Warré hive frame designs from 1923

Abbé Warré, the inventor of the Warré hive, was a great believer in fixed comb beekeeping and author of the book L’ Apiculture Pour Tous (Beekeeping For All).

Although many hives Warré hives sold today provide moveable frame designs, Warré only published details of his frame designs in earlier editions of his book, with the following (translated) caveat to readers:

Nowadays, I recommend without hesitation the People’s Hive with fixed combs, even for very
large enterprises. […] However, out of respect for the freedom of my readers, I will describe
the People’s Hive in its three forms: fixed comb, ordinary frames, open frames

The above quotation is from the 5th edition of Warré’s book published in 1923. By 1942, the 9th edition of his book no longer had reference to these moveable or open frame designs.

Warré provides both a narrow and wide frame designs, both maintaining his preferred frame spacing of 36mm. In the wide end bar design, the bottom bar of the frame is removed and the frame count is reduced from 9 frames to 8 frames (with a follower board introduced). The moveable frame closely resembles the Dadant frame design (although with reduced dimensions) referenced in the early chapters of his book. Both frame designs share the same top bar design.

Interestingly, the following Warré frame designs were published decades after Julius Hoffman had seemingly ‘solved’ the end bar width debate in the US with his ‘one half closed end’ frames after they gained popularity in the 1880s and 1890s.

Recent renderings of the designs Warré proposed in the 5th edition of his book follow:

People’s Hive with moveable frames

External dimensions: 375mm x 375mm
Internal dimensions: 335mm x 335mm
Height: 207.5mm
Frame length: 350mm
Frame height: 200mm
Frame end bar width: 24mm
Frame top bar width: 24mm
Frame number: 9

Cut away showing 9 moveable frames in hive box. Frames rest on a rebate cut into the top of the hive walls:

Spacing of frames between hive boxes:

End of hive showing cavity spacing to internal walls of hive:

Top view showing Warré preferred frame spacing of 12mm / 36mm comb centres (manually spaced). Top bars are 24mm wide.

People’s Hive with open frames

External dimensions: 376mm x 376mm to 380mm x 380mm (depending on wall wall thickness of 13mm or 15mm)
Internal dimensions: 350mm x 350mm
Height: 210mm
Frame length: 350mm (translation image shows 348mm, but text shows top bar unchanged from moveable frame)
Frame height: 207.5mm
Frame end bar width: 36mm
Frame top bar width: 24mm
Frame number: 8

Cut away showing 8 open frames in hive box with spacing at one end for follower:

Spacing of frames between hive boxes:

End of hive showing cavity spacing to internal walls of hive:

Remaining cavity space at end of hive box for follower board(s):

Top view showing Warré preferred comb centre spacing of 36mm (no gap between end bars with 36mm width). Top bars are 24mm wide

Translated 5th edition of ‘Beekeeping For All’ frame descriptions

Initial announcement article of Julius Hoffman’s frame end from 1879
The original announcement of the Hoffman Frame from 1879

Edit History
2017-04-18 - Added top bar dimensions to descriptions for clarity
2017-03-09 - Initial creation including original CAD content derived from 5th edition translated PDF dimensions and privately translated chapter on open frames