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MK1 Perone Experiment update

 
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:00 pm    Post subject: MK1 Perone Experiment update Reply with quote

In September 2013 we visited the hive and found it empty of bees.

We dismantled the box stack to the nest area and found that the bees had occupied just under half of the nest area. The nest area volume is 105 litres for the mk1 hive so the bees had made comb that amounted to 40-50litres or so.

On examination of the comb there was no brood disease, a little chalk brood (normal for our A.m.m. bees) and no stores. There were no dead bees in the bottom of the hive and what appeared to be a normal debris floor.

There were three empty Queen cells. One had hatched normally, another had looked like it had been damaged at its end and the last had had the side chewed out indicating the workers had aborted it. We concluded from this that the hive has swarmed and whatever happened after this had either failed or absconded. There was no dead brood, no sign of laying workers or small drones hanging about as would probably been the case in early September. Some cells showed signs of white deposits which could have been varroa frass.

The combs did not follow the comb guides at all and were curved. These bees were from a framed hive orientated north-south and the comb grids of the Perone hive were orientated north-south.

We re-stacked the hive with the intention of trying it again this year.

Remember, we were interested in whether this system was suitable for Apis mellifera mellifera bees (which usually make a small nest) in the UK with its horrible weather and stop start nectar flow, and this was just ONE hive in a very arable area (pesticides, OSR etc)

We made a video but for one reason or another it has not gone up and now we seem to have had no bandwidth to upload anything for weeks. After reading some of the recent posts I think I am going to not put up the video as I believe it will damn the whole experiment and hive which I do not wish to do until it has had some reasonable testing, and possible modification.

A
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1486
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shame that the colony didn't survive.Until we have at least twenty of these hives tested over five years or more we won't really have much of a clue as to how suited they are to our conditions. As I think you posted in another thread, losses in nationals have been high recently so this one result doesn't really mean a lot on it's own.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest to get the Perone hive up and running by treating and feeding first until fully established. When it is small and vulnerable it cannot fulfill the concept of "big hive".
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AugustC
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a possibility that it might work well for successive colonies.
The first colony does a lot of the comb building work but cannot sustain the space. The next colony in has a lot of work already done for it and although they are still free to build comb a lot of comb already exists that just needs filling with brood and food.
All the pre-built comb also acts as an insulator for them to minimise any issues caused by the large cavity.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they are moving in quicker than the wax moths...
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