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Perone Hives

 
steward
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Cj Verde wrote:
Just for comparison, how did your Warre hives do?



lost two of four this year.
 
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Cj Verde wrote:[...]
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.


There was a recent study in europe

The influence of genetic origin and its interaction with environmental effects on the survival of Apis mellifera L. colonies in Europe


They kept honey bees of different origins all around europe trying to show, if local origin of the bees really improves the survival rate of the bees. YES IT DOES!
But they also gave numbers, how long the hives survived without any treatment. (No chemicals at all, not even organic acids)

According to their results only 15.7% of their 597 colonies made it into their third year. Average life span was strongly influenced by climate, but usually was about 2 years. This makes your three year conventional hive a real survivor!

 
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Interesting Stats
but I wonder what would be the result at looking at indevidual queens and survival . Remember each year the queen leaves in the prime swarm . So how do these queens survive ? Each year the 'new management team ' takes over . Is looking at longevity of the hive a red herring ?

David
 
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There is a project here in the UK to breed treatment free survivor bees with genetic varroa resistance (grooming traits and removing capped brood with varroa in it). Their plan is to flood areas with drones from these hives to spread the genetics as far and as thoroughly as possible through the feral bee populations.

Swindon Bee Project

I don't know if they are still active because their website hasn't been updated since 2011.

This principal suggests that, over time of going treatment free, your overall genetic stock in the region (not just your own hives) should improve as more and more hive throw out drones with the strong genetic traits. I think it would be a great boost to the bees in an area to import a queen with these traits to supply drones and queens to breed with your own bees. Essentially throwing good genetics into the mix in the same fashion as a landrace for vegetables.

Anyway, when these guys started treatment free they had over 50% mortality each year in their 80 odd hives, now they are down to about 15%.
 
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Ludger Merkens wrote:

They kept honey bees of different origins all around europe trying to show, if local origin of the bees really improves the survival rate of the bees. YES IT DOES!
...
According to their results only 15.7% of their 597 colonies made it into their third year. Average life span was strongly influenced by climate, but usually was about 2 years. This makes your three year conventional hive a real survivor!



As mentioned before, the NUC for the Perone was from local bees & a naturally mated queen so I think that's a plus. Found on CraigsList.

I'm hoping the location of the hive is another factor. Hundreds of acres of undeveloped forested land. That was the only difference between that conventional hive that made it 3 winters.

I do wish my Warre would attract a swarm to increase my odds though.
 
tel jetson
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finally had some success with one of my Perone bait hives. haven't transferred them to a permanent hive yet, but I'll do that soon enough.

my neighbor also pointed out that there was a swarm in the maple tree in my front yard. it was quiet and high enough that I never would have noticed it. she saw it arrive, though, and was worried they might hurt my bees. got that one into a bucket, but too late to install them into a hive until tomorrow. that one and the bait hive swarm should put me at eight Perone hives. I believe eight is the minimum sample size for statistical analysis to work properly...
 
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tel jetson wrote:finally had some success with one of my Perone bait hives. .


Whats a 'perone bait hive'? I know bait hives, and I know how to build a perone hive, and roughly know how they are managed. But I don't know about perones bait hives.
How do they differ from other 'bait hives'?

 
Michael Cox
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Tel - 8 perone hives sounds good. I'm looking forward to hearing how they get on.

Regarding swarm catching - when you put a swarm in a box do you leave them there until dusk to get the flying bees, or just leave the flying bees behind?

The swarm I caught last week I waited until dark to get as many bees as possible. I watched another beekeeper yesterday catching a swarm (he got there first!) and he was packing up leaving hundreds of flying bees behind.

What would your preference be?
 
Cj Sloane
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Ludger Merkens wrote:
Whats a 'perone bait hive'?



It's a bait hive with the right dimensions for the Perone.
 
tel jetson
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Michael Cox wrote:
Regarding swarm catching - when you put a swarm in a box do you leave them there until dusk to get the flying bees, or just leave the flying bees behind?



really depends on the situation. easiest is early morning when they haven't started flying yet. if they're on a branch, I just snip it and go. several times, I've gotten every last bee this way. also nice is if the swarm is very near the parent hive. in that case, I get as many as is possible quickly, then trust that stragglers will find their way back to the parent hive. if neither of those is the case, or if there are a whole lot of flying bees, I do generally leave whatever I'm transporting them in until they've quit flying for the day. exactly when that is depends on the bees and the weather and how much they get shaken up when I get them into a container. if I can just snip their branch, there isn't much scattering of bees and they'll calm down much faster. if it's a situation where there's got to be a lot of brushing or scooping or shaking of branches, it generally takes a lot longer. and if the swarm isn't very far from home so that it's easy to come and go, I'll try to get every bee, which usually means waiting until an hour or two before dark.
 
tel jetson
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Cj Verde wrote:

Ludger Merkens wrote:
Whats a 'perone bait hive'?



It's a bait hive with the right dimensions for the Perone.



right. it's got top bars that will fit into a Perone hive, so I can just transfer them at my leisure even if they've built quite a bit before I get around to it. sooner is still better, but it's nice to not have to check every bait hive every day.
 
Ludger Merkens
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I'll try to get every bee, which usually means waiting until an hour or two before dark.


A good method, that allows to catch a lot of bees, is to put the queen with as many bees as possible, into a bait hive. Dark, good smelling, perfect proportions and very important - with an open door. Put this box into the shadow of a nearby tree, or the tree where you catched the swarm and leave it alone. If you got the queen in the box and the bees accept the box, they usually start to gather around and in the box. This process usually takes about halve an hour, sometimes up to 2 hours, so have a nice chat and a cup of coffee with the owner of the property and go collect the bees.

If you didn't catch the queen, the bees will leave the box. No harm done, you can start over. A swarm without a queen is no good anyways.
 
tel jetson
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Ludger Merkens wrote:This process usually takes about halve an hour, sometimes up to 2 hours, so have a nice chat and a cup of coffee with the owner of the property and go collect the bees.



scouts can take a long time to return, and if they do accept the swarm container as their new home, foragers can set out almost immediately. sometimes it's quick, sometimes it takes all day.
 
tel jetson
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transferred the colony in my bait hive to a permanent Perone hive last night. went really smoothly. just lifted the bars out of the bait hive as a unit and set them in the permanent hive, then closed it all up. they had built five good-sized combs already, but I don't know how long they had been in there before I noticed. there were no attachments to the walls, which made the transfer easy, but I imagine there would have been if I had waited too much longer.
 
Ludger Merkens
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congratulations!
are you going to treat this swarm in any way against e.g. mites, or are you going for no treatment at all?
 
tel jetson
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Ludger Merkens wrote:congratulations!
are you going to treat this swarm in any way against e.g. mites, or are you going for no treatment at all?



no treatment. I'm quite confident they can handle mites on their own. the only things I wonder about are man-made toxins.
 
Cj Sloane
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Has anyone harvested honey from a Perone?
 
Cj Sloane
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32 days:


There was some debate about whether to feed them a light sugar syrup and based on my experience with a NUC in a year with good weather it was not necessary. I never saw a drop off in population like people see with hive populated with packages.
 
tel jetson
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looking good.
 
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I very much like the idea of Perone hives. There is one note I would like to make here for future reference in case I forget again...

Jacqueline Freeman in her podcast with Paul makes a very important point when talking about Warre hives in that all the comb in a hive is cycled over time (part 3, about 1 hour in). This prevents the build-up of pesticides in the wax as bees walk over it etc.

A Perone hive, by design, may eventually result in a toxic brood chamber due to pesticide accumulation depending on what the bees are feeding on.

Something to consider I think.
 
Ludger Merkens
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A Perone hive, by design, may eventually result in a toxic brood chamber due to pesticide accumulation depending on what the bees are feeding on.


Well luckily chemistry is probably working against the buildup of chemicals in the wax in this case. The biggest volume of 'stuff' the bees are carrying into the hive are water based solutions. (Water, nectar) Toxins that are carried this way have to be hydrophilic. On the other hand, only lipophilic toxins will accumulate in the wax.
Problem is, that a lot of acaricides are lipophilic. Any chemical mite treatment will thus create a problem in a perone hive. (With the exemption of organic acids, which are hydrophilic)
Due to this fact, conventional bee keepers, even if working with 100% natural wax foundation, will run into the same buildup problem. The toxins are not removed, if you melt the wax down to create new foundation. (I'm running my own wax cycle for this reason and don't use lipophilic chemicals in my hives)

But you still have a very valid point here. The brood chamber in a perone hive will age and will accumulate a plethora of possible problems for the bees. Next to the already named chemicals (to a minor extend see above) this also includes spores of bee diseases. (fungal as well as bacterial) In a Top Bar Hive, or a Warre hive, your comb stays movable, so you - the bee keeper - can remove old comb.

But this aging process in a perone might also have its positive aspects. My hope is, that because we don't touch the brood chamber, it will become more of the original natural biotope the honey bee is accustomed to? Wax Moths, earwigs, Lactic acid bacteria, pseudo-scorpions, ants you name it, might start to live together again. Who knows, perhaps such a biotope can even keep the varroa mite in check?

For this reason I see a perone hive as something highly experimental (at least in my environment). A TBH as described at biobees.com or a warre hive is probably the safer way to go.

As a sidenote the eco-floor presented in this video (source also biobees.com) is also targeted at building a beneficial biotope for the bees.


If you are going to create/allow such a biotope in your hives, even organic acids, especially formic acid are an absolute no go in your hive, since it is a deadly poison to e.g. pseudo-scorpions.
 
Cj Sloane
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Ludger Merkens wrote:
Problem is, that a lot of acaricides are lipophilic. Any chemical mite treatment will thus create a problem in a perone hive.



So, no mite treatments, no problem?
 
Cj Sloane
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Tel, have your Perone hives that wintered over swarmed and/or have you collected honey from them?
 
Ludger Merkens
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So, no mite treatments, no problem?


Thats a tough one. This means, there is no short answer.

To state the obvious - no mite treatments, no buildup of mite treatment chemicals in the bees wax.

Now we have to look at some more questions.
(apologies, if I mistranslate some of the substance names, or give trivial names used in germany)

  • Are there other chemicals building up in the wax?


  • Traditionally, bee keeping (in germany) meant the use of a lot of chemistry. I just don't know how your situation is now.
    * Infection with Paenibacillus larvae (foulbrood?) - Antibiotics like sulfonamides, tetracycline, nitrofurane etc. (entirely forbidden in germany now)
    * Varroa Mite - Brompropylat, Fluvalinat, Coumaphos, Flumethrin, Amitraz, organic acids, essential oils (Coumaphos, organic acids and essential oils are still in use)
    * Nosema (Microsporidia) - Fumidil (no longer allowed)
    * Acarapidose (tracheal mite?) - Chlorbenzilat (no longer allowed)
    * wax moth - Paradichlorbenzol, Sulfur, acetic acid (Sulfur and acetic acid are still in use)
    * wood protection - Lindan, PCB, Dichlofluanid, Chlorthalonil (none allowed)
    * bee repellents - Benzaldehyd, Carbol, Deet, clove oil (not in use any more)
    * wax foundation (according to analysis) - wood protection, PDCB, Pesticides, varroacides (wax almost clean - varroacides persist)

    (source - Dr. Klaus Wallner, Universität Hohenheim, Landesanstalt für Bienenkunde - Meisterkurs Imkerei)
    (caveats - not all pesticides, especially the newer ones like neonicotinoids are analysed here)

    According to this- here in germany, chemical buildup problems (according to analysis) are mostly due to varroacides expecially Coumaphos and some essential oils.
    (If your lokal bee keeping praxis differs from our use, so will your toxins you get in bought bees wax foundation.)

    -> the short answer is - no mite treatments, no chemical buildup. If you don't introduce bought wax into your hives, and don't use any icky chemicals in your hives, there is no starting contamination either.

  • Will the bees survive without mite treatment?

  • I just don't know. According to scientific claims - probably no. Yet - I still hope so. But I expect big losses like >>80%.

  • Are there other bee deseases, which might cause a problem?

  • All other bee deseases, we traditionally used treatments for, are now handled without chemistry. Yet some people claim, that Acarapidose is silently traeted by the use of formic acid as a varroacide and thus might pose a problem again, if we stop using formic acid in our hives.





     
    Cj Sloane
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    What I meant was if you have a Perone hive which, of course, doesn't use wax foundation and is treatment free, is it correct to assume that the wax in the brood box wont have toxic build up?

    In my particular case, I've got about a mile buffer in all directions where no pesticides are used.
     
    Ludger Merkens
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    What I meant was if you have a Perone hive which, of course, doesn't use wax foundation and is treatment free, is it correct to assume that the wax in the brood box wont have toxic build up?

    In my particular case, I've got about a mile buffer in all directions where no pesticides are used.



    Yes - In this case - its probably safe to assume no toxic build up.

    Still you get a protein build up in the comb, from the larvae cases left in the comb. Comb in a perone hive thus will become dark brown after a few seasons. This will become the breeding ground for a lot of bacteria and fungi. Which will include non beneficial types. The wax moth is probably beneficial in this scenario, as it feeds on old comb which the bees have to replace with fresh and clean wax.
     
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    It's great to see so many people trying out the Perone Hive concept. I've been a big fan of Perone for years, though circumstances haven't lined up for me to try out his big hive. I use barrels for hives, so I do have larger hives than commercial Langs, but not the 280L of the Perone.

    An idea I talked about with some Perone enthusiasts in another forum is that for your super, make them 1/2 boxes instead of a full box. So, each super level would be 2 1/2 boxes. This makes lifting the supers a lot easier, especially when they're full of honey. The other alternative is to make the top bars in the supers removable, like conventional frames. This makes harvesting the honey much easier. Remove a bar, cut the comb off into a bucket, put the bar back.
     
    tel jetson
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    Cj Verde wrote:Tel, have your Perone hives that wintered over swarmed and/or have you collected honey from them?



    as far as I know, neither have swarmed. there's a chance that they might not ever swarm. I didn't read it closely, but there was mention on David Heaf's Warré list recently of a study suggesting colonies in cavities over 100 litres don't swarm much if at all.

    and I haven't harvested any honey, either. I'll look in on them later in the year, but neither colony had expanded out of the lower nest when last I checked. this isn't terribly surprising to me, as the strongest nectar flow we've got here (blackberries) occurred shortly after the swarms were hived, so they would not have had the population or comb to really take advantage of the bounty. I'm not counting on any honey from them this year, either, but I would certainly hope that there will be a surplus in their third year.

    Abe Connolly wrote:An idea I talked about with some Perone enthusiasts in another forum is that for your super, make them 1/2 boxes instead of a full box. So, each super level would be 2 1/2 boxes. This makes lifting the supers a lot easier, especially when they're full of honey. The other alternative is to make the top bars in the supers removable, like conventional frames. This makes harvesting the honey much easier. Remove a bar, cut the comb off into a bucket, put the bar back



    splitting them up sounds reasonable, but even then I would want to have a buddy along to assist. with a second person, handling a whole super shouldn't be much trouble at all.

    as far as removable bars go, my experience leads me to believe that wouldn't be as easy as it might seem. the most recent Warré box I harvested, for example, had nine combs built across eight bars. I could have harvested two or three of those bars individually, but the rest just would not have come out on a bar. other boxes I've examined or harvested had comb that curved all over the place. quite sinuous and beautiful. having examined the comb in my Perone hives that didn't make it through to Spring, it's pretty clear to me the same thing occurred there, too. the comb does not follow the spacing or even the direction of the top bars very closely.

    in any event, I anticipate harvesting whole supers at once to be the quickest and easiest option.
     
    Nick Kitchener
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    I remember Paul talking about bees landing on plants that have been sprayed and then transferring the chemical into the hive on their feet.

    That said, I understand that the forager bees hand off their load to housekeeper bees at the entrance, so they shouldn't be walking all over the comb with their stinky feet...

    Anyway, this is one possible way for contaminants to build up within the hive - physical transference.
     
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    tel jetson wrote:
    as far as removable bars go, my experience leads me to believe that wouldn't be as easy as it might seem. the most recent Warré box I harvested, for example, had nine combs built across eight bars. I could have harvested two or three of those bars individually, but the rest just would not have come out on a bar. other boxes I've examined or harvested had comb that curved all over the place. quite sinuous and beautiful. having examined the comb in my Perone hives that didn't make it through to Spring, it's pretty clear to me the same thing occurred there, too. the comb does not follow the spacing or even the direction of the top bars very closely.


    interesting, I wonder if you should try adjusting spacing of bars to match the comb? In my horizontal top bars, I rarely have cross comb. If you have attachments on the sides, that can be fixed easily enough with some guides on the side of your top bars. But a curvy comb with lots of cross comb might be difficult. In that case, a 1/2 box would be better.

    tel jetson wrote:in any event, I anticipate harvesting whole supers at once to be the quickest and easiest option.


    I don't know, 30 kg or more in a single super might be a bit heavy. I prefer lifting a .5 kg single top bar. It doesn't get much easier than that!
     
    David Livingston
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    I must admit a full super from a perone seems on the large size to collect easy .
    I did have another idea . How about changing the size of the perone so that the super is 4 warré boxes . Harvest them one at a time in rotation.Who needs more than 15kg at one go ? Thats about 45 jars .
    Change the hight so you still have the same volume for the brood box .
    Any thoughts folks ?
    I dont think you can compare a TBH with a perone as there is no bee space between the bars in a TBH

    David
     
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    David Livingston wrote:
    I dont think you can compare a TBH with a perone as there is no bee space between the bars in a TBH


    no, you really can't. But it is strange if you are getting a lot of cross comb with that bee space, and most hTBH folks don't have that issue. Maybe the spacing is off or something.
     
    Cj Sloane
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    David Livingston wrote:
    I did have another idea . How about changing the size of the perone so that the super is 4 warré boxes .


    Wouldn't that make it a Warre & not a Perone?
     
    David Livingston
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    I have spent an unhappy afternoon helping someone straighten out the combs in his TBH so count yourself lucky if it does not happen to you .

    David
     
    David Livingston
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    Hi CJ .
    er no thats not what I ment.
    Instead of having a large box on top of the perone above the grid , you have four warre boxes side by side which would make the perone a 70cm cross section .
    Slightly larger than mark2 perone size but not that much bigger . You could make it correspondingly shorter so you have the same volume as a mark 2 perrone.
    Harvesting one box at a time would be less traumatic for the bees and give you a more managable amount .

    David
     
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    Unless I've misunderstood the plans, the honey suppers on a Perone are 4" tall. 2'x2'x4". I'm guessing I might need help harvesting but they've got to make it thru the winter first.
     
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    David Livingston wrote:I have spent an unhappy afternoon helping someone straighten out the combs in his TBH so count yourself lucky if it does not happen to you .



    I wonder if my spacing or methods help? My top bars are slightly larger than typical spacing (just under 1.5") and they have a wooden guide. I know some people use wax guides for their top bars in an effort to reduce cross comb.

    The Perone supers are shallow, not deep like warre boxes. Cutting them in 1/2 would make them manageable.
     
    David Livingston
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    Location: Anjou ,France
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    I looked at these plans http://keepingwiththebees.wordpress.com/making-a-perone-hive/overview/
    where they are three supers each 57 x57 x 10 making 57 x 57 x 30= 97, 000 cm3 Four Warré boxes 20 x 30 x30 = 72,000cm3

    The brood box to support these would then be 70 cm x 70 cross section and 40 cm high .
    Basically the whole thing would look like a 70cm box( 27.5 inches)

    David
     
    Michael Cox
    pollinator
    Posts: 2729
    Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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    Abe - RE cross combing in a top bar hive:

    Make sure the hive is dead level in every direction.
    Make sure that they have straight comb to start from.

    My first swarm was dumped in a top bar hive without any guides and they cross combed horribly. Since then I went through and cut the comb from the bars and used hair clips and cable ties to reattach the comb nice and straight. I have since then pinched 3 straight bars from that hive to get other swarms started off nice and straight. My big booming swarm is building nicely with no cross combing at all. The ends are curving slightly in places so today I used a knife, nicked the wax and physically pushed it straight again.

    Today I had a swarm call out - a big prime swarm that absconded literally 10 minutes before we got there. Very annoying as my mate needs a swarm as he has lost his queen from his only hive. We checked out my 3 colonies and the trapout - found the queen in the big swarm which was a nice bonus.
     
    Abe Connally
    Posts: 1502
    Location: Chihuahua Desert
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    my hives are not level, but my bars have guides. They start from swarms, so no comb was in there, but I can see if you had a reference like existing comb, how they would follow it, for the most part.
     
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