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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lazy Mountain, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Bees & Light Spectrum

    What spectrum of light or wavelength do bees not 'see'?

    I ask because I may receive new packages in April, but can not transfer them into accepting nuc due to outside temperature (Alaska).

    My thought is that I can perform the transfer from package to nuc in my heated garage, and if the lights were off (combined with spraying package with sugar water), the transfer would go better (calmer bees in my ignorance of thinking). Can I light up my garage with a spectrum of light that a human can see, but a bee can not, to aid in package transfer?

    Cheers,
    My bees can hold it !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Use red light.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    just a thought....why bother?

    folks transfer packages all the time in daylight in the L48. I agree that you can do it in the garage for warmth, but no need to be a high tech ninja. just shake em into the hive, set the queen in, and you're good to go.

    One of the more experienced folks might chime in, and you should put more weight on their opinion. I'm pretty dang new to this stuff.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    It depends on the daytime temps. where your at. I heard on the news not to long ago about a town somewhere in Alaska was going to have a high of -20 below. If your in that area then do it in the garage and try to keep it as dark as possible. If your daytime temps. are in the 50's then put them in outside. Maybe wrap the hive with some black tar paper to keep it warm. Remember to FEED them until the blooms start up and you have some kind of flow going. Good luck getting them going.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Hybrid, lucky for you. I happen to work in the dark very often at night say 10-2am all summer long of last year. Carrying this attitude over here now. I worked with a local beekeeper who use a real miner's light with red LED light. I use the homemade generic version but he got the real one from a sport section that has both the red and bright light. Since bees see red color as black so anything in the dark we can see with a red LED light but they cannot. If you give them any source of light but red they will fly out in that direction. This is my experience working in the dark. I'm still new so not sure if the bees can actually hear the noise. It seems like any vibration I made they can sense and very sensitive to vibration. I wore my red miner's light but they still came out to greet me at night time. I know they cannot see me but the noise I made they came out to inspect anyway.
    Going back to your situation of installing a package I would be very careful that they crawl into your open holes. They will bite and sting even in the dark it is better for them as they are more nasty than the day time. Make sure you are fully protected (no holes) before playing with them in the dark and warm area.
    In southern Chile on youtube they have the big cube like Perone hives. It is like a top bar hive with big bar of frames. Imagine how to collect your honey in that massive bee hive. They use the red light bulb in a shop spot light to collect their honey at night time. So it works but you still have to be careful to not let them crawl up to you and afterward. Hope this helps!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,317

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Unless the light is filtered for only the red wavelength it is likely giving off other light that the bees can see. I would think you would be better off having a fully lite up space for the transfer but I don't know for sure.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,054

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    The real challenge is coming when the bees are hived and the lights come on or the sun comes up while the bees are still in the garage. They are going to fly to the light source -unless you use hardware cloth to block their coming and going. I know, because it did everything wrong while living in Alaska in 1984.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    When bees can't see (no light or red light) they crawl and cling and sting a lot... but they don't fly...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,317

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    They are going to fly to the light source
    There has to be more to it. My hives are 50 ft. from a large bill board with 4 high powered lights lighting it up so you can see it for a half mile. Our storage buildings and isles are all lite up all night long and I have yet to see a dead bee near any of the lights. Plenty of other bugs flying at night and plenty flying around the cameras that have invisible light for night vision. I wish I could turn those off because the bugs trigger the motion control on the security cameras.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Yes, all we mention here is true. I think they are worse in the dark. We cannot see them and they cannot see us.
    They will sting if they get inside your veil. Working with full lights on is not the good option here.
    So what is the solution to this issue?
    Here is one to consider: We have the replacement mosquito window screen either the metal or plastic sold by the roll. Any local hardware or building supply store should carry those. You will need to build a cube, pretty much like a small grow green house by either 2x4 or some kind of lumber or pvc. So imagine a rectangular cube as tall as it will fit yourself all screen off so you can walk in and install these packages. A red light bulb hanging in middle at the top board should do the trick. It is not hard to build a cube out of 2x4s. Tape and/or stable these screens onto the lumbers. That should do the trick here. You can improve on this idea also.
    Ohh, don't forget to catch all the bees into the nuc or brush yourself clean before coming out.
    Here is a better one. Use a pairs of glove to install but you are outside instead of being inside the screened off cube.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    red lion, pa usa
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Why not put an empty super on top with drawn foundation below pull the queen put her between frames put package inside super and open, close the lid

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NY, NY
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Use a pairs of glove to install but you are outside instead of being inside the screened off cube.
    I think I saw this in Contagion. Perhaps buying a mosquito tent (like the ones people sleep in, that are held up by strings attached to the ceiling) would be easier than building a cube yourself. Cut two holes for gloves...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Bees & Light Spectrum

    Good idea, Jon. But don't they cling to the net or not? I think put a queen at the bottom to join them is better. But not sure if they will crawl in with the queen or not. Maybe to shake them in later on.

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