Landing board

Basic beekeeping, this is beekeeping after the first winter until about the third or fourth year. You are a beekeeper, but you still have a lot to learn. Talk about normal everyday beekeeping here.
User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Landing board

Postby GregV » Mon May 08, 2017 5:56 pm

Quoting MB:
"... I cut all my landing boards off including that 2" porch... the bees don't need them, but the mice seem to like them..."..


Well, I decided to do exactly the opposite - put up a tilted landing board from plywood so the bees can walk into the hive.
Just got tired picking up 30-40 cold bees from the grass in front of the hive each and every evening.
Young bees go out in the afternoon, sit on grass to take a break, then never are able to take wing again (they get too cold).
Loosing so many young bees (and few tired and cold forages too) every day just makes no sense to me.
Trying the walk-up ramp and see what happens.

Mice?
I got #2 mesh in all my entrances.

PS: this board maybe less important in warm summer months;
but now is May in zone 5 and the ground is still cold and not going much warmer anytime soon.

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Landing board

Postby moebees » Mon May 08, 2017 8:37 pm

They don't need landing boards.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Mon May 08, 2017 8:47 pm

moebees wrote:They don't need landing boards.

Let them freeze then?
PS: my hive is on morning sun/evening shade and low just above the grass.
PPS: I know, the feral bees need no landing board;
usually, the tree trunk makes up for a very long and wide vertical landing board - works great.
when your bottom entrance just above the grass - different story and totally different dynamics;
you land just a tad below and into the grass - you are pretty much done, being already cold and tired.

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Tue May 09, 2017 1:24 am

So the landing board is working.
I got this nice 2'x2' sheet of plywood set out and done with it.

Yesterday I collected a container lid full of bees and just set it out to sun to let them reheat and fly back in.
I would use a hair comb to brush them out of lawn in bunches (sort of like picking lingonberries).
This was seriously getting out of hand.

Today - maybe ten bees at most.
This is tolerable.
No more silly bee picking.

User avatar
SiWolKe
Hobbyist
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:36 am
Location: South Germany

Re: Landing board

Postby SiWolKe » Wed May 10, 2017 5:50 am

I have some hives now with robber screens without landing boards and some still with boards.

I see no difference with cold bees.

The cold ones are sitting in the grass under the landing boards.
The others are sitting in the grass under the robber screens.

But it´s easier for them to fly back if the landing boards are no barrier.

Place some dark containers with water near your hives. It´s mostly the water bees that have problems.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Landing board

Postby Nordak » Wed May 10, 2017 6:04 am

Keep an eye on them. Bees that can't fly back into the hive could very well be a symptom of some form of virus. Not saying that's the case, but if you were seeing high enough numbers to cause concern, quite possible.

User avatar
SiWolKe
Hobbyist
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:36 am
Location: South Germany

Re: Landing board

Postby SiWolKe » Wed May 10, 2017 6:27 am

Listen to Nordak.

If you put sick bees back into the hive they spread disease.

It´s normal to see some bees not flying back but not many. Crawling a shaking...bad. Sometimes the bees expel them or they are robbers which were fought in the hive and expelled. Don´t put them back.

But I´ve seen them pulling dead drones out and this very hard work makes them take a break on the gras. Needs some time until they fly back.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Wed May 10, 2017 2:31 pm

Well, with the board setup now I need to move on; I have no time to pickup bees nightly.
If truly sick bees exist - too bad. They will stay out - board or no board.

One of the main points I am trying to make here, however, is this:
* feral bees use landing boards extensively;
* with a cavity entrance well above ground most often, the entire tree trunk surface IS a landing board;
* in a tree situation, a bee missing the hole just lands few centimeter below it and has an easy crawl over the tree surface to do and has plenty of opportunity to do so.

So this talk about feral bees NOT having landing boards is false. They just use vertical landing boards.
When you have top entrance and you have plenty of hive wall below the entrance - you do have landing board.

However, when you have a bottom entrance and no significant surface extending below the entrance (at ANY angle - 0 to 90 degrees in relation to the ground) - you do not have a significant landing surface below the entrance (e.g. - no landing board). Bees do not care much about the angle of the surface as long as the surface exists. This is what the landing board is about, IMO.

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Landing board

Postby Nordak » Wed May 10, 2017 2:42 pm

I agree. A vertical landing pad could very well be seen as a landing board, and is utilized as such. That being said, the area above a bottom entrance could be viewed as a landing pad, and is utilized when necessary as I've observed. Bees crawl downward as easily as upward.

More to the point on your bees. How many bees are we talking, because that could be a much bigger issue. If it were my hive, I'd start investigating if you think sick bees are a possibility. Best of luck whatever the case may be and keep us updated.

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Wed May 10, 2017 3:03 pm

Nordak wrote:More to the point on your bees. How many bees are we talking,.........

Will continue to watch.
Last night was under 10 bees I counted and still picked up from grass; I just let them crawl in on the board and they did fine.
3-4 days prior, there were 30-50 every evening and this is how I switched to combing them out of the grass for efficiency.
This became annoying and I started scratching my head.

We, finally, should have stretch of warmer days and this "bee freezing" issue should be gradually going away, if true "freezing".
In any case, I do not plan to do anything about any disease or parasites. It is what is is.
The nuc is, clearly, booming as-is and maybe this coming weekend I look inside and make a call to split or not to split (yet).

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Wed May 10, 2017 3:07 pm

Nordak wrote:That being said, the area above a bottom entrance could be viewed as a landing pad, and is utilized when necessary as I've observed. Bees crawl downward as easily as upward.


That is for sure.
The only issue with the surface below vs. the surface above - the incoming, loaded bees will more likely undershoot than overshoot.
It is the significance of the landing surface just below the entrance is often debated (as if it does not exist in feral conditions and as if it is not needed; well, it very much exists and is very much used on most every tree). With abundance of rotting scrap wood all over, I don't know what is a big deal with these landing board. Just use them IF running bottom entrances. Nothing to loose; everything to gain.

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Landing board

Postby Nordak » Wed May 10, 2017 3:16 pm

A hive stand, such as a cinder block under the entrance, is essentially a landing board. As you say, it's not a big deal. I certainly don't think it is as long as mouse guards in winter are in place.

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Wed May 10, 2017 3:43 pm

Nordak wrote:A hive stand, such as a cinder block under the entrance, is essentially a landing board. As you say, it's not a big deal. I certainly don't think it is as long as mouse guards in winter are in place.


A long the surface exists to allow the undershot bee to still crawl in - it works.
It is this landing into grass or brush may be problematic (if the issue exists due to specific circumstances).
But it is very easy and inexpensive to solve and why not do it when have to.
So, basically, we have this clarified plenty, I think.

Mice and landing boards are, really, orthogonal issues and have little connection to each other.
Those mice are acrobatic and scale vertical surfaces routinely and easily.
Mice climb trees as well as cats and even better; they go down as easily as the go up.
As long as a hole big enough, mice will get inside no matter how high.

For all my equipment, I just install #2 screen by default in all entrance and do not think twice about it.
Mice should not be really an issue at all. Screens are free to get (or nearly free) if you look around.

User avatar
Nordak
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 438
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:24 am
Location: Arkansas

Re: Landing board

Postby Nordak » Wed May 10, 2017 3:50 pm

IF the bees end up showing problematic signs, and IF you can determine cause, such as high varroa infestation, don't discount taking an action such as requeening. It's sort of a gamble, but a big win when it pays off. You essentially keep those bees around for increase. It generally can't be a too far gone scenario, though. I'll give any bee a chance, but I've seen enough to know now when things may go south quickly.

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Wed May 10, 2017 4:16 pm

Nordak wrote:IF the bees end up showing problematic signs, and IF you can determine cause, such as high varroa infestation, don't discount taking an action such as requeening. It's sort of a gamble, but a big win when it pays off. You essentially keep those bees around for increase. It generally can't be a too far gone scenario, though. I'll give any bee a chance, but I've seen enough to know now when things may go south quickly.


I suppose IF many bees are still "frozen" outside the next 1-2 weeks (given the board availability, and given the warmer days), I should regroup.
Certainly, if the bees seem no good, might as well use them (while still have them) as a leverage to jump over to a better stock (a known, better queen). Will see. A good idea. Thanks

User avatar
SiWolKe
Hobbyist
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:36 am
Location: South Germany

Re: Landing board

Postby SiWolKe » Wed May 10, 2017 7:27 pm

IMO

I would never put back bees into the hive which cannot do this on their own even if I thought they freeze.
That, because I had a paralyze hive and had I shaken the sick bees out the moment I realized it and requeen or split this hive I would have one more hive left.
Sick, old and robber bees are expelled and often you do not know this. The bees look normal, but the house bees know about them.

The landing boards are only nice to observe the traffic. Bees land above the entrance and crawl down. They don´t need a board. Without a landing board they do this much faster and predators have less chance to grab them.

The bottom entrances have the disadvantage to be blocked by high plants and grass. Then a landing board is helpful.
Mow the grass or put a board on the ground under the entrance.

Ah I had a situation where the landing boards were very helpful. Flooding! The hives stood in water and when bees pull out sick or dead bees they usually fall down with them.
With my boards they did not, they realized they would drown and just let the dead fall over the rim.
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Wed May 10, 2017 8:52 pm

SiWolKe wrote:IMO....
Sick, old and robber bees are expelled and often you do not know this. The bees look normal, but the house bees know about them..


And how you put them back in?
You dump them onto the landing board! :D
You don't put them into the hive directly.
No.
You send them back through the entrance bee filter and let it all work out.
Any sick/old/robber bees will not likely be allowed back in.
Good/young bees will re-enter by walking and be allowed to do so.

Without a landing board you can not do this. That is just one of the usage examples.
(to be sure - long and wide landing board that goes all way from the ground to the entrance).

So, the landing board is not required.
But it has no significant negatives to it and is actually very useful in some cases.
Should costs no money, while at it.
It is just a good way to recycle scrap wood/plywood.

User avatar
SiWolKe
Hobbyist
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:36 am
Location: South Germany

Re: Landing board

Postby SiWolKe » Thu May 11, 2017 5:38 am

Hey Greg, if you put them on the landing board, they are fed. While being fed they spread virus.
The bee filter is already working the first time.

Too much stress to the bees to force yourself on them like that. Trust them! There are not 50 per day freezing. Too much. Not normal.
Somethings the matter. The bees are not that stupid to commit suicide like that. Or are yours?

Do you have pesticides around you which influence the orientation system? Then I would put them back. But how to know?
Civility is strength. http://www.VivaBiene.de

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Thu May 11, 2017 3:08 pm

SiWolKe wrote:Hey Greg, ........

Let us not worry. :)
I feel I have no serious problem on hand and it was a short-lived/contained issued.
The board is in place it will be there for the time. It does not hurt.
I don't really care to get into the infection/parasite control discussion.
That is not my problem and is up to the bees.

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Mon May 15, 2017 2:27 am

Weather went warm - no more of this "freezing bee" issue.
I may even take the plywood board away for now - easier to mow around.
They have landing strip about 4inch/10cm wide; should work.

User avatar
GregV
Hobbyist
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:14 pm
Location: self-banned @ (South WI, USA)

Re: Landing board

Postby GregV » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:51 pm

Late yesterday I stopped by one of my yards.

These hives are standing in woods, just between trees, in shade.
The bees are flying in and out on very steep trajectories into clearings between the trees.
I have very small or no landing boards on these hives.

It is after 6pm; temperature about 60F (15C) and is quickly dropping. Windy outside of the woods.
Lots of late bees are coming in, loaded and tired and cold.
They keep tumbling off the hive wall and fall down onto the ground in significant numbers.
A lot of them attempted 2-3 times or even more to just enter the hive. Some never did.

What I saw was an obvious case for landing boards (which I put up asap that same night).
So, basically, in cool weather and if flight paths are very steep, the non-vertical landing boards can be beneficial.
This is regardless of high or low entrances - the bees are likely to tumble down in this scenario.

Diagram attached.
SteepLandingCurve.jpg
SteepLandingCurve.jpg (46.49 KiB) Viewed 214 times

Koscak
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:00 pm
Location: Slovenia

Re: Landing board

Postby Koscak » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:58 am

I dont use landing boards and the bees dont have any problems :)
https://www.facebook.com/10000880372568 ... =3&theater

moebees
Backyard Beekeeper
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:57 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Landing board

Postby moebees » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:20 pm

I dont use landing boards and the bees dont have any problems :)


Thumbs up!
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."


Return to “Basic Beekeeping”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest