To have landing boards or not?

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jezd 

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Ok, I tend not too have them but I am considering reversing this simply because of my Winter observations and seeing bees struggling in cold and windy weather (maybe my bees are cr*p landers! lol).

Even considering using covered landing boards like some I have seen in the USA.

Thoughts?
 

Black Comb 

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Can't see they make any difference but I'm only a second year beekeeper.
I've got one hive with and one without.

In future I don't think I'll bother.
 

jezd 

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there must be a reason, otherwise why would they exist? maybe its mankind humanizing insects with the thinking 'they must need a landing board because I would :)'
 

PaleoPerson 

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Watching our bees in late autumn, I saw the odd heavily laden bee miss the entrance or not get a grip on the hive and fall to the to the ground. This was where the wasps lurked, two or three would immediately pounce on the bee, cut it up and cart away.

Replaced stands for ones with landing boards, problem went away.

Have recently noticed that the lading boards have catty footprints on them when the cats investigate the hives by putting their front paws on the landing board and peering into the hive entrance. They have learnt (the hard way), the first time they did that was during the day, so it now appears to be a night time ritual. I wonder why?
:hat:
 

Midland Beek 

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Your average hive wood is just too smooth to allow good alighting. At least some kind of landing ledge or board is necessary. Or cover the front of your hive with bark.
 

Firegazer 

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I agree with PaleoPerson (as you can see in the last photo of my last blog entry). I saw a few bees falling out of the hive onto the cold floor (when it was really cold) and then failing to get up again. Maybe it was their time to die, maybe they would have been OK if they could have crawled back into the hive after realising how cold it was . . .

It seems to me that it's an advantage to them when they have other problems, like lots of pollen, air very cold, etc. If the colony is weak (and not just because they're a weak lot in general) it could make a difference to their chances.

I'll be treating it as a temporary 'crutch', to be taken away once the colony gets properly up to strength.

FG
 

Poly Hive 

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Not agreeing here.

They are a hang over from the WBC.

Bees certainly do not need bark to land.

None of my hives have ever had landing boards as you know them, with the honourable exception of the Glen hives and the Langstroth floors from Germany which have an inch.

PH
 

Grub 

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Landing boards always ......Nothing wrong in giving them a helping hand

Grub
 

grizzly 

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Having the extra space in front of the entrance seems to help, particularly when traffic is busy, wind is strong and loads are heavy.
 

Onge 

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Used to use them, don't bother with them now.

Have seen no difference in hive performance and its one less piece of kit to buy/make and maintain.

Part of the KISS way of doing things :)
 

Hivemaker. 

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Alighting boards save a lot of returning bee's laden with pollen from falling to the ground and chilling ,especially in early spring.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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I think the landing board helps the bees but is not essential, I think the main advantage is so we can sit and watch the bees on the landing board.
 

whizzwheels 

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Landing boards

I extended my landing board as the bees seemed to be having trouble when returning with pollen landing on the short landing board that came with the hive especially as part the the original board had a shelter to keep the rain drops off.
 

oliver90owner 

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PaleoPerson,

You got mice in your hives?

List,

Try a Dartington. Alighting board already underneath the hive body. Rarely ever gets wet. Really just makes a big (or small) tunnel for them to fly into. Robin Dartington got some bits well sorted with his particular development of all those old ideas.

Regards, RAB
 

jezd 

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I love the contrasting views on such a small component of the hive, personally I do see some value, another way to think of it is that it can do no harm.
 

johna 

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Landing boards help the bees when fanning.More lines of bees can fan also guard bees have just that little extra room to manouvre when wasps and robbers are about.
 

learner 

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I have no hives or bees (untill next year when the research is over) but 2 things stand out

1. Bees may not need alighting/landing boards, but we dont need cars to get around it is just better with them?

2. I have to agree where better for a bee to stand and fan from?
 

WBC Girl 

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As a new beekeeper, I agree with Tom Bick. It's great to watch the bees coming and going; I have them on both my WBC & National hives. During the warm summer evenings, I too saw the bees out on the landing board cooling the hive, but mostly on the WBC's whos landing boards don't have much of a slope. Taking that train of thought one step on, perhaps the landing board & ledge above the entrance actually hinder the natural flow of air up through the hive? What do people think?

Anyway, what I would say to new beekeepers is that landing boards:

- give you a longer opportunity to see the returning bees entering the hive & observe them; colour of pollen etc.

- creates a solid block of colour, to contrast against the bees, so that you can see them from a greater distance; they don't merge into the background folage so much
 

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