fertilisation, which
takes place most commonly, is necessitated either by the separation of sexes either in flowers or even
A good method
In support of skeps, here is how it could be done: at the beginning of the main nectar flow, make
the bees ascend into an empty skep as we describe later in the chapter 'Driving (transferring) bees'.
Harvest the honey and wax and destroy the brood.
Let us be sensible
Various things make people turn to beekeeping: some from want of sugar, others from necessity
of having some remunerative work. Some apiaries are set up. Some apiaries are extended. Small
apiaries will certainly disappear because sugar will return on to the free market. There will
nevertheless remain more hives than ever. There will thus be a greater production of honey.
But will actual consumption of honey be maintained? Yes, if honey is sold at the same price as
sugar, i.e. on the whole cheaper, for sugar is the main competitor for honey. People do not buy honey
instead of butter, but instead of sugar.
Honey is the only healthy sweetener, that is certain. But sugar has a stronger sweetening power
and it is easier to handle.
The optimists tell us that the public, obliged to use honey for several years, have been able to
appreciate its qualities and that they will remain faithful to it, and that clever publicity will continue to
push the public towards honey. I do not believe any of this.
I have done a lot of publicity in my life, for both honey and medicinal plants. I have had
correspondents not only in France but around the world, in Turkey, in India, in China, in America,
etc., etc. And I have noticed that everywhere there are reasonable people who know how to submit to
the laws of nature and health, to have a life without suffering and a late death without pain. Yes, but
how few! The majority of people, the larger number, prefer a pill or injection to a cup of herb tea, a
lump of sugar to a teaspoon full of honey, some for obvious reasons of economy, quite a lot because of
convenience, many simply to do the same as everyone else. And like everyone else, they contract all
possible kinds of illness; like everyone else, they provide a living for doctors and pharmacists; like
everyone else, they die sooner and more painfully. Did not a wise man write that people eat
themselves to death?
Have people learned from experience? I have not noticed it.
Thus beekeepers come to sell honey at the same price as sugar, and even cheaper if they wish to
attract the new customers that they need.
Under these conditions, will beekeeping still be profitable? Yes, but on the condition that
economical hives are used and an economical method is followed in order to obtain honey at a
minimal cost of production. Certainly this result cannot be obtained with the hives and methods
currently in vogue that we have already referred to. But it can with the method that we are going to
present to you.
Origin of the People's Hive (Warré Hive)
Having decided to take up beekeeping I was bewildered by the diversity of systems of modern
The Dadant hive was the most widespread. Firstly, it allowed use of the extractor, a very useful
invention. But already the Voirnot and Layens hives, which were criticisms of it from different points
of view, were significantly competing with it. Another hive started to appear. It was the Congrès hive,
with 300 x 400 mm frames, in two forms, one shallow, the other deep. Not being able to draw a
reasoned conclusion from the reverberating polemic in those days, I decided to adopt all these systems
in order to study them.
In other respects, the studies of Abbé Voirnot on the volume of the hive seemed interesting to me,
all the more so for Dr. Duvauchelle, my first mentor in beekeeping, modified his hive and gave it eight
frames 300 x 400 mm (shallow), i.e. 96 square decimetres of comb. But the Voirnot hive has 100
square decimetres of comb. Dr. Duvauchelle thus appears to adopt Abbé Voirnot's conclusions on this
Previously, his hive had only 8 frames 280 x 360 mm, thus 81 square decimetres of comb.
Wishing to understand the basis of this issue of the volume of the hive during winter, I
constructed hives with 9 Layens frames and hives with 8 frames 300 x 400, some deep and others
shallow. These hives had a volume approximately the same as the Voirnot hive.
Not wishing to base my experiment on one or two hives, but on at least a dozen of each system, I
had to make 350 hives.
To my great surprise, I noticed straight away that the bees consumed less of their stores in the
hives with single walls where they would feel the cold still more in winter. This is however normal. In
single-walled hives, the bees are torpid; they are as if in a continuous sleep. Now, who dines in that
condition? With hives with warm walls, the bees are active for longer, and thus have need of
sustenance. The single-walled hive thus economises on wood and stores, by as much as 2 kg from
November to February. I also quickly noticed that in the brood chambers covered with boards or
oilcloth, the end frames were quickly turning black and even rotting through the effect of the humidity.
The same did not hold true in the brood chambers covered with canvas. We have given the reasons for
this earlier.
After fifteen years of observations, I believed I could draw the following conclusions.
M. de Layens, the beekeepers' advocate, had reason to say that the Dadant hive demands too great
an outlay of money and time; he created a good frame; he suggested a hive design that is easy and
economical. On the other hand he took the wrong track in replacing the super with frames positioned
horizontally against the brood.
Abbé Voirnot, the bees' advocate, was right when he said Dadant's hive harmed bees because of
its volume and that of its super. Voirnot's hive was a great step forward.
I thus resolved to repeat the studies of these master beekeepers with the hope of reaching a better
result, since, following on from their work, I would have the benefit of it.
Finally we can draw the following major conclusion: the volume of the Voirnot hive is sufficient,
albeit smaller, therefore better, for the smaller the brood chamber the smaller is winter consumption of
stores. However, wintering was better on deep frames like the Layens frame and the frame of 300 x
400 mm, deep.
We preferred the 300 x 400 mm frame because it simplified our calculations.
Moreover, the shape of a hive of eight 300 x 400 mm frames approaches the shape of a swarm
and allows the bees to put more honey above their cluster, which favours good wintering, even in
cases of prolonged cold.
Furthermore, this shape facilitates the development of brood in spring. When the bees want to
extend the brood downwards a centimetre, they have to heat this centimetre over all the surface of the
hive. Now this surface varies from 900 cm2 in our hive to 2,000 cm2 in the Dadant hive. It is clear that
the work of the bees will be easier in our hive.

akmm said...

Emile Warre

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