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jezd 

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Maybe this belongs in another place on the forum but hey...

I was speaking to an old timer who has/is retiring as a beek and we got talking, he mentioned using colour hives. He was adamant that by using distinct and different coloured hives you can drastically reduce/stop drifting - ie bees use the colour as much as location to identify their hive location.

Anyone used colour to stop drifting? worth doing?

Cheers

Jez
 

admin 

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I use laminated different coloured shapes on the front of hives.

You can some some in the pic below:

 

jezd 

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I use laminated different coloured shapes on the front of hives.

You can some some in the pic below:

good idea, and is that just for this reason?
 

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The other reason I do it is because it is easy to remember say the blue square and point straight to it when talking bee's and filling in records rather than saying hive 3 or Nuc 2.

I move hives between apiary's so if I numbered them they would be all out of sink anyway.
 

oliver90owner 

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Just don't bother with the reds, oranges and yellows?.

I would think bold patterns might be just as good.

It can only help but if space, I would keep them as far apart as practicable and change the approach angles etc. Drifting will always happen if there is a strong prevailing wind/breeze along the line, and hives are close together. So picking direction of approach is likely a good way to reduce it as well.

So, good idea but there are other better(?) alternatives.

Regards, RAB
 
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Blue and yellow are the colours bees see most strongly. They struggle with shapes, for example, they can't tell a triangle from a square - to them it is just a closed shape.

My advice if you want to try this would be to paint each brood box and super in different shades of blue and yellow. The hives will look a bit odd but you can easily arrange it so each hive has a unique(ish) pattern of these different coloures, especially if you paint different sides on the same box different colours. You can add other colours like red but to the bees they will probably appear black - but even that will help to create a unique pattern. Just don't try different shades of red.

The conventional way to avoid drifting is to face the hives in different directions and have some point of reference such as a bush close by.

However, in some countries they don't bother and you will often see rows of hives in pictures all facing the same way.
 

Heather 

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I use unwanted cd's- paint them striped, dots whatever - all different- and for me they also have a number painted on -then pin just above hive entrance :)
 

Black Comb 

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Interesting as I'm adding to my site in the field.
Area is similar to that on Admins photo.
I will make stands each to take 2 hives. ( 4 stands total)
I was thinking of laying them out in a zig zag pattern, with each hive on each stand aligned in a slightly different direction.
Would this be advantageous to the traditional "straight line?"
 

jezd 

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i was thinking light pastels (blue, yellow, red - nothing too vibrant mind), I like the ones you often see in the states
 

Hombre 

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Sorry Jezd, but the subtle red tones will be wasted on the bees who will appreciate the subtleties in the same way that you appreciate the subtleties of infra red light. :)

Well maybe they won't have the benefit of changing channels on the family TV :) :) :)
But the OH will surely appreciate it. I think if it looks good and rocks your boat then it has to be good to go. :grouphug: :cheers2:

I've been told that some people have pink hives, but I'm not telling. :toetap05:
 

MJBee 

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I use different coloured roofs White, green, blue and rust (colour not actual:)),all the hives are in my garden and therefore secure, however my out apiary is all brown so it doesn't attract undesireables.
 

jezd 

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:) get the pink paint ready girls!!!!
 

admin 

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Norm welcome to the forum.
Dont be a tease,show us the inside as well!!
 

jezd 

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yes Norm, welcome, I do like that and so colourful - flies in the face of another comment on using red mind

or maybe red was the natural colour for bees
 

Repwoc 

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Sorry Jezd, but the subtle red tones will be wasted on the bees who will appreciate the subtleties in the same way that you appreciate the subtleties of infra red light. :)

Well maybe they won't have the benefit of changing channels on the family TV :) :) :)
But the OH will surely appreciate it. I think if it looks good and rocks your boat then it has to be good to go. :grouphug: :cheers2:

I've been told that some people have pink hives, but I'm not telling. :toetap05:
I think there is a bit of misunderstanding of the colour physics here.

Pigments absorb some of the light that falls on them, but reflect the rest. We perceive the colour that is opposite (complementary) to the colour of light absorbed. Note that in order for colour to be perceived the light *absorbed* by the pigment has to be in the perceiver's visible spectrum.

Red paint as perceived by humans actually absorbs light in the bluish green (cyan) region of the visible spectrum. This region is visible to bees too, so although they can't see the reflected red light, they will see the rest of their visible spectrum less the bluish green component so they will perceive colour when they see what we know as red.

Since red light is outside of the bees' visible spectrum, they will not perceive colour where pigments absorb red light (and reflect the rest). Pigments that absorb red light are bluish green to humans but will appear white to bees.
 

Hombre 

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I always seemed to think that like orthographic film, that it would appear as black and not white.

That's ruined my "Red is the new Black" joke. :)

I see what you are saying and have to admit that I am eminently unqualified to disagree with you. I suspect that I have both learned something here and realised that I will need to dig a lot deeper to satisfy myself about the exact mechanics. Dontcha hate not understanding these things. That's not to detract from your answer in any way Repwoc, you've just presented me with a personal dilemma.

Whoops there goes another 30 minutes Googling. :grouphug: Thanks for the heads up.
 

admin 

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I did post a list of colours that bees see and what colour it appears to them last year,but I cant find it when I search :blush5:
 

DulwichGnome 

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OK, I might be able to help here having been involved with theatre lighting for 20 years.

There are two things to consider, the quality of the light source and the surface that is reflecting the light back. The colour wheel below shows the three primary colours, the three secondary colours and 'white' in the centre. It is difficult to get true white as almost all sources are bias to one or the other colours. If you place a piece of pure red cloth in the centre or in the red or ether of the secondarys it will look red, as there is red light falling on it and is reflected back. If you move it to the blue light it will appear to go black, no red light to reflect back.

If you replace the red with ultra violet in the wheel you will get the colours a bee might see with and putting something red anywhere in the wheel will look black as there is not a red 'source' to reflect back.

I know as a lighting designer, to think of black as not a colour is a mistake and I use it to define both shape and other colours. If you look at Norm's bee house again and see it as a bee would it is now has a well defined shape against the uv rich background with well defined coloured entrances one of which is their home.

I hope this makes sense.

Mike.
 

Norm 

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I think the point being, as long as the bees can differentiate between them, i.e. with contrasting colours, it will work to prevent drifting.
Yes I know bees don't see in the red end of the spectrum. That bee shed/house is painted with what is called Falu red and has been used for many many years for painting barns, houses in the countryside. Perhaps Finman will recognise it! The different colour of the entrance porches is enough of a marker so they don't drift.

Admin, you will need to delve back into my blog about 6 months to see the inside of the bee shed with it's lifting gear. Currently there is only one hive position populated.

Norm
 

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