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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Latrobe, PA
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    375

    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
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    798

    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
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    375

    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
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    375

    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 09:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    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 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Landing boards are the last remaining vestige of the belief that bees
    would "appreciate" features in their homes that humans enjoyed.

    Many of the pre-Langstroth "patent hives" looked like dollhouses,
    and had singled roofs, chimneys, even windows through which one
    could presumably watch comb being drawn and filled.

    So, the "porch" still exists. Never mind that there's never been
    a tree that provided a "porch" of any sort.

    If you watch a hive without a landing board, the bees fly right in
    and out of the entrance without any problem, and bees that need
    a landing surface (due to heavy takeoff/landing traffic, or a heavy
    load that makes landing problematic for the bee) are just as happy
    to land on the front face of the hive and climb down to the
    entrance as they would have been to land on a landing board
    and climb up.

    The bases that include a sloped ramp up to the entrance are
    prone to rot out right at one of the wood joints, which will
    topple the hive every time. I find a pair of cinderblocks to
    be cheaper and much more sturdy over the long haul for
    non-palleted hives.

    But a bottom board that extends beyond the front surface of the
    hive and provides a "landing board" certainly won't hurt, and does
    make it easy to look at what pollens are coming into a hive.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    605

    Default

    I appreciated the "background" J.F. on the landing boards and porches. I'd never heard that before! Since I don't have to worry much about moving the hives and securing them with straps my only landing boards are Screened Bottom Boards. Wouldn't even think of using a solid board at this point in time. Just my .02. But with the pallet's I might have to investigate just screening different sections so each hive could just be "sat" in it's place. I think someone else is doing just this thing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    375

    Default

    Well, as usual, I get much more information than I initially thought to ask.

    However, what type of wood is best to use-- regardless of how each one chooses to make it? I do use solid bottom boards.

    I have mine on cinderblocks and not every bee makes it into the hive without a little place in front to land (sometimes even upside down).

    I enjoy the various thoughts on this topic or any bee topic, for that matter.

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
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    Default

    Pines are easiest to use. Hardwoods are okay. Just avoid using the pressure treated lumber due to toxicity.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    2,837

    Default

    >get much more information than I initially thought to ask . . .
    Hopefully, some of it is USEABLE

    >what type of wood is best to use . . .
    The part that touches the ground should resist rot. Cyprus is often suggested for that reason. Many BKs use (other woods) some form of rot preventive. Pressure treated wood (deck material) might be used (may "runners" that touch the ground) IF none of it is INSIDE the hive.

    A "hive stand" made of treated materials would last more than a "life time".
    A "bottom board" that sits on a "hive stand" should not be made of pressure treated materials.


    >I do use solid bottom boards . . .
    We all have made "mistakes" , and
    it's never too late to "change our ways"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
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    Default

    O.K. -- I have been thinking of the screened bottom, but really don't know what to expect in my area or exactly what they accomplish other than letting the mites drop through the holes. :confused:

    Tanya

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
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    1,472

    Default

    [QUOTE=Sr. Tanya;279219]Well, as usual, I get much more information than I initially thought to ask.

    However, what type of wood is best to use-- regardless of how each one chooses to make it? I do use solid bottom boards.

    Pine works fine. Cedar is more expensive but lasts a longer

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
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    Default

    I'll check the cedar prices in this area. What type of pine is usually used? That's if the cedar is too high.

    Thanks!
    Tanya

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
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    Default

    White pine works wonderfully!
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
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    Default

    Power Napper,

    White pine is easy to work with- I need to replacement some of my equipment and thought the bottom board would be a good beginning.

    Now I'm wondering about the screened bottoms-- can these be made or do they have to be bought?

    Tanya

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,627

    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

  20. #20
    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.

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