I just give it a kick in the slats!

I wanted to discuss our new design for our Warre slats, but every time I say that word – slats - I picture Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen explaining how he keeps the steam engine running. Ok, back to the Bee Biz. As we have mentioned, and you have undoubtedly heard it is necessary as a bee keeper to register your hobby with your state apiary agency. (Let’s save any discussions here about appropriate levels of government involvement for Social media sites and address what is.)

When you register your hives it now puts you on the radar screen for an inspection. Most state laws require that your hives be equipped with “Moveable Frames”. That means that an inspector must be able to remove any frame they desire in order to check on the health of your colony. Primarily they are looking for AFB – American Foul Brood. They can be a tremendous resource to you as well, and help you understand a lot of what is going on in your hives. Now, due to state funding, and the sheer number of bee yards, it is highly unlikely that you will ever receive a request for an inspection. Unfortunately, as a hive manufacturer we can’t play the numbers game. We feel it is imperative to supply our customers with frames that will help you comply with your state regulations. Therefore we have designed a partial frame with a comb guide that we feel will direct the bees to lay their comb on the frames provided. In the traditional Warre design the bees often construct “cross comb”. That is, they will construct combs that are attached to more than one slat. Therefore any attempt to remove just one slat, for any reason, will destroy the entire colony structure… and that would be bad.

OK, we’re going to admit something here so pay close attention please. Our frame design is new. It was placed in a few hives in our apiary late last summer and seems to be doing what we anticipated. It can fairly be said that we are a bit short on solid field testing. True, sort of. Our design is based on research and discussions with other beeks, mostly from the UK. Their experiences with the Warre design vastly outweigh anything we have here in the states. So the design is new for us, but is based on decades of use overseas and we are confident that it will prove every bit as useful here.

One last word on why it looks the way it does. The one leg was intentionally made shorter than the other so as not to obscure the view through the window. Also the legs are designed to sit 1cm away from the walls of the hive body. Our frames establish a bee space so that they are not glued to the inside of the box. This is ALL designed to help you comply with State regulations for removable hives. We sincerely wish we did not have to but hey, rules are rules. If you wish to modify our frames, the legs are constructed in a break away fashion so they can easily be removed if you wish.