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Perone Hive - Life Span

 
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augold
New Bee


Joined: 28 Mar 2016
Posts: 7
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:22 pm    Post subject: Perone Hive - Life Span Reply with quote

Hi All,

Having a TBH for 5 years and a Perone for 3 years. I got to thinking of life spans of continuous occupation of bees. With the top bar and other conventional hives, the beekeeper is able to provide space on a rotational basis for new comb to be built. Obviously with the perone this is not the case. My question is what continuous length of time can bees live in an unmanaged environment? Can bees replace their old comb if needed or would they just abandon after so long?

Ady
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1836
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

I have a National hive that has had very little removal of comb for the past 10 years and they are getting to the point of becoming unsustainable. For the past few years they have not swarmed which I view as an indication they are not thriving but they are still happily surviving untreated for varroa. I am hoping to grow them down into a new brood box this spring. The colony is 20 years old so I don't really want to lose them, especially as they are my original founding colony.
The Perone, with such a large volume, should certainly be good for 10-15 years in my opinion if they remain queenright and healthy as it will take them several years to fill out the brood box completely. I do wonder if mouse occupation during the winter and even wax moth can be beneficial in facilitating some comb break down to create space for the bees space to rebuild. I have the impression that once the comb becomes very old and black it is not possible for the bees to break it down themselves.
I will be interested to hear what others think of have experience of.

Have you harvested your Perone at all yet? Do you know if the brood box is full? Have you seen it swarm? Is it a Mark 1 Perone with the large square brood box or the taller thinner Mark2?
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augold
New Bee


Joined: 28 Mar 2016
Posts: 7
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply and thoughts. I had never thought about the bees using what might be seen as pests to assist in management of the comb. I was thinking that old black comb must become a problem sooner or later in any hive managed or wild.
My perone is a mk1. The majority of the brood box was filled in the first season.
The end of last season only about 3 bars remained without any comb (built hive with a window side) and because of the progress I had a super on last year, but they have seemed to have shown no interest in. I have not seen any signs they have swarmed.
I guess I picked the wrong time in the season to post really!
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1836
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I had never thought about the bees using what might be seen as pests to assist in management of the comb.


Maybe not "using" them but perhaps benefitting from their destructive presence. Most creatures have symbiotic relationships with others and our human perspective of pests and parasites can be a bit too black and white compared to the reality. For instance I recently discovered that intestinal worms at a low level may not be the horrendous parasites which are to be exterminated at all costs and that their elimination from our human system may be the reason why potentially fatal allergies are on the increase. We are conditioned to fear and loath worms but a low level population may be beneficial rather than detrimental and a healthy immune system can control a low level population. Same with bacteria. We are too keen on all our modern antibacterial products and our immune systems are not being challenged enough as a result, so when we need them to respond, they struggle.
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