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Perone Hives

 
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I'm rather fond of Warré and Perone hives because cross comb is not a problem. I like that the bees need not be constrained to building straight comb in the direction and spacing I choose for them. I like to harvest whole boxes at once instead of individual combs. I consider these advantages. not everybody does, which is fine. I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to make possible a method of harvest I will never use, though.

and I, too, have seen plenty of cross comb in horizontal top bar hives. most recently, I helped a friend with a hive that was full of dead straight comb for 3/4 of the hive. the last 1/4, which was the last built, was full of beautiful branching and curving comb.
 
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tel jetson wrote:I'm rather fond of Warré and Perone hives because cross comb is not a problem. I like that the bees need not be constrained to building straight comb in the direction and spacing I choose for them. I like to harvest whole boxes at once instead of individual combs. I consider these advantages. not everybody does, which is fine. I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to make possible a method of harvest I will never use, though.



That's a valid point. And really, the only "drawback" with Perone supers, to me, is the weight. If you don't mind a little weight, breaking that super into 2 or 4 parts is probably the easiest way to address that.
 
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tel jetson wrote:I'm rather fond of Warré and Perone hives because cross comb is not a problem.



All of a sudden there's some cross comb in my Perone which was a little disappointing at first. Now I think it's kind of cool that they've given me a chance to look at the comb from another POV. I'm going to wait another 11 days till I take a new pic. That'll be day 50.
 
Cj Sloane
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Ludger Merkens wrote:
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.



So funny that you mention that! A guy on another forum kept telling me that the Perone hive was a step back 10,000 years in bee keeping and you had to be vigilant especially for the wax moth which could easily kill a hive. My research showed they weren't a problem for a healthy hive. If I tried to suggest they could benefit a hive I think his brain might go "poof."
 
Abe Connally
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So funny that you mention that! A guy on another forum kept telling me that the Perone hive was a step back 10,000 years in bee keeping and you had to be vigilant especially for the wax moth which could easily kill a hive. My research showed they weren't a problem for a healthy hive. If I tried to suggest they could benefit a hive I think his brain might go "poof."



I wonder how the feral bees ever make it without the humans.

There are far more feral bee hives around me than "kept" bees. A few years back, I removed a monster hive from an attic in a 300 year old house near me. That hive was 4ft long, 3ft wide, and 2 ft deep. I had never seen a hive so big, and it had been there for many years, all without any human care, whatsoever. That's when Perone's concepts "clicked" for me. To see a feral hive fill a huge space with such a large colony, and it survive the droughts and hard winters that had been costing the area beekeepers 50% or more of their hives every year for several years. Obviously, the bees could live and perform well on their own, and left to their own devices they make HUGE colonies that thrive in our area.
 
Cj Sloane
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The other thing this guy kept harping about was Africanized honey bees. It seems like they wont hit Vermont in my lifetime. What about where you are?
 
Abe Connally
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They were along the Rio Grande in Southwest Texas, but I don't know if they are here. We're at higher elevations, which some claim keeps them at bay (I have no idea if that's valid). I haven't noticed any bees around me that have their aggressive traits, and none of the area bee clubs have mentioned any influence. That big hive I was talking about lived alongside humans for years, maybe even decades. They were not aggressive at all.

I believe Perone said that some of his hives or ones he knew about had Africa traits, and they still kept them, but with management modifications (harvesting at night, low to no interference, etc). Some African traits might be beneficial, especially if they have immunity to common European diseases/issues. Keepers along the Rio Grande certainly had African influence in their hives, but they were still able to manage them successfully.
 
Cj Sloane
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Abe Connally wrote:
I believe Perone said that some of his hives or ones he knew about had Africa traits, and they still kept them, but with management modifications (harvesting at night, low to no interference, etc).



Could be why his approach was so non-interference. He said they were very resilient.
 
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Could be why his approach was so non-interference. He said they were very resilient.


Resilient bees are a very obvious reason to go by 'non-interference', but it seems wise to leave bees alone even if they don't epress such extreme resilient behaviour. A lot of the handling steps a bee keeper does, do probably more harm than good.

On the other hand, if I keep an animal for my own purposes, in case of the bees, mostly pollination or the honey harvest, I feel the obligation to tend to them. This means, I need to check if they are healthy and if not, try to better their situation. This does not necessarily mean the shortcut 'medicine', but there are other means to help a bee hive. This includes relocation from an unsuitable place, providing habitat, water, a hive well suited to their needs, removal of deseased neighbours, removal of desease sources (bought honey etc.)

This means I have to check, and be able to check, which somehow collides with going absolutely 'non-interference'.

Whats your point of view to this?
 
Cj Sloane
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I like your answer on how to react if there is a problem.

I'm observing my bees thru the window in the hive. It is not such a new approach as you might think. I have a free book on my kindle, Mysteries of Beekeeping Explained and the author recommends windows on all 4 sides! Date published? 1853!
 
Abe Connally
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I like the hives with windows in them. I hate opening my hives. It feels so intrusive. Luckily, with a hTBH, you can open just a little at a time, but still, it would be nicer to not open them, and observe them through the window. I also think you get a better look at the bees being themselves with that approach, vs aggravated by an open hive.

I certainly think that we should do what we can if we recognize a problem, but for the most part, the bees can handle themselves quite well.
 
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you mean the one by 'BY M. QUINBY, PRACTICAL BEE-KEEPER.' ?
 
Cj Sloane
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It is by Quinby, but as I said, the title was, Mysteries of Beekeeping Explained.
 
Cj Sloane
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There are so many bees in the hive it's getting harder to get a good pic without glare. Here's one at 55 days:

I think that cross comb might have something to do with the NUC frames not being spaced right. Or maybe they just wanted to give me that other view of the comb. Some of that comb is almost touching the floor of the hive and there are only 3 topbars with out comb. There's probably a good 6 inches or more of comb above the window.

The weather has been excellent.

I'm seeing more drones all of a sudden.

That is a drone, right? It's huge!
 
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Looks like a drone to me big fat and a deeper buzz.
As for cross combing why worry ? Bees control their enviorment and one of the ways they do this is by manipulating the air flows within the hive using the inturnal architecture.

David
 
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Yes, thats a drone.
It is probably a little early in season to expect that, but do those drones get bullied by the workers? Most hives tend to push the drones out of the hive, after the main swarming season. For a short time in the year, usually a few days only, you can see a lot of drones at the entrance, often hindered from the worker bees to enter the hive.

--Ludger
 
Cj Sloane
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David Livingston wrote: Bees control their enviorment and one of the ways they do this is by manipulating the air flows within the hive using the inturnal architecture.



Interesting! I haven't read that before, about using the comb to manipulate the air flow.
 
Cj Sloane
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Ludger Merkens wrote:For a short time in the year, usually a few days only, you can see a lot of drones at the entrance, often hindered from the worker bees to enter the hive.



Well, that time is now! I saw one a few days ago on the floor of the bee hut, not looking too good, not flying to well. Eventually it made it's way over to the edge and fell over. Then I remembered Tel's video where the drone fall off his finger and the guy shooting the footage says something like "hey, can't he fly?"
 
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Almost filled up:


The rest of the space is completely filled. It's been like this since day 75.
 
Cj Sloane
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Cj Verde wrote:

Ludger Merkens wrote:For a short time in the year, usually a few days only, you can see a lot of drones at the entrance, often hindered from the worker bees to enter the hive.



Well, that time is now!



I take it back, now I'm really seeing more drones at the entrance. Normally I only look in the morning but I checked out the hive this afternoon & both entrances were buzzing and lots of drones around.
 
Ludger Merkens
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Hi Cj Verde,
this time of the year is more apropriate for the "Drohnenschlacht". (Is there an english term for this?)
Since the drone population is now dwindling, you shouldn't start any queen raising after this event. You may requeen a hive with an existing queen, but new queens will probably not be able to mate properly.
 
Cj Sloane
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Ludger Merkens wrote:
Since the drone population is now dwindling, you shouldn't start any queen raising after this event. You may requeen a hive with an existing queen, but new queens will probably not be able to mate properly.



I'm not sure you can do that with a Perone. If you can I certainly don't know how. These bees are well behaved anyway so I wouldn't want to change that.
 
Cj Sloane
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Cj Verde wrote:Almost filled up:


The rest of the space is completely filled. It's been like this since day 75.



Day 119, still looks the same since day 75! Is that normal? Other than the fact that no new comb has been added everything seems good. Pollen is coming in. I often get very strong whiffs of honey as I approach the hive. The bees aren't very active till about 11 - not sure if that's related to the hive being in a bee hut, the bee hut being in a heavily forested area, or what? Nights have been cool (tonight low of 50°F) but the weather has been great.

I've seen some small yellow jackets hang around the entrances only to get thrown off. Maybe some robbing attempts by other honey bees but the colony seems strong.
 
Cj Sloane
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So, does this look like a queen cell forming?


Would they really get ready to swarm at the end of September? In Vermont?
 
David Livingston
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Swarming I doubt but superseedure maybe .
I have read that maybe the perone naturally forms a multiqueen system as its so large

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Things look bad! Population drop off has been dramatic! It doesn't look so terrible at the entrance, I even saw a yellow jacket being fought off. When I look through the window there are hardly any bees at all! Just one or two dead bees on the floor so I don't think it's illness. There are some between the combs but nothing like a month ago when I could barely see the combs thru all the bees.

If they were able to produce a new queen how long does it take for population to go back up? Is it too late in the season for the hive to recover?
 
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Maybe they encountered a pesticide and died out in the field. How populated is the area where your hive is?
 
Cj Sloane
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It's rural. I supposed they could be spraying on the corn but I don't think so. I've never seen it anyway. It's corn that either gets made into silage or dried for feed so it doesn't have to look perfect. The closest corn is a mile away but is there any reason for honey bees to go to a corn field this time of year?

I'm a novice but it seems to make more sense that the queen died and the bees slowly died off and weren't replaced. On the biobees forum, the moderator said he has seen and heard of many unexplained queen deaths this year - as many this year as in the last decade. Mine was a new queen who came with the nuc so it wasn't old age or anything.
 
David Livingston
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CJ are they bringing in pollen ? Its always a good sign if they are

David
 
Cj Sloane
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I haven't noticed any but I'm not sure how much pollen there is right now. It's just about at the end of the growing season and it's been quite dry.

When I checked this morning, there were a few bees outside the hive and I was surprised there were any bees out at all. The internet said it was 37°F and though it did feel warmer I doubt it was above 50. I only saw 3 bees through the window but there was a little condensation so maybe they were deeper in the combs.

Time will tell.
 
David Livingston
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maybe (crossed fingers ) they are mostly snuggled up in the centre of the hive ready for winter ?

David
 
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Well, if you have condensation in the hive, they are still there and are even tending to brood. If you really have temperatures this low, you will hardly see any bees leave the hive.
Winter bees are said to fly as low as 6°C (thats 42 F), but only if there is something they can collect, or after a long cold phase, to have a cleaning flight. (Is this a proper english beekeeping term?)

so fingers crossed
--- Ludger
 
David Livingston
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your English is fine
I agree and if I see any of my girls out and its that cold they will get a talking too I can tell you !

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Everything looked much better this afternoon! It was a nice sunny day in the upper 60s and there was semi-decent activity at the entrance. Could've been a little pollen on the legs. I even saw a drone enter which I hope is a good sign.

Looking thru the window there was also a semi-decent number of bees visible so they were definitely "snuggled up in the centre of the hive ready for winter" this morning. Not the number of bees from a month ago but still, not terrible, I guess.

I wonder if I should but some hay bales around the hive, I mean we haven't even had an actual hard frost yet. The wood is 2" thick.
 
Cj Sloane
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Ludger Merkens wrote:...after a long cold phase, to have a cleaning flight. (Is this a proper english beekeeping term?)



Ludger, I think the phrase you're looking for is a cleansing flight.
 
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cleansing flight.


Exactly, that was the term I was looking for - thank you.
 
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Cj - numbers of bees do decline as winter approaches. Worn out foraging bees die off and new young bees start clustering for the winter. provided the cluster is a reasonable size you actually want them smallish - that way they eat less stored honey over the winter.

In spring when the queen starts laying they build up in numbers again, in advance of the first nectar crops.
 
Cj Sloane
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Michael Cox wrote:Cj - numbers of bees do decline as winter approaches.



I guess I sort of knew that, but those supersedure cells had me worried. I've seen a few cells with chalkbrood but I guess that's normal too in small numbers.

Not much to do with a Perone but wait and hope for the best.
 
Cj Sloane
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Not dead yet!

Just clustering when it's cold.
But I'm telling you, it's spooky how dead it looks in the morning when it's cold.
 
Cj Sloane
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No bees in sight, not surprising give the very early, very cold temps we've had. We did get up to 60F a few days ago and I saw no sign of bees. Tonight it's going way down to the single digits.

Two things that have me a bit worried, some dead bees on the floor of the hive and a pool of honey the size of a quarter, also on the floor of the hive. Not that I can do anything about it, but should I worry? Of perhaps I should just ask, is it normal?
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