Monday, March 29, 2010

The Oscar Perone Hive

There has been much discussion here about a vertical top bar hive that is quite different both physically and the management methods employed than the warre hive. I have decided to try one here in Spain as it is also a 'leave alone' type system suited to my needs. I have some concerns about it though, namely is it OK for my race of bee and also comb collapse may be a problem. The manual of instructions provided by Oscar are here and there is a translate facility at the top of the right panel.

My version of the Perone bait hive is a floor stapled to an empty British National Brood box with a further brood box above that have been fitted with BN top bars, some with old comb, some with starter strips and separated by plastic narrow end spacers. Above that is a BN Super with Manley frames with foundation. This configuration is smaller than the recommended Perone bait hive but my version is 89 litres volume which I feel is the top end of the spectrum for bait hives.

Here is my Perone Hive set out with some Lemongrass oil dripped inside and lemongrass gell smeared on the outside. I also painted white around the entrance as with my other bait hives.

If I manage to bait a swarm, I will add another brood box to bring it to about the size Oscar recommends. I am a little uncertain where to add this brood box. If I follow Oscar, it would go in empty under the current bottom box. My concern about comb collapse makes me think I may add top bars and starter strips and put it between the top brood and the super. More thought needed. First catch the swarm!


  1. I am trying something similar. I will be using package bees instead of a caught swarm. I will install the bees into a deep super with frames and a starter foundation strip with no bottom bars. I am going to start the deep off on top of an empty medium. Once the brood chamber gets going I will top it off with another deep of starter strip frames with bottom bars. That configuration (medium + deep +deep) gets me close to Oscar's recommendation of the 60cm height for brood + stores. Other changes I am making is the use of a screen bottom board and the addition of a quilt.

  2. Hi John, this is an experiment for me as it is difficult to know how this style of hive will pan out in my circumstances. I agree with all of the theory behind it and that is why I will give it a try. It is going to take a couple of years to find out so let's hope it turns out well for us both.

  3. Very interesting. I have to read up more about those hives, maybe give it a try too.