We currently have two custom built Warre hives at the club apiary, but they are not in production. Several members use this style of hive.
The advantage to this style of hive is a vertical natural comb hive with interchangeable boxes that afford the bees one of the most natural colony formation styles.
The disadvantage is that they require building skills and because they are natural comb the frames require more delicate care when handling.
The Warré hive was invented by the abbot Émile Warré, and is also called "ruche populaire" (fr) or "The People's Hive" (en). It is a modular and storied design similar to a Langstroth hive. The hive body is made of boxes stacked vertically; however, it uses Top Bars for comb support instead of full frames, as a general rule. The popularity of this hive is growing among 'sustainable-practice' beekeepers
The Warre hive differs from other stacked hive systems in one fundamental aspect: when the bees need more space as the colony expands, the new box is "nadired". i.e. positioned underneath the existing box(es). This serves the purpose of warmth retention within the brood nest of the hive, considered vital to colony health