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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Color on Hives help Id?

    I can't remember when I heard about color helps bees ID their hive but I did hear bees know the exact location of their hive so much so if you move the hive 4 feet away the bees will fly back to the old location, realize it's 4 feet away and then fly over to the hive but the bees will continue to do this same behavior of flying back to the old hive location and then fly 4 feet over to where it is now for about 3 weeks (When those older bees start to die).

    So does color even matter? If I painted a RED CIRCLE on one hive and a BLUE SQUARE on a different hive 1 foot away (Everything else looks the same), is there any good in marking the hives like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    I personally think that the SHAPE or NUMBER of markings would help the bees ID the boxes better than the COLOR. That theory is based on evidence that bees' optical frequency range (the colors they can see) is pitched much higher than ours...thus some UV light is visible to them, while Red, and likely Orange & Yellow, light would be as invisible to them as Infra-Red light is to us. That said, bees are known to use visual "landmarks" for navigation, so I think a triangle, a square, a circle, or whatever number of shapes/numbers would "help" the bees find the right box, assuming, of course, that they were painted on in a color combination that the bees can actually see a contrast between.

    For my hives (I have a 6-way, 4-frame mating nuc I use...entrances are quite near each other) I've put a number of black "hash marks" on the wood right below the entrance of each, hoping the bees can see those & avoid any "accidents" by trying to go in the wrong door.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    >So does color even matter? If I painted a RED CIRCLE on one hive and a BLUE SQUARE on a different hive 1 foot away (Everything else looks the same), is there any good in marking the hives like this?

    Not enough to be worth the effort in my opinion... but it won't hurt a bit...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    I have 2 nucs less then a 1' apart and everyone knows where home is and they're both identical. Better for you would be to paint them white to help cooling with that FL summer heat.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    Ok, so what I did is... I have a hive pretty much like this HIVE You see the wood beam/strip on top, I painted one brown and the other hive has a white beam/strip. Even if there isn't anything beneficial to the bees by doing that at least when talking to my son it's easy to just say, "the brown hive or white hive" as our own ID.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    825

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    trance...We must have read the same book... Whether it makes a difference, or not, it makes hive building/painting fun. My husband calls my hives "Key West Twinkle-toes hives"....I have a mix of pink, key lime green, and yellow boxes, that I sponge paint with a bit of white on top. I mix and match, and plan for different color landing boards if they are going to be next to each other in my apiary. I also paint a design on the outer lids. I have a cover with a pair of giant flip flops...comical bees...palm trees....flowers....etc...you get the idea! All my covers are different! Hey, it may not matter to the bees, but it helps keep hive building entertaining!

    I know...call me CRAZY....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bees In Miami View Post
    trance...We must have read the same book... Whether it makes a difference, or not, it makes hive building/painting fun. My husband calls my hives "Key West Twinkle-toes hives"....I have a mix of pink, key lime green, and yellow boxes, that I sponge paint with a bit of white on top. I mix and match, and plan for different color landing boards if they are going to be next to each other in my apiary. I also paint a design on the outer lids. I have a cover with a pair of giant flip flops...comical bees...palm trees....flowers....etc...you get the idea! All my covers are different! Hey, it may not matter to the bees, but it helps keep hive building entertaining!

    I know...call me CRAZY....
    lol yup, when I told my GF about painting a color/design on them she quickly wanted to paint clouds or something on them. I'm not real sure about all that yet but maybe one day... The stupid perfectionist/Army in me, everything has to be in order and just right. However my car is a mess, bed is never made so I don't get it lol!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,237

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    I don't think colors matter other then darker colors heat up qwicker but it sure does make for a nice bee yard.

    I think they find there way home by the queen bee pheromones .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Cohasset, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    The foragers definitely imprint to pattern. My son painted Chinese characters he thought the bees might appreciate on the outside of each of my Warre hive boxes. When I nadir a new box (add a box under the others), the foragers continue to return to where the entrance was in relation to the now higher character. In other words, they remember the entrance is just under the character for 'Spring'. Then when that character is raised higher, and a new one placed at the entrance level, they take a few days to learn that they can no longer get in at 'Spring' and now have to look for 'Healthy' even though the entrance location never changes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Color on Hives help Id?

    Quote Originally Posted by rationalanimal View Post
    The foragers definitely imprint to pattern. My son painted Chinese characters he thought the bees might appreciate on the outside of each of my Warre hive boxes. When I nadir a new box (add a box under the others), the foragers continue to return to where the entrance was in relation to the now higher character. In other words, they remember the entrance is just under the character for 'Spring'. Then when that character is raised higher, and a new one placed at the entrance level, they take a few days to learn that they can no longer get in at 'Spring' and now have to look for 'Healthy' even though the entrance location never changes.
    Interesting. Thanks.

    @ Glock, I like the Orange and Green one, well done!

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