Thank you Chris for all the help and the beautiful hive box. The first thing that my Husband said when we opened the package was "What beautiful workmanship" we are truly excited to put this on our hive so our Ladies have more room in their home. When we need more boxes we will only buy from Sweet Valley. I would highly recommend Sweet Valley!
As your colony grows, additional boxes may become necessary. Our boxes are constructed from 2.5cm (full 1") Western Red Cedar, and they all come equipped with windows and 8 top bars with the wax-coated comb guides as a standard feature.
This is the absolute heart of your Warre hive so we have invested considerable time and thought into the construction. We don't simply take the thinnest wood we can find, staple it together and announce to the world that we are the greatest...
All of our joints are screwed & glued using Titebond III waterproof glue and Stainless Steel Screws (10 screws per box!) . We use rabbet joints on the front panels, and a modified box joint construct on the rear joints where the door panel sits. The windows do not simply butt against the inner walls, they are secured in cutouts along the inner walls so that the window edges are recessed into the sides of the hive boxes. This keeps the bees from escaping through any gaps being created between the box and the windows in the event the wood shifts over time (which all wood does).
We router the inside edge of our door panels to assist in removing and replacing the doors, which can become a challenge during extended wet weather stretches.
We upgraded our PBS (Positive Bee Space) technology by installing hardwood "castellations". When removing top bars from a Warre it is often necessary to pry up the top bars with a hive tool. Cedar is a soft wood and can easily splinter under such stresses. By transferring these castellations from cutouts in the cedar, to installed cutouts in a section of Hardwood we hope to add years to the life of your hive boxes.
New for 2015 and beyond
We have made a further upgrade to the construction of our hive boxes. The core of our boxes will now be made with "Clear" Cedar. In other words, we will be using a grade of cedar that is virtually knot-free. While we believe that knots can actually add visual character to your hives, we decided to eliminate their presence in the living space of the colony (the boxes). Knots are hard, dense and brittle. In some instances they can actually come loose. More importantly, they conduct heat and cold differently than the even-grained wood surrounding them. As a result your hive can experience hot or cold spots where the knots are exposed on the inside. By using this Clear grade of Cedar we insure that the inner temperatures of the hive, and the integrity of the wood strength is consistent throughout every square centimeter. This "Clear" cedar will be limited to the front, sides, and 2 back rails. The handles and door panel may contain smaller imperfections as we deem acceptable.
Good product and service
I love my Warre boxes. They've found a way to take the best of Langstroth design (a movable frame), and incorporate it into a Warre hive while still staying true to the Warre vision. Love it.
I ordered an extra hive box and the new super for my Sweet Valley Warre hive. All are excellent quality. I am happy. Quick shipping. What more could I ask for?
I've had two of these hives for a few years now. They age beautifully and hold up great. The top bar design makes it much easier to inspect the hive because it isn't difficult to get them un-glued. I love the roof design - I use the little space under the peak to store a hive tool and extra propolis screen. I recently purchased an extra box to allow my hive to expand for spring, and the quality of the boxes just seems to get better and better, which I didn't think was possible. Awesome hive - so glad you're back in production!
Expect a delay during late winter, early spring, as the company may receive many orders. The design is as represented on the web-site, and the craftsmanship is very good. I don't remember asking for clear lumber, but that was a bonus.
I ordered two additional hive boxes to go with the three that come with the hives. As with my original order, these hives were of very good quality and reflected care and craftsmanship in both their design and construction. I would recommend these to anyone looking for a pre-built Warre type hive.
What happens when a woodworker and beekeeper come together? The Answer: A Sweet Valley Hive. In short, I would highly recommend this hive box to anyone who is searching for a good home for bees. The unique top bar frames and castellations offer a practical approach to beekeeping and hive management.
I already own a hive from Sweet Valley Hives, and am completely in love with it! I bought this box as an add-on because my gals have been so productive this year. I did lots of research prior to buying my first hive, and ultimately chose this one because of all the nifty upgrades: queen ring, comb guides, and WINDOWS. The quality and workmanship are terrific and the hive looks lovely in the garden. Customer service is quick and friendly. Chris has always been willing and happy to answer questions. He even provided much-needed guidance and moral support during an early season queen crisis. Thanks, Chris!
I really like the design of the hive box. I have not found a better hive box that stands up to Sweet Valley Hives hive box design and its cost. It is well worth the investment.
improved a great product
A friend and I purchased Warre Hives. Exception is mine is from you and she bought hers locally. We could see a difference immediately. She is especially jealous of my notched bar holders! She got shredded paper and no propellis screen in the attic. She got two boxes and I got three. THank you! It was well worth the price!! The girls will be moving in April 15th.