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Rosti 

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Like most (I suspect), my apiary is pretty good but not perfect. The land available to me is long and thin (a sheltered field margin), I can accomodate 3 double stands. Well protected by a copse from prevailing wind, south facing, mixed forrage within 100m, a good water course near by. The limiting factor is that my hives are all in a row and on double stands so about 700mm apart. I have not been aware of drifting but since I plan for some nucs & proper Q breeding next season I am going to bolster hive ident (as per the justification in superorganism). I have knocked the following up (thumb nails below). I need a circle with contrasting pattern and another complimentary shape with contrasting pattern for the main hives. Before I waste any more time on this, does anyone disagree with the theory of shape orientation imprinting, if so why?
I'll put these as 80x80mm laminates above the entrances, probably dark blue on beige so they dont alert prying 'humans' too much (but play to the end of the spectrum bee vision works best in).
More to the point, anyones got some swapsies?
 
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MuswellMetro 

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i have only seen them used once, and that was in the Czech republic in Marienbad near the german border

A series of colour solid shapes in primary colours except red, circle ,two small circles, star, square ,two squares, triangles and half moon above the entrance

are your subsidiary shapes to enhance the effect, and would they differ on every hive ie if you had lots of hives could you have squares with two subsidiary shapes

worth the paint to see if it works ;)
 

Rosti 

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paint your roofs different colours too.
Ah! nice idea, but can't / don't want to do that. Whilst I am about 500m from any public access there are points in the year when the hives are visible from a road (and that is sadly a road to a pub). I have gone to great pains to cammo the hives into their environment to gaurd against prying eyes, prank teenagers or worse. Sad fact of life I'm afraid. I know I can't do much about visibility when I inspect, but you do what you can.

I mentioned it in my original post, but to re-state. I wanted something that allowed the girls some ident without drawing attention to the hives in general terms.
 

Poly Hive 

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Firstly I feel you are worrying over much about drifting.

However obviously you are so here is what I used to do. I no longer bother and on my sites the bees are set out in long rows because they are on field edges.

I used to put a contrasting shape or colour or both over the entrance. Rectangle, square, circle and triangle are all you need but in different paint colours.

That is how Bernard painted the roofs of the Mini nucs to assist queens to return to the right unit.

KISS

PH
 
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I have put cammo netting sold by army surplass stores alongside a "footpath" hedge to stop nosey ramblers seeing into my "out hive" area.

The footpath is actually a BYWAY OPEN TO ALL TRAFFIC and is maintained at public expence, and is on Devon CCs list of streets. I can drive my 4WD rightup to the field, but a normal car would not make it.
Bl**dy Ramblers Association members tried to stop me from using it, and were a bunch of obnoxious townies causing me no end of trouble!!! Threatened to tip my bees over etc etc.. not at all pleasant !!
Have beeen pretty well against their interferring activitied ever since!!!!!
Rant over!
I have seen stick on shapes like these in art shops
do they work??
or is colour the important thing?
 

Poly Hive 

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I am not sure if it is the specific colour (which I doubt) or the fact that in using a different colour the outline of the roof (talking mini nucs here) becomes individual.

I will hobble out and take a pic of some roofs so you get the err... picture...LOL

PH
 

louiseww 

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Very interesting - do let us know how it goes.
Louise
 

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