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Anyone have a Perone hive for more than a year or two?
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:18 pm    Post subject: Anyone have a Perone hive for more than a year or two? Reply with quote

I am new to this and I like the idea of a Perone hive.

Has anyone collected honey? Did it go as expected?

What happens when the the hive needs a new queen or runs out of room? How would you split this kind of hive? Has anyone, in the English speaking world, anyone, gotten this far?
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had three Perone-style hives in one apiary, populated for three seasons. By 'Perone-style', I mean they each comprise two Brother Adam Modified Dadant brood boxes, measuring nearly 500mm on each side and 300mm deep (20 inches by 12), with original frames, each with an empty box under them on wooden stands (to keep them from flooding - they are beside a stream that floods).

Each stack has had standard supers on it during summer, but has yet to produce more than a token amount of honey. The bees seem healthy, having had no treatments or medications (other than a powdered sugar treatment in their first year) during that time. They were all in good shape last week when I checked them.

None has shown signs of running out of room, but they could extend combs into the empty box if they wanted to.

Entrances comprise a single 22mm hole in the face of the lower box in each pair. The original slot entrances are not used.

I could split them, simply by removing some frames (if they are still movable) and placing them into an empty body. I may do this to one or two of them this season, at that apiary could do with some more colonies: Brother Adam used to have 20 there!
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are your frames movable?
Can you post a pic?
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Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
measuring nearly 500mm on each side and 300mm deep (20 inches by 12)


Hi Phil,

Does that mean that each of the three colonies has filled about 120 litres with comb?

That seems quite impressive to me for the UK. Or am I wrong about that?
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will take some pictures next time I am over there.

I can tell you that they appear to be using both boxes, but I haven't opened them to see how much of the lower boxes they have built comb in.

These were colonies I bought from Buckfast Abbey. They are not 'pure' Buckfast any more, of course - in fact they seem to be reverting to darker coloration, indicating that the A.m.m. genes are coming through. I imagine they have swarmed and re-queened themselves several times since I acquired them.
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:
I imagine they have swarmed and re-queened themselves several times since I acquired them.


That was what I was really wondering about! They are 2 separate issues though, right?
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is still very early days to decide whether this system is viable.
I will put up the last part of our pilot study with the mk1 soon, but this hive was empty of bees in September. There was no disease, a hatched queen cell, some aborted queen cells but all was silent and empty. We estimated the comb had filled just under half of the MK1 brood box (105litres in total...so 40 litres or more). The bees that went into this were AMM which do not usually make a big colony, I was and am interested in Oscar Perone's assertion that this would work with any sub-species of bee anywhere that the bees could live.

Other people are trying the MK2 and those results will start coming in this coming summer.

You can wait or give one a go this spring. Other people have tried frames but few people are putting up their results for us to have a look at.
A
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CJ wrote:
biobee wrote:
I imagine they have swarmed and re-queened themselves several times since I acquired them.


That was what I was really wondering about! They are 2 separate issues though, right?


Swarming does include re-queening, of course, but they may also have superseded. I can't tell without dismantling the hives, which is rather contrary to the point of the Perone.

Andy's results are likely to be more authentic, as mine are only quasi-Perone in reality. I had to go for higher entrances, as that apiary has flooded occasionally and will have done so this winter, for sure. I used Bro. Adam's old boxes, frames and stands 'because they were there'...

The old monk may be rotating in his grave, of course.
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:

Other people are trying the MK2 and those results will start coming in this coming summer.


It does seem like we're waiting on results. Actually, that's why I started this thread - to try and pry results out of people!

I'm kicking around the idea of an informal survey and posting the results to a GoogleDocs spreadsheet or something.

The variables I can think of are:
Name, Hive type (MK1 or MK2), Location, Year started, Year ended (and why) honey produced.

Have I missed anything? Does that seem worth while?

A key question would seem to be if the colony failed, how did other colonys owned by the same person fair?
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes we are waiting on results and the problem is that there are a huge number of variables.

Here is a thread I started that touches on this in relation to biome and climate, with the Perone Hive on the Pantry Book website.

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15445

As nearly all of us are 'hobbyists' here on this site, and by that I mean we keep bees for reasons other than commercial incomes, and we are from all over the world, from different climatic zones, having different sub-species of bee (in the right or wrong place for them) and subject to huge differences in pesticide accumulation and poisoning, Varroa and associated viruses seem to be a problem in some places and not others and it goes on.

What we can do is get empirical data via this site and others and then we can start looking for patterns in the data, so we are waiting on data.

For us, our one Perone mk1 has huge significance and there is a danger that when we put up our results people will see it as the results for all Perone hives not just our one tiny experiment.
A
I just wanted to add that my caution is based on a common theme of someone who knows someone who has tried a hive and for one reason or another it has not worked (in the way the person wanted it to, the bees do what they do) and that hive type is condemned. As is said no one particularly gives significance to the failures of Langs or Nationals which are huge, but fail to get a small cast through six months of sub zero temperatures in a TBH almost makes national news!
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rmcpb
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Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andy pearce wrote:

I just wanted to add that my caution is based on a common theme of someone who knows someone who has tried a hive and for one reason or another it has not worked (in the way the person wanted it to, the bees do what they do) and that hive type is condemned. As is said no one particularly gives significance to the failures of Langs or Nationals which are huge, but fail to get a small cast through six months of sub zero temperatures in a TBH almost makes national news!


Just what I keep banging on about. Its usually not the type of hive, though some are better than others depending on the conditions and sub-species. Often it comes down to how you handle the bees, parasite loads, genetics and a good dose of shear dumb luck if your bees survive.

But you are right, if your hive is one of the less common used ones it is often blamed for the failure not the other factors which are often more important.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am quite interested in seeing how the MK2s have turned out this year because I really want to have a go at this hive type myself.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As is said no one particularly gives significance to the failures of Langs or Nationals which are huge, but fail to get a small cast through six months of sub zero temperatures in a TBH almost makes national news!


So true Laughing Laughing Laughing
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1492
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Often it comes down to how you handle the bees,


Which if you are following Oscar's method you don't do. That is one of the things that I really like about it, put the swarm in and don't touch for 15 months! Do I have that sort of patience or should I put a window in?
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go with the window. You know if you don't you'll just feel the need to get in there at some point.
Some pointed out this link in an earlier perone hive post. This is a blog on a MkII perone.

http://thepantrybook.com/category/home/beekeepingpermapicultureperone-hive/
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have a window for sure.

Waiting for an update of that Mk2 Perone hive but it appears that she has other, more pressing issues (pregnant!).
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Typical!... for some people it's just all about them isn't it Smile
How are we going to find out about the hive now ! Smile
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been building some bee hives while waiting for the soil to dry out a bit. Here's a halfway done Perone that will accept frames from a NUC, and a window:


It's 2" thick for a little extra protection from the Vermont cold.
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nicolehandfield
New Bee


Joined: 09 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Kensington, MD

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: CJ, do you have bees in that lovely hive? Reply with quote

CJ, Have you put bees in there yet? Are you going with package bees or waiting for a swarm?
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bees wont come till the first week of May. A locally produced NUC from craig's list.

I got the dimensions of the frame and made a dummy to make sure it'll fit (2nd topbar from left).

The Keeping With the Bees website said they only had a 50% success rate transferring NUCs.
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Solarpat
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 220
Location: Bandon, OREGON, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:23 am    Post subject: One year success at keeping a Perone hive Reply with quote

My connection with the Perone hive happens because I donated a prime swarm to Vernon last year. I collected it on Mother's Day, May 12, 2013. He was looking for a swarm and I had no spare hive to place it. I was happy because my swarm (it came from a Warre) was not going into a Langstroth hive. Yes, I have 'attitude' when it comes to Langs. Smile When we found that he had built his own hive, we knew our swarm was going to the right person.

http://solarbeez.com/2014/05/08/vernons-second-perone-hive/
Vernon lives in Northern California, latitude 41.526
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I finally got my bees today and got stung will picking them up - I foolishly wore black - the color of most bee enemies like bears.

An hour later I finally got home with them and the installation went pretty smoothly considering the insert I made for the NUC was about 1/8" too small! I sent my husband back to the house to get a hammer and a chisel.

Some pics:
[url=https://flic.kr/p/nAstPC]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/nAdCpQ]


I'm a little worried about that last pic because there doesn't seem to be much space between the frames. What if the queen gets squished? I'll take a peek tomorrow. If it looks really tight I'll take out the feeder frame to give more room.

On the plus side, there look like there are a few queen cells.
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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).
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you need to feed. This colony will not get to the resources on the outside because they lack enough foragers. They will shrink in size during the coming weeks, you end up with the half of the colony in three weeks. Until the new brood emerges and the broodnest is growing again, it'll need a lot of time. If you want to fill that box before winter, you better feed.
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It took till 11 to warm up enough to see some activity but it's been perfect and there's lots of activity out of both entrances and I did see some full pollen baskets. I did see two different colors of pollen which is a little odd because I had heard they only collect from one source each day.

The deep orange was probably dandelion which is just coming out. Light yellow could've been maple (it was a cold spring) or maybe willow.
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Barbara
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PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I did see two different colors of pollen which is a little odd because I had heard they only collect from one source each day.


I think you may have misunderstood this information.
An individual bee will mostly only work one type of flower each day or often for several days/weeks but there will be other bees working other flowers (unless they are on a monocrop) so it is normal and healthy to see more than one colour of pollen being taken into the hive each day.
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, good to know.
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Vernon
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Joined: 14 May 2014
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Location: Klamath, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations CJ! You’ve provided a beautiful, well-sheltered setting for you spiffy Perone hive. Now that you’ve introduced your bees your work is done for a year or so. Relax and allow the bees to manage their own colony. That is the essence of the Perone approach.

With all the flowers in your area I don’t see any compelling reason to feed syrup, an “empty calories” food. Plenty of high-calorie nectar is available from flowers near your apiary, and wax, propolis and pollen collected the old-fashioned way are just as important to the success of your colony.

Expect the population of your hive to decline some during the first month whether you feed or not. Don’t worry, and certainly don’t take corrective action. The numbers should build up into the Fall and explode next Spring. You will probably see a decline in population just before Winter. With your seasonal Vermont climate, comb will probably fill only a fraction of the brood box by then. My Perone colony over-wintered nicely occupying no more than a fourth of the brood box space.

Don’t add a super during the first year. Place a lid directly over the brood box grid bars and then don’t touch it. The bees will seal the spaces between the grid bars and the lid with propolis, creating a snug between-combs environment they can keep heated during winter.
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CJ
Guard Bee


Joined: 05 Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vernon wrote:
...Now that you’ve introduced your bees your work is done for a year or so. Relax and allow the bees to manage their own colony. That is the essence of the Perone approach.

With all the flowers in your area I don’t see any compelling reason to feed syrup, an “empty calories” food. Plenty of high-calorie nectar is available from flowers near your apiary, and wax, propolis and pollen collected the old-fashioned way are just as important to the success of your colony.

Expect the population of your hive to decline some during the first month whether you feed or not. Don’t worry, and certainly don’t take corrective action. The numbers should build up into the Fall and explode next Spring. You will probably see a decline in population just before Winter. With your seasonal Vermont climate, comb will probably fill only a fraction of the brood box by then. My Perone colony over-wintered nicely occupying no more than a fourth of the brood box space.

Don’t add a super during the first year. Place a lid directly over the brood box grid bars and then don’t touch it. The bees will seal the spaces between the grid bars and the lid with propolis, creating a snug between-combs environment they can keep heated during winter.


Thanks Vernon, lots of good info there.

I will try to relax but I'll rest easier if they've made it thru the winter!

There are tons of trees in bloom and lots of dandelion which I understand to be mediocre bee food. I spotted my first honey bee on a dandelion! I made a quart of very light syrup (2 water to 1 sugar) and am putting a little bit in front of the hive in shallow dishes with rocks. I probably wont do any more than that.

Thanks for the heads up about a population drop. This would be true even with a NUC?

I have put some canvas over the top grid so they wont be able to access the honey supers. I'm a little surprised to hear that they will seal the spaces between the grid bars. So I guess next spring, if they make it, I'll take the canvas off and give them access to the honey supers.

I will be observing how much of the brood box they occupy, even though it may not be a great indicator. Tel posted a shot of a friend's Perone that didn't over winter & there was a ton of comb!
http://www.permies.com/t/31714/bees/Perone-Hives#281596
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Vernon
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Joined: 14 May 2014
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Location: Klamath, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry CJ, I missed that your new bees are from a nuc. I can’t speak from experience about nucs, since I populated my first Perone hive from a swarm (last year) and the other from a package (last month).

I first noticed dead and dying bees from the swarm during the third week. Probably most of these were original swarm workers dying of “old age.” For about a month after that there were declining numbers of foragers entering and leaving the hive. New comb construction probably wasn’t proceeding quickly enough to allow the colony to replace its numbers. When I decided to remove the super and replace it with a wooden lid I saw how little comb had been built. After winter was over I switched the wooden lid for one of see-through plexiglas. That’s when I observed that the small spaces between each occupied bar and the wooden lid had been closed with propolis (a clever bit of winterizing, for an invertebrate).

A lot of my package bees died in transit. A lot more died during their first week in the hive, when the foragers seemed lethargic and disorganized. I thought the colony might be DOA. But after that first week the foragers finally got busy, and now I have high hopes. However, the population will certainly decline over the short term until more comb is built. My overall conclusion is that packages are a poor way to start a Perone hive.
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