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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    330

    Default Making Landing boards

    I usually make my own landing boards. However, I've run out of the scrap wood I had been using and was wondering what type of wood would be best to buy?

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    781

    Default

    I have always wondered about landing boards.

    Most of my bottem board extend a couple of inches beyond the front of the brood box. But for photos it appears that some have a sloping 6 to 12 inch board in front of this for a landing board.

    I have never seen anything like this on the side of a bee-tree. So, is it really needed by the bees or is it a beekeeper invention?
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    330

    Default

    JohnBeeMan,

    I have never used the sloping landing board. Mine just sticks out flat a couple of inches. I do use a stack of bricks which doubles as a block for any critter planning on using the underside of the hive. These you can see on the photo.

    I think it helps any bee that has trouble navigating and is a nice porch on a hot day or night.

    I'm sure there are other- better reasons for the landing board.

    Tanya

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    330

    Default

    Sorry, I posted my photos on the Disease and Pests section-

    Here it is- not the best looking front porch...

    http://s207.photobucket.com/albums/b.../album%20name/

    Tanya

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBeeMan View Post
    I have always wondered about landing boards.
    I have never seen anything like this on the side of a bee-tree. So, is it really needed by the bees or is it a beekeeper invention?

    The above statement is a bit unfair IMO. But, I will apologise if you actually keep yours in hollow tree-trunks? :confused:

    I don't know how much people out there care about bees and how much they watch them? But, where I come from, landing board have been in use for as long as man has started keeping bees in boxes/containers.
    (Bees in trees don't bring 200 pus pounds of honey in a season either!)

    A bit of open mind is needed here...
    Observe the heavy bees trying to land in an entrance.
    Right! It is hard!
    Now, ad to that a little wind? Not strong wind, just moderate breeze...
    Right, bees are thrown all over the place. They usually struggle something awful to get home...
    If the beekeeper is a bit of a lazy bone, there could be troublesome grass in front of hive. Perhaps even tall grass, that all but prevents any kind of aproach...
    Yes, I know: You too are copying a known trend and have top entrances! That is even worse....
    Many a bee will simply never make it in the hive, under a heavy load. And that is a fact!
    I have 16 inch landing boards in front all of mine. Had them when I ran commercial outfit too. Cost should not be an issue. Poor bees work themselves to death for us - at least we can do is provide them with half decent approach to their home!?
    I would not keep bees without a landing board of some kind - period !

    Plywood will do best. But anything is better than nothing.
    A word of caution though: No cement, rocks or bricks! They are cold and in colder weather many bees won't make it home...
    Rugs in front of hives are great to keep the grass down but get soggy and prove the end of a journey, when cold, for too many a tired bee.

    That is the way I see this - and you should too - if you care that is..?

  6. #6

    Default

    Sr Tanya,

    Here is an idea for you. I use wood pallets. I normally cut them in half, and put 2 hives to a pallet. Look around, ask for permission to have them, etc.. Then if you want to dress them up with bricks, scrap wood, or plywood you can. I don't bother treating the pallets, or paint them, although you certainly could. They help keep grass, or weeds from clogging the entrances.
    Last edited by Panhandle Bee man; 12-12-2007 at 08:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

    Default

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Default

    I use a hodge podge of different equimpent styles. The sloping landing board usually is not an built in part of the hive but a part of the hive stand, with a bottom board sitting on top of it. I have some hives with the bottom board built in and no landing board. some of them have bottom entrances, some have upper entrances. Most of my hives with no bottom board are built for ease of transportation since the landing board gets in the way when you put stacks of hives on a truck or trailor and then try to secure them with straps across the back which is the current law. If you have bottom boards the boxe cannot fit snug against each other except in the side to side direction, so when you tighten your load some of them will slip and create an opening which disturbs the bees an makes them want to fly out to investigate. The end result is a lot of lost bees. Any time I have to move more that 20 hives at a time I want hives with no landing boards. When they get to their destination I always put them on pallets in such a manner that there is an inch or two of board from the pallet in front of each hive. They can always use that as a landing board. If the entrance is a hole near the top of the hive, I try to use a box with wooden lifting cleats below the hole. The bees don't need much to grab when they come in and if they are so heavy with pollen that they miss the entrance a couple of times they usually miss it by so much that a landing board wouldn't have helped anyway. I've watched them undershoot my combination sloped front hive stands with 1 1/2 " horizontal landing boards above them, just as often as i've seen them undershoot a 1 " hole 3/4 of the way up from the bottom of a deep super with no landing board. My prefered answer to all of this is to make sure when I groom the bee yard that I leave a few shoots of grass in front of each entrance tall enough for the low flyers to climb back up.
    doug

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    >>
    Yes, I know: You too are copying a known trend and have top entrances! That is even worse....
    >>Many a bee will simply never make it in the hive, under a heavy load. And that is a fact!


    come on France, thats a bit off the mark, dont you think?
    A bees, foraging up a heavey load, flying back from the field as fast and efficient as she can up to two miles, and not being able to make it into the hive becasue the hive has an upper enterence,and it cant fly up to it? I kind of doubt it.

    In my opinion landing boards are nice. but I dont use that slanted one. I have about 2 inches extra length off my bottom boards, made up freely of otherwise wasted cut plywood. Works good. But I wouldnt say they make a honeycrop. I have kept hives with no landing board, and they use the frount of the hive just as well, staining it yellow of pollen, and produce a fine crop of honey. I think it takes more than no landing board to interupt the bees nature of production.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Default

    I just made my screened bottoms using 2x4 lumber and #8 hardware cloth. Somewhere on this forum is a thread with pictures of them. Works fine for me.
    I placed three sides the 3 1/2 side out and the front I placed the 2x4 1 1/2" side facing out--it is the landing board. The landing board was placed 3/8" down from the top of the sides for a 3/8th inch entrance.
    Hope that helps.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    330

    Default

    I looked around and found some photos. It's something to think about.

    Thank you for the advise.

    Tanya

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    196

    Default

    Perhaps I did not use the proper words? A misunderstanding perhaps?
    In my parts of the woods, (I keep bees in total wilderness) they start foraging when the ground is still under snow. (Willows, maple, etc...)
    With top entrance only, many don't make it in! (they fall down and within short time are lost to cold)
    With lower entrance and some kind of landing board, a lot of those "fallen" do make it home.
    And with all do respect to your observations - in my 52 years with bees I know that it makes a difference if the weather is consistently cold when willows and maples are in early bloom. Hives in such a weather can all but loose all their foragers - which in early spring aren't too numerous to begin with...
    Late fall is not much better. My bees fly at amazingly low temperatures...

    You don't have to believe an old man!? But, come for a visit and you can help me picking them up, warming them in hand and letting them walk on home. . . .



    Ian wrote: [/QUOTE]
    come on France, thats a bit off the mark, dont you think?
    A bees, foraging up a heavey load, flying back from the field as fast and efficient as she can up to two miles, and not being able to make it into the hive becasue the hive has an upper enterence,and it cant fly up to it? I kind of doubt it.[/QUOTE]



    I wish that mine could only fly 2 miles?
    They will forage up to ten kilometers and more ! In my case, first 4 0r 5 kilometers is nothing but rock and water! The lake I'm on is 46 kilometers long!

    http://www.lasi.group.shef.ac.uk/pdf/rbeeimpr2000.pdf

    Regards,
    France

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    So many posts here are related to specific locations and climates. I think there should be a reminder message at the top of the reply window that says "Please keep in mind the climates and locations before posting your replies." I think anyone who keeps bees where there is lots of snow that lingers around for days or weeks certainly has a different aproach to over-wintering techniques than the beeks in a more southern warmer area. With that being said, I have seen lots of pictures of those slanted WIDE landing boards in magazines and different ads, but I have not seen one in use in my area. I make my own SBB and leave about a two inch flat landing area in front of a 3/8" opening. I have seen lots of loaded bees come to a pileup in front of the hive and drop to the ground. Then they usually sit and rest for a minute or two before trying to fly up. This is where those other insects usually get a free meal. Those spiders and ants are very aggresive and get more than their fair share of bees, not to mention the Yellow Jackets that will single out a bee in the grass. (I don't have snow here that gets them, but I am sure it's just as bad.) As for me, I would spend my money for SBBs or feeders before a wider landing board, but if you build your own SBB, you can certainly add as much porch as you want.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Ferdinand,IN,USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Treated lumber

    Am in the process of building landing boards. I would like to build them out of treated lumber so they last longer. All would be painted inside and out. My question is,is using treated lumber a no no.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159
    It's fine for any application as long as the bees will not come into contact with it.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

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