Which hive to choose?
My personal choice for bee-friendly beekeeping is the Warré beehive for various reasons.
The abbé Éloi François Émile Warré (9 March 1867 at Grébault-Mesnil - Tours le 20 avril 1951) has made a large but simple study of how bees behaved in the wild.
He made 350 different beehives and the Warré beehive was born from these because, according to his findings, the bees behaved best in that hive.
The beehive is small and only has an inner size of 30 cmx30 cm, the height per box is 21 cm and the thickness is 2.5cm. There are 8 frames per box.
The original Warré beehive did not have a queen grate or a Varroa grate.
I've adjusted the beehive a bit (this has been done by others in the past) to do beekeeping in a bee-friendly way as I see it. You can of course use any other beehive to do bee-friendly beekeeping, and as I said, the type Warré has my preference.
Working with a Warré hive has more differences than e.g. beekeeping with Simplex.
Warré beehive plans
There are a lot of Warré beehive plans on the internet.
First and foremost, of course, the link to the inventor of the Warré beehive L'abbé Éloi François Émile Warré.
He has written a book about this. You can download the book here.
The plans can be downloaded here.
Beekeeping in these bee hives has been described in many ways.
Initially, the beehives were always enlarged by adding bins from the bottom, because it is assumed that bees build from top to bottom and that is certainly true!
There was no queen grid and no Varroa grid.
The bees enter on a solid bottom via a small flight hole. In each box there are 8 top bars with a wax insert.
The bees start to build their comb the way they want it.
In the nearby future Geert his Warré plans will be available her on the website too.