David and Matt, thank you for your time on Permies! The first I've heard of your book was from Paul's daily-ish email. I recently met a retired bee inspector who gave me some advice about keeping bees. She told me after inspecting thousands of hives she can now tell exactly what's wrong with a hive just by putting an ear up to the side and smelling it when approaching. She said large triple deep hives and 'free comb' is the key to success around here, which is Northeast Ohio, Zone 6a. She recommended three deep hive bodies for the brood chamber, with bars only across the top deep hive body. She said the bees build the comb down to the bottom eventually, and it is much more productive for them to work on large smooth pieces of comb. She called this method 'free comb'. It makes sense to me and seems more natural for the bees, a real Permaculture practice. She said the brood area is not to be opened and the less you disturb them the better. Even using the smoker is a great disturbance for bees and sets them back. She stressed her views on observing nature and a hands off approach. I believe she only harvests honey. I tend to put faith in this woman's observations and want to give it a try. I'm curious if you have any knowledge or experience on this method.
Yes it does Tel, I just finished watching your great bee chat video. I've heard good things about the Perone Automatic hive before but I wasn't aware of it's management. I'm interested to see how it does for you once bees move in. I might try one of those here too. I should have mentioned I'm referring to Langstroth hives, most of the hive components were free so that's what I started with.
Location: woodland, washington
posted 6 years ago
I believe the first generation of Perone's hives were just Langstroth boxes managed differently.
Reading Galen's post, I too was immediately reminded of the Perone hive. I doubt that it would do well here in wild, wet, windy, west Wales with its grassland monoculture and consequent paucity of bee forage. Ohio probably has a climate much more conducive to its success.
Claude Bralet (France), John Haverson (England) and I are running an experiment with a hive which is not very different in principle from Oscar's. The pages about it are
I wanted to call it the 'Bralet hive' but Claude did not want it named after him, so it is the 'ruche sauvage' or 'wild hive'.
It has a 3-deep 'untouchable' brood chamber with no bars or spales. It can be supered. I started one last season with a swarm, but there was something wrong from the outset with the queen, as can be deduced from the photo of the swarm on my page above. I made another this spring and hope to have both populated by the end of May.
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio zone 5b/6
posted 6 years ago
Thanks for the links David, that round hive looks like it would be very pleasing to the bees. I remember Sepp mentioned round hive corners improve the air circulation in the hive vs square corners. I hope the 'wild hives' do well, I'll try to construct a couple this winter.
It wasn't my idea to go to some crazy nightclub in the middle of nowhere. I just wanted to stay home and cuddle with this tiny ad: