Alighting Boards

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I had two hives side-by-side for several months last year. One had a landing board and the other not.
My hives are reasonably exposed to wind and it was when there were medium to strong winds that I noticed the difference. On a calm day - no difference. On a windy day the hive without landing board became much less active and you could see the bees struggling to land. They slowed their food gathering down considerably.

Of course, two hives is not much of a "statistical test result" and the differences could be down to the bees.

This year I observed some of the new hives before and after installing landing boards.

I'm convinced that landing boards help bees in windy conditions. One could argue that a windbreak might be better though.
 
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Love the landing boards for bee watching whilst chilling in the garden. I reckon they assist on chilly early spring days when if the bee misses the entrance and lands on the ground, they often get chilled quickly and die. Sadly notice quite a few at that time of year.
 

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You are obviously far more experienced and expert than me.
So yes everything you have said is right and everything I have said is wrong.
I have a half inch of bacteria and disease on the landing board and it has about 2 inches of dead, dying bees and covered in wasps.
Happy now ?
 

JamezF

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They do a good job of that though. Before I went to underfloor entrances I used to love watching the activity on the alighting boards.

The UFEs I've been making this week still have a little sticky-out bit of landing board specifically for that purpose :D I know it's unnecessary, but from time to time I like to be able to see what they're getting up to.

James
 

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The UFEs I've been making this week still have a little sticky-out bit of landing board specifically for that purpose :D I know it's unnecessary, but from time to time I like to be able to see what they're getting up to.

James
The floor of some of my UFE's slopes from about 50mm at the front to 10mm at the back so it acts as a covered alighting board and also makes it more difficult for mice.
 

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The floor of some of my UFE's slopes from about 50mm at the front to 10mm at the back so it acts as a covered alighting board and also makes it more difficult for mice.

Not 100% sure I understand. That's the measurement of the gap between the underside of the hive floor and the landing board? So it's a 50mm high by however wide opening at the front, sloping up to 10mm by the same width at the entrance slot?

James
 

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Not 100% sure I understand. That's the measurement of the gap between the underside of the hive floor and the landing board? So it's a 50mm high by however wide opening at the front, sloping up to 10mm by the same width at the entrance slot?

James
Yes you’ve got it, my original description was not good!
 

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That's a neat modification. It would stop bees hitting the floor at speed when they exit on a flow too
 
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The UFEs I've been making this week still have a little sticky-out bit of landing board specifically for that purpose :D I know it's unnecessary, but from time to time I like to be able to see what they're getting up to.

James
Can you post some pics? I'll be making some UFEs in the next two weeks and gathering ideas and designs.
 

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Can you post some pics? I'll be making some UFEs in the next two weeks and gathering ideas and designs.

Sure. The workshop is a bit cramped at the moment what with all the bits I've been working on, but the rain is supposed to stop tomorrow, so I'll get them outside to put some preservative on and take photos at the same time. By all means remind me if I've not posted something by the end of the weekend.

James
 

Erichalfbee

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Can you post some pics? I'll be making some UFEs in the next two weeks and gathering ideas and designs.

 

EastEndBees

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I’d always put some sort of landing strip in front of the hive entrances. Especially when temperatures are low and it’s been raining you see a lot of bees laden with pollen missing the entrance and landing in the wet grass where they die. Never in 20 years had any build up of dead bees on the boards btw. They’re deffo optional but I think the balance swings in favour of them.
 
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I think they probably are of some benefit as we generally have hive entrances unnaturally low down & near potentially wet grass.
I suspect they may reduce drifting too when hives are adjacent to each other - the need to hover, and potentially get blown along by a gust is probably reduced as they can land & crawl more easily.
Similarly may be helpful when the hive has been moved slightly - a hive I recently united with a neighbour & moved (turned) slightly to make it easier for the donor colony to find is using the board it is sitting on and the front of the poly floor as a "land and crawl" zone.
 

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