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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
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    358

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

    Thank you for the advise.

    Tanya

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

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    I don't worry about landing boards as I noted earlier, but for those who are really concerned about top entrances with no landing board here's a quick and easy answer.
    When I am trying to hive bees out of a tree or building I often staple a piece of burlap below the entrance of my swarm trap and fasten it down just above the wire cone on the entrance to the old hive. The bees usually take to this right away and start moving in. The same idea could make it easy for that tired forager to climb up to the entrance if she is having trouble getting home.
    doug

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

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    >screened bottoms-- can these be made or do they have to be bought . . .
    You can "convert" your existing "useless, good for nothing, out-dated" solid BBs to nice screened bottom boards.

    The best use I have found for SBBs, is the easy at which you can monitor Varroa mite loads. You are "counting mites", right?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    196

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    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

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

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    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.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

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    >>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

    Ya, I tend to have my hives start foraging some years on the trees while snow is still around. But they dont forage until they can fly, they dont try to fly until the temperature rises. So until the temp rises, they cant fly, so they dont know the trees are in bloom yet. My bees keep tight to the hives until they are able to wander.
    If it was anyother way, we could not keep bees up here.

    Your noticing somthing different. Your noticing older bees flying off to die, or a hive stricken with disease, sick bees flying out in droves.
    I see that with hives that have t mite infections, or worst when they have nosema.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    196

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    Ian, my hat goes off to your bees!

    Mine don't know how to read weather report. They don't even pay attention to termometers! But they are very attuned to their environment. They have to be, to survive in our hostile wilderness. (There are no fields, not even grassy areas for miles! Only rock, swamps, watter and thick stands of timber and about 200.000 bears!)

    When the sun warms up the air, so that they can fly, they can very well tell that willow and maple is blooming, cause they grow right beside the hives. Even if I could train them to only stay at safe distance to the hives, they will probably disobey me and go on those blooms - regardless?

    And thank you for pointing out, to an old man with 52 years experience, all but last 20 in a commercial role... I did not know that all those bees of mine were the old, the sick, the infirm - simply "flying out in droves" as you so eloquently put it?

    Now I am really confused?

    What are the bees that forage on the above mentioned blooms? And the ones trying and getting into my hives with full loads and the ones ending in the snow(also with full loads?) Mine are the only bees in the region for at least 100 kilometers in every direction! Many times that in others.)

    Is it so hard to acknowledge that landing boards are perhaps a wital part of an successful hive?
    Perhaps, acknowledging with a silence would be the smartest thing to do?

    I did not have the slightest intention of splitting hairs with a fellow Canadian.
    My intend was to tell my findings. To offer an opinion, on which I am willing to stake my reputation!
    Perhaps someone, (with open mind and a bit less prejudice?) could use it to his/her own advantage?

    I for one, appreciate everybody' opinions. But to insinuate that at my age and experience I can't tel the difference between the sick, old, infirm and the dyeing is in my opinion - a blow below the belt!?
    But, as such, it could perhaps be expected, giving the "modern" upbringing of some of today's youngsters. . . .

    And I am ashamed at myself, for not seeing that it is unwise to but in the close knit "elite" of this thread.
    De-crowning of anybody - was also the least of my intentions....




    [QUOTE=Ian;279569]>>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[Quote]

    Ya, I tend to have my hives start foraging some years on the trees while snow is still around. But they dont forage until they can fly, they dont try to fly until the temperature rises. So until the temp rises, they cant fly, so they dont know the trees are in bloom yet. My bees keep tight to the hives until they are able to wander.
    If it was anyother way, we could not keep bees up here.

    Your noticing somthing different. Your noticing older bees flying off to die, or a hive stricken with disease, sick bees flying out in droves.
    I see that with hives that have t mite infections, or worst when they have nosema.[QUOTE]

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

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    >> for one, appreciate everybody' opinions. But to insinuate that at my age and experience I can't tel the difference between the sick, old, infirm and the dyeing is in my opinion - a blow below the belt!?

    I didnt say it, you did.
    >>>weather is consistently cold when willows and maples are in early bloom. Hives in such a weather can all but loose all their foragers

    I am suggesting those hives that loose all thier foragers loose them becasue of maybe disease problems, not becasue they cant make it back to the hive.

    >Now I am really confused?

    Your not the only one. I cant seem to figure out how those bees of yours can fly up to those tall maple and willow trees, gather the best and as much pollen and nectar they can hold, not being able to make it into a top enterence of a hive?
    landing boards are sure nice, and have many advantages. They fit in nice with our modern day beekeeping management operations. Wheather or not they are "vital part of an successful hive" is to be debated.

    >>52 years experience, all but last 20 in a commercial role.

    What would you think of my opinion if I told you I was in the business for 10years, would you think different of my opinions if I were in the business for 40? How about if I owned 30 hives, would you take my thoughts on bee biology different if I run 3000?
    Makes no difference to me. What is thought and said does.
    perhaps a difference in language and interperatation, I have no intention to insult. But I do have the intention to discuss and challange.

    Perhaps your willing to converse with an open mind to a challanging opinion?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    426

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    Sometimes I think landing boards are just great rain catchers, especially for an inappropriately slopped hive.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    nice thinking allen...

    or the front porch which was added to the bee's house to make the human's feel good, in the end this increase the deterioriation of the bottom board. this translates into adding something that has no real function beyond decreasing the time interval until the bottom board will have to be replaced. essentially an added expense that will generate it own added expense.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

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    Tanya I think (????) in all the round and round since you made the statement you weren't sure what screened bottoms are for other than a place for mites to fall, it wasn't answered or attempted.

    They are also used for ventilation in summer and the same in winter but for a different reason, moister control. They allow the trash bees drop to fall clear of the hives, a breeding ground for the wrong kinda bugs if left unattended on a solid bottom. And relieve the problem of rain getting in if the hive is tilted the wrong direction. The only real reason for having the screen as opposed to having nothing at all, is to keep out the unwanted intruders and pests.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

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    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! -France
    How do you account for the energy-consumed versus energy-gained dynamics of such long flights? My understanding is that such long flights require greater amounts of energy (honey "burned" by the foragers) than are retrieved (nectar transported back by the bees). Wouldn't such long foraging requirements over extended periods result in "negative" honey production?

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Latrobe, PA
    Posts
    358

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    Hi Bizzybee,


    Thank you for your answer--

    What about winter temps with a screened bottom with temperatures going down to 10 degrees or less. Do you still use them then?

    Tanya

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    196

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    Well, all that is left up to the bees. I know that they load up just enough 'fuel' to get there. As much as I read on the subject, I understand that they do not attempt such flights if economics are not there. Bees are a lot smarter than what we give them credit for.
    Than, it must be mentioned, not all foraging is at such great distances. Bees will explore closest sources first and choose the appropriate sources on basis "which is more profitable.' More profitable of course means like, distance, wind direction and force, time of day, weather and perhaps the most important - sugar content of the nectar.
    Some will even forgo the 'economics/profitability' side of things and forage in less favorable 'close' locations. But, in nature such behaviour is luckily short lived. . . .

    First year that I had bees on present location, they almost convinced me that it was perhaps a bad idea to keep them in such 'barren' and deep wilderness. I even obtained a bag of pollen for 'just in case?'
    But, the second year, they somewhat adopted and produced around 55 - 60 pounds of surplus.
    But now, they seem to be an 'old hand' at this and they gather an average of about 130 pounds plus they build a box or two of foundationless comb each season.
    So, it appears that their strategy works for them and of course - me.

    How to break that down scientifically?
    That is beyond me. I only brought them on that location, cause life without little buggers, to me, is not worth much.
    So, they keep an old man happy and contended. They are very mild and happy bees. I work them weekly, with no smoke ( I took the belows off the smoker, so I would not forget and perhaps use it in a pinch?) They are often left opened for hours, without any protest and/or slightest show of displeasure. (only brood-chambers must not be separated!)

    Scientific mambo-jumbo is not my cup of tea. I leave that for the experts to unravel. I only see that they (bees) get all the help possible - in terms of housing needs (like landing boards)
    If we in our ultimate wisdom thought that at one point bees needed our help to survive? Than the least we can do is stick to our commitment and provide them with the best care possible!


    Regards,
    France


    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    How do you account for the energy-consumed versus energy-gained dynamics of such long flights? My understanding is that such long flights require greater amounts of energy (honey "burned" by the foragers) than are retrieved (nectar transported back by the bees). Wouldn't such long foraging requirements over extended periods result in "negative" honey production?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pineville Missouri
    Posts
    222

    Question

    France reading your post a thought accured to me. I read a long time ago that bees produce their own forage sights by polinating. My area had very little goldenrod first year, but the second the place was full of it .so maybe your desert is becoming a jungle somewhere out of sight. Now they don't have to fly so far.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    196

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    Superstakr,

    you are probably right on.
    I ride a mountain bike daily and with binoculars keep an eye on things. This year I did notice flowers where before there was none. Even blueberry bushes, where there was none.
    I also saw a lot of seeds, like goldenrod, asters and fire weed, but am yet to find a bee on those.
    And soil in this parts is something else also. Most of the time is so dry that the water simply rolls off.
    I suspect that the only way they can find nectar is along the waters edge and in swamps? ? ?
    And honey they produce is the sweetest that I have ever tasted - well it's unique, sort of 'one of a kind.'

    Regards,
    France

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    520

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    Sr. Tanya
    When you make your SBB's you can run a slot around the bottom of the side's and front to allow a board to slide in and close off the bottom for the winter. This slide can come out at any time to see what's dropping. Mites, new wax, old wax, pollen, just interesting stuff.
    When it warms up, it comes out for the summer. When temp's start dropping, the boards go back in.

  18. #38
    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.

  19. #39
    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

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,366

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