About Varre’s hive: assembly with blueprints

Beekeepers try to create conditions for the wards that are as close as possible to natural ones. Hive Varre assists in this task. The space resembles a natural hollow, where insects feel more comfortable, providing the owner with a generous harvest and high brood.


The main thing in the hive of Abbot Warré is the conditions close to natural ones. In addition, such designs have a number of inherent advantages. Emile Varre devoted most of his life to the breeding and habitation of bees. In the apiaries, there were more than three hundred of the most different designs.

Observing the behavior of the charges, Emil was able to draw important conclusions. In conditions close to natural, bees behave more actively, increasing productivity. And today the recommendations of the author are used by beekeepers. Its design is based on a simple hive. As the author himself said, there is nothing complicated in it. No framework, no foundation, a minimum of human participation. The result was predicted by the author – absence of diseases, optimal amount of honey, good offspring.


About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

Varre has been developing and researching various hives for several decades. Research has been carried out in order to determine the most profitable, resembling natural nests. The desire is understandable for every beekeeper. This is the creation of conditions that resemble natural and good performance at minimal cost. Thus, it was revealed that Varre’s own hive most of all met the set requirements and had characteristic advantages:

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  • positive living conditions for bees;
  • ease of care;
  • the honey collection process is convenient;
  • minimum costs.

The amount of harvest is less, but these are not all disadvantages.


About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

If you want to breed families in an apiary in the Varre hives, you need to warn about the possible difficulties that arise in the process.

  1. The entrance is located at the very bottom of the structure. This can provoke a tick attack on families. Even a tick dumped to the bottom can easily make its way to the bees on departure and arrival.
  2. The normal exchange of air is not provided, which does not quite favorably affect the development of the family. The bee emits a lot of moisture, but there is no drainage of it, which provokes excessive moisture and the development of diseases caused by this.

But some steps to fix this problem make them perfect.

Characteristic differences

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

The peculiarity of the Varre hive is in the design, which eliminates the need to constantly remove, add frames. This is a frameless method of keeping bees. Instead, waxed planks are used, from which insects pull the honeycomb on their own. While visually compact, the interior space is large.

To ensure the flow of air and normal oxygen exchange, the top is covered with a canvas rag. The bees regulate the exchange rate independently.

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It is not necessary to constantly look into the inner space in order to monitor the state of the family.

The internal structure of the bee is self-regulating. The way it happens in nature.

Components and design features

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

The Warre hive consists of three identical buildings. The bottom is located at the bottom, the top is formed by the roof. External dimensions depend on the thickness of the wood used. The abbot himself recommended using:

  1. The body is made in the form of a simple box with 8 wax-coated slats.
  2. The bottom is slightly smaller than the body.
  3. The presence of handles that simplify the movement and maintenance of the hive.
  4. The roof cover is made a few millimeters smaller than the body itself. This simplifies the process of removing the roof, provides additional air flow.
  5. Gable roof with additional ventilation. It is better to use lightweight materials so as not to make the structure heavier.

When assembling, adhere to the specified parameters, since the body is assembled without the use of fastening material. Three buildings are used in the summer, two are left for the winter. The abbot himself testified that in the summer some of his structures consisted of seven buildings.

Wooden blocks are covered with wax and placed inside 8 pieces for each building, leaving the streets at least 14 mm. Cell building is very fast. Then they change the cases, take out those where the honeycombs are filled with honey and add empty ones. The honeycomb on the bars looks as shown in the photo.

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About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

Rational use

The process of caring for bee colonies is reduced to the predicted finale – the collection of honey. Comfortable, modern beehives are not always enough for bees. A prerequisite is the presence of honey plants. Therefore, they are equipped with comfortable carrying handles.

On spring days, when the trees are in bloom, there are no problems. After the linden blossoms, there is a shortage of honey plants. Therefore, beekeepers prefer to move apiaries. And Varre’s hives are adapted for this. The structures are not heavy, easy to transport.

Self assembly

The Varre hive is also unique in that there are immobile honeycombs inside. As they are filled, they are removed along with the body, and an empty one with new wax bars is installed in the vacant space, from which the bees begin to pull new honeycombs, filling them with honey. The new housing is installed only on the top, without affecting the lower housings.

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

Having the author’s drawings, observing a certain sequence, a person who has initial skills in working with a tree will be able to assemble the Varre hive on his own.

Getting Started

To make a varre hive, prepare a standard set of tools that is available in each apiary and stock up on material using the data presented in the drawing.

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It is desirable that the hive has a wall thickness of 20 mm. Internal parameters within: 300 * 300 * 210. For an apiary in France, the author used a wall material that is 24 mm thick. It is imperative to provide carrying handles and viewing windows.

Hull drawing

The body resembles a small box in which there are 8 slats

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

Liner drawing

The liner is located 5 mm below the body. The capacity allows you to fill it in the winter with various insulation materials: straw, dry leaves. Helps keep warm.

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

Roof drawing

When making a roof, think over the ventilation system, since this is not in the case.

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

On the rooftop, the abbot recommended focusing attention. The design on which the atmosphere inside the hive depends. In winter it helps to keep warm, in summer to create optimal air circulation and temperature. Even a hive in the open sun will maintain a favorable environment inside.

Bottom drawing

All parts of the Varre hive are kept within 2 cm of thickness. This refers to the bottom of the structure.

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

After analyzing the presented drawings, it will be easy to assemble the hive. The main thing is that the proportions are observed, since all the hulls must fit when building the entire structure.

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The principles of settling in the device of the hive

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

The principle of settling Varre is based on full interaction with the bees. Bees should not see the enemy in the owner. Before colonizing the hives with families, it is necessary to smoke them. It is a “helper” that prevents swarming, distracts and calms families. The presence of smoke signals insects to the presence of danger. Bees begin to collect large reserves of honey in their proboscis. Distracting, the insect gets heavier. They simply cannot thrust a sting or poison the “enemy” with poison. When smoke appears, the bees become less aggressive.

After the smoke, wait until the bees calm down a bit before opening the hive. This is evidenced by the slightly less noise that insects make. The beekeeper should not make sudden movements. Foreign strong odors (alcohol, tobacco, garlic) should be excluded. But waiting for the swarming in your own apiary is not always possible. Therefore, the author of the invention advises simply to buy a family with a hive or to use your own inhabited hive.

Try to catch the swarm and put it in the hive. Only the uterus will have to be caught. Here’s her to relocate in the first place. All the rest will rush after her. They do this in the middle of spring, after the first flights. The method is suitable for experienced beekeepers, since not everyone is able to cope with a swarm. If there is no swarm, you can try to settle the queen in a new home. Gradually the bees will get over to her. Sometimes this work has to be done several times.

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Beekeeping according to the abbot’s method

About Varre's hive: assembly with blueprints

There are no special grooming methods provided for Abbot Warre’s hive. Everything happens according to the same principle as working with other hives. Control the filling of the honeycomb. Then they are taken out and the vacant space is replaced with new slats, or the filled case is taken out, and an empty one with rivers smeared with wax is installed in its place. Everything is simple enough. Honey is pumped out by a centrifugal method or the honeycomb is simply cut out.


On the forums of beekeepers, you can find mixed reviews about the Varre hives. This is due to the fact that many beekeepers celebrate less honey. But given that natural conditions have been created for their wards, we can say that this is a fairly effective breeding method.

It is especially important that there is no need to make stocks of foundation. This is an occupation that takes too much time and effort if you make sheets yourself. Varre created conditions when a good harvest is obtained at minimal cost. He noted that he practically did not look at families and did this only when it was necessary to replace the filled slats with empty ones.

Today, Varre’s hives are rarely used. The main reason is fewer bribes… If such samples are found in apiaries, then in a more perfect form. But for those who are just mastering this type of business, it will become a profitable platform for the successful start of a honey business.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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