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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Bees and Florescent Colors

    I'm wondering if any of you know, or can point me to information about bees and florescent colors.

    I have been interested in the eye sight of bees, and what role it plays in navigation, and how an understanding of that might be helpful in marking hives to reduce drifting - particularly in situations where you have nucs or mating nucs close together.

    I have read a certain amount about what colors in the spectrum that bees see, but I can find little information about florescent colors and how bees react to them.

    Would entrance or hive markings in florescent paint be useful, or a waste of extra effort?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,588

    Default Re: Bees and Florescent Colors

    Various references indicate that bees can "see" ultraviolet light. Some florescent colors are more visible to us under "black light", which is close to the UV end of the spectrum. My guess is that not all florescent paint is exactly the same formulation, so the answer may be, "it depends." Some links for you:

    http://www.westmtnapiary.com/Bees_and_color.html

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/18/7/2412.full.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Bees and Florescent Colors

    Have you tried the book called"The Buzz about Bees" Biology of a Superorganism,i beleive there may be some info on ultraviolet light and bees.It has been a while since i read the book so i could be wrong.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,538

    Default Re: Bees and Florescent Colors

    Technically, fluorescence is when visual light emitted in respond to UV. For instance, red fluorescent paint would emit red light when illuminated by UV. The difference is that normal red paint is red because it adsorbs all light (color) but red. Fluorescent red paint actually emits red light, thus it looks brighter and more clear color. If all above true, both regular and fluorescent paints have a color in visual spectrum, which is not entirely "visible" to the bees. It is my understanding that bees could recognize yellow and blue. I noticed that bees attracted to the fluorescent bulb light at night, but it is nothing to do with "fluorescent paint". Fluorescent bulbs do emit near-UV light, which, for some reason attractive to bees.

    In terms of identification of the hives, I would use geometrical patterns rather the colors. I read somewhere to use blue strips. In fact, I am using blue strips on hive's landing decks. It was recommended especially for the situation when you move the hive etc. So far -my girls are in love with this landing strips! They follow them all the time. When I reduced the entrance and it was on the side away from the strips -it creates a traffic jam - girls use strips for landing even if there is no entrance nearby! Interestingly, the area of the entrance without strips is not used for landing even in heavy traffic! They used that area for socializing and cleaning each other. Bees are amusing creatures!
    Серёжа, Sergey

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