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Perone Hives

 
Cj Sloane
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Here's a pdf link on making a Perone hive.

The Main Perone website

And a cool blog by someone who made a Perone hive with a window
 
Cj Sloane
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Perone hives are ideally populated with a swarm. Here's a pdf on Bait Hives for Honey Bees from Tel via another thread.
 
Amedean Messan
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Wow, nobody said thanks yet for the links......well I will be the first. Very nice, thanks!
 
Chris Badgett
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Great job on the Perone website!
 
Cj Sloane
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I've hosted hives on my land before but never been a beekeeper so this is mostly new to me. The more I read, the more I like the Perone Hive but there's not a ton of English speaking people who've done it for more than a season or two.

I'll keeping posting links & info here... and pics of the hive I make and I hope others do too.
 
Cj Sloane
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So I've ignored the standard advise that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

The law here in Vermont is that you have to register your hives with the state. There is no fee.

The law (in most US states) requires that the brood combs can be removed and inspected. This means a Perone & possibly Warre hive would need to be modified. The odds of someone actually inspecting my hives would probably be nil except that I've asked for a waiver because that's a provision of the law. The state inspector doesn't want to grant the waver till I register the hives, but of course, I can't decide which hive to make...
 
David Livingston
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As for Warre hives they can be inspected And I know they are in France And the UK. I even have a tool for it as I believe that Bio security is important. I prefer any inspection should be done with my tools not other tools that might have been in a deseased hive.
As for Péroné hé I read believes that the brood box should never be disturbed And should demain closed for ever.
Registration is compulsory here in France but not I think in the UK


David
 
Cj Sloane
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David, what types of hives do you have and can you post a pic of the Warre tool (unless it's in bee keeping for all pdf)
 
Kevin Hedrick
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Mites aren't a big issue here, so I wouldn't be disinclined to the Perone for this reason. I do however know the pesticide use in my area is HEAVY, and its been proven that the bees are bringing it into the hives, and it is stored in the wax in the comb (and it is measurable).. For this reason it is recommended to swap out 20% of each brood boxes comb every couple of years. I'm not sure the Perone lends itself to this.. Although I have yet to be inspected, I don't like the idea that I may have my hive removed or destroyed. I pay 10 dollars a year for this service, per apiary location. As much as I like the idea of leaving my brood box alone, I also want to be able to detect any problems before any inspector does, and treat naturally by my own means rather than on the inspectors terms. AFB is one that comes to mind when I think of things that can go wrong with perone, and effect other beekeepers hives in my area.
 
Cj Sloane
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Kevin, where are you located? Lots of location dependent info in your post.

You might want to adjust your profile to display your location. It's often helpful.
 
Kevin Hedrick
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Updated, thought I had done that already but I guess I forgot to hit save..
 
Cj Sloane
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Kevin Hedrick wrote:As much as I like the idea of leaving my brood box alone, I also want to be able to detect any problems before any inspector does, and treat naturally by my own means rather than on the inspectors terms. AFB is one that comes to mind when I think of things that can go wrong with perone, and effect other beekeepers hives in my area.


Keep in mind, I'm not a bee keeper yet...

But this feels like a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" kind of thing. The theory is that you totally leave the brood box alone, they stay healthier with no stress of poking around and no disruption of heat and humidity. By checking to see if they are ill, you may make them ill...

Can you use an observation window to check for AFB?
 
Kevin Hedrick
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I love the idea behind the perone, I just wish it was more practical in addressing these issues, the theory is sound, and I agree.. American foul brood is detected by looking at the comb face, watching for concave capped brood and by a distinct "foul" odor, and pupa that have died with their "tongue" sticking out and upward towards the eyes. Its a spore based disease, and probably the worst disease out there.. The only treatment is to kill the bees and burn the hive components. It spreads like wildfire from other robbing colonies.. If this wasn't a serious issue that I worried greatly about, I would be making perone hives and large skep hives to forget about and put in my grove somewhere. I'm interested in the inspect able warre hives as well.. Wondering if anyone has had success in the northern states with these. We get awful cold up here (it's minus 4*), and in a wrapped lang hive, we do OK. We have been having a really cold winter this year, and the biggest killer we face in winter is having a warm day where they take cleansing flights, then a really cold snap. The bees often time dont have time to make it back to cluster and as a result we get about 30% death rates..
 
Cj Sloane
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Kevin Hedrick wrote: I love the idea behind the perone, I just wish it was more practical in addressing these issues, the theory is sound...


Part of the problem is that the people with the most experience don't speak English and then the other problem is that they don't have as many regulations to deal with.

That said, lots of hives were started in the Northern Hemisphere last spring and summer and results should be coming in.

If anyone has seen Andy Pearce's youtube videos on Perone hives, he just let me know that his Mk1 hive was "empty of bees this September. There was no disease, a hatched queen cell, some aborted queen cells but all was silent and empty."

No word yet on his Mk2 hive. Really nice description here:
 
David Livingston
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Hi CJ
Sorry for the delay
I have a Warré and am getting some bees in two months .
I have a Warré inspection tool It was made as part of a batch for Bee Inspectors in the UK . Unfortunetly its all packed away so I cannot post a picture . but its not too difficult to describe .
Its made of 5mm cross section stainless steel . Its 30 cm long L shaped the small limb is about 4 cm long . The inside edge of the small limb is sharpened .
To remove a frame first of all you use a normal knife to cut any bridging comb between the combs , then you drop the tool between the bars turn ,it 90° and use the tool to cut any attachments to the side of the box. Then you can lift out any combs for inspection .
Do you think I should make this a seperate thread to share this idea with other folks ?

David
 
Cj Sloane
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David Livingston wrote:
Do you think I should make this a seperate thread to share this idea with other folks ?


There is a separate thread called Why Warre and you could cross post there.

I may make a Warre, Perone, and a TBH, just what Emile Warre said not to do! Lots of beeks do seem to have multiple types of hives and I guess the only way to know what works for you is to try it.

Please let us know how it goes.
 
Cj Sloane
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My NUC is coming in a week or two. My question is would I put the honey supers on immediately or wait till the hive is more established? Also, in Tel's video where he describes the Peronne hive he places canvas between the comb grid and the roof. Is this common practice?
 
tel jetson
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Cj Verde wrote:My NUC is coming in a week or two. My question is would I put the honey supers on immediately or wait till the hive is more established?


up to you. Oscar Perone said put them on with in three days of hiving the bees, but he also said only populate with a prime swarm. Perone's justification for putting the supers on immediately was that the bees explore the cavity they're inhabiting and set a pace to fill up the volume they discover. I've asked my bees about that. they haven't gotten back to me yet. a reasonable motivation for not putting the supers on is that they will have less space to control the climate of while they get established, which could very well be easier on them. hard to say.

Cj Verde wrote:Also, in Tel's video where he describes the Perone hive he places canvas between the comb grid and the roof. Is this common practice?


I don't know that anything with these hives could be described as common practice. I use the top cloth because it's so much gentler to remove than a rigid crown board or equivalent. I don't need to remove it very often, but I prefer to avoid unnecessary cracking apart of woodenware when I do get in there. it's adapted from Warré's design, which I used for a few years before I came across any of Perone's designs.

 
Cj Sloane
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Thanks so much!
 
Cj Sloane
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Here I am with my new Perone:


And here's a pic of the NUC installed:
 
Cj Sloane
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So, do I need to feed them? The weather looks good for a few days and it looks like there is nectar/pollen available (cherry blossoms, willow, maples, a few early dandelions & coltsfoot).
 
tel jetson
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Cj Verde wrote:So, do I need to feed them? The weather looks good for a few days and it looks like there is nectar/pollen available (cherry blossoms, willow, maples, a few early dandelions & coltsfoot).


I think they'll probably sort it out just fine if the weather is good. if, in a couple of days, the forecast for a week or so turns real nasty, you might then consider feeding. but if the weather's fine, leave them alone.
 
tel jetson
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nice work, by the way. looks good.
 
Jerry Ward
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I too have been reading up on a Perone hive. Please keep us updated as I have found very little information about Perone hives two or three years in. My plan is to find a good location on my property and build a small "bee hut" to hold a Perone hive.
 
Cj Sloane
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Here's a mini update. I've been seeing the bees fly in with pollen so that's good. Mostly Dandelion and probably some Maple or Willow. Seems late for that but it's been a late spring. I even saw my first honey bee on a dandelion across the pond so that was cool.

I decided to move the black plastic frame that I had originally put in the hive. I thought it was a feeder but now I'm not so sure. It wasn't open like pictures of black plastic feeders I've seen. I put it into the now empty NUC box and we'll see what happens. They started to build comb along the bottom, another good sign. I'd like to take some of that comb and put it in the Warre hive and maybe attract another colony.
 
tel jetson
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that's a friend showing off the comb built last year by a colony that didn't make it through our strange winter. quite a lot of comb.

we put another swarm in there last night. we ended up waiting until after dark for the other bees that had been robbing the little bit of remaining honey to vacate the premises. it worked out in the end, but I was reminded in rather dramatic fashion why I don't install swarms after dark. they seem happy with their new home this morning.
 
Cj Sloane
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tel jetson wrote:quite a lot of comb.

...I was reminded in rather dramatic fashion why I don't install swarms after dark.


That is quite a lot of comb! Any ideas on why they didn't make it?

When you have time, could you elaborate on why you don't install swarms after dark? Or have your friend video tape it. Seems like an interesting story.
 
tel jetson
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Cj Verde wrote:
That is quite a lot of comb! Any ideas on why they didn't make it?

When you have time, could you elaborate on why you don't install swarms after dark? Or have your friend video tape it. Seems like an interesting story.


we had a real warm spell toward the end of February and beginning of March that I think warmed them up and started them rearing brood. then it got real cold again for a month. brood needs to be kept much warmer than adult bees do, which isn't easy without a lot of nectar and pollen coming in.



and after dark, bees don't fly, they crawl. and they get much stickier. during the day, it's relatively easy to pour a bucket or box of bees into a hive, but that becomes much more difficult and unpleasant for the bees after dark. turning on artificial lights just seems to make the situation worse. installing a swarm is generally a very gentle and easy endeavor, but not at night. I knew that, but I was in a hurry and low on sleep and the bees had been very agreeable while I collected the swarm.

waiting until morning or even the following evening would have been better. running them into the entrance of the hive instead of pouring them in might have worked, though I would guess that wouldn't work in the dark, either. if the three of us involved had been suited up, we could have taken our time and done a better job, but it still would have been extremely frustrating with them sticking like limpets.

they're doing well today. and it was a good reminder not to take their goodwill for granted. bees are very accommodating creatures, but preparing properly and keeping their habits in mind is most definitely in order.
 
Cj Sloane
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Takes quite a while to warm up enough for the bees to come out. It was 39° last night but by 11 they're usually out foraging. Here's a good shot of them using both entrances:
 
Cj Sloane
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After one full week there's new comb below the NUC frames:

and new comb on the sides of the frames:
 
Cj Sloane
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Here we are at 3 weeks:


And here's another which shows a pile of bee detritus in the corner:


I assume that's normal. Looks like old bee parts but no actual bees.
 
tel jetson
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not bad for three weeks. very industrious.

I think now is a good time to prepare yourself for the possibility of losing them over the winter. windows allow you to satisfy your curiosity and keep good tabs on them without disturbing them, but they can also cause more attachment to the bees, which can make losing them particularly difficult. from my own experience and what little I've been able to gather from others using Perone hives in North America, survival rates the first year haven't been awesome. not terrible, but not awesome. starting from packages or nucleus hives especially seems to be a bit dodgy. even the most ideal cavity might not allow a colony to survive the first winter: depending on the source, statistics suggest that a large majority of feral/wild swarms don't make it through their first year.

but, you got started early and they seem to be doing quite well. if I had to guess, I would say they'll probably be fine. and even if they don't make it, you'll have a lot of comb to give next year's swarm a great start.
 
Cj Sloane
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tel jetson wrote:
I think now is a good time to prepare yourself for the possibility of losing them over the winter.


Intellectually, I know the odds are 50/50. All I can do is try to stack the odds a little more in their favor. The bee hut and our remote location help. Nature is cooperating in a big way. Last year it rained so much people couldn't hay till early July.
 
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Intellectually, I know the odds are 50/50.


Do you actually mean a mortality rate of 50% on the first year? Or just the knowledge of the uncertainty of their survival? I was about to start a perone hive, but this number lets me hesitate.
 
Cj Sloane
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The "official" Peronne website (http://keepingwiththebees.wordpress.com/) says 50% survival for the first year with a NUC.

I'm not sure if it's the size that's an issue or not.

You could go with a conventional or Warre hive and maybe manage it like a Peronne i.e. dedicate 3/5 of the space to brood which you don't mess with and use the rest for honey production.
 
Michael Cox
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How much of that 50/50 is due to going treatment free do you think, as opposed to the issues with the Perone hive itself?

I've heard of 50/50 mortality rates in large apiaries that go treatment free, but then pick up again as the bees genetics improve.
 
Michael Cox
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Also, a second year colony is starting on a substantial capital in terms of wax - whether laid down by themselves or a previous colony. Surely this lets the queen get laying more vigorously and earlier, as well as give them more chance to lay up stores and more thermal mass/insulation.

Probably a mix of all factors
 
Cj Sloane
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I think I'll let Tel weigh in here. I forget what percent of his Perones made it.

A guy kept a treatment free, conventional hive (plastic frames and all) on my property for 3 winters and then the 4th was a bust.
 
tel jetson
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two of my seven made it through the winter. two of the five that didn't make it were cast swarms of moderate size, one was a cutout, and one was a giant swarm of Italian bees that built a whole lot of comb, but couldn't cut it without coddling. one that didn't make it was a surprise to me, though, as it was a very large swarm that obviously included a wild-mated queen. we had a winter that seemed custom made to kill bees, though: started off well enough, but there was a lengthy warm stretch in February long enough to start brood-rearing followed by a month or more of cold.

one of the two that made it through the winter built comb from the floor up.

I'm back up to five populated Perone hives now, and hope to bring that number up substantially by the end of swarm season. I assume the colonies that made it through this first winter as well as the swarms that moved into the previously occupied hives will have a much better chance than those starting from scratch this year. it's all still a brave new world, though, and complete failure is certainly still a possibility.
 
Cj Sloane
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tel jetson wrote:two of my seven made it through the winter.


Just for comparison, how did your Warre hives do?
 
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