Open space for mating nucs ?
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  1. #1
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    Oct 2010
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    Mammoth Cave, KY
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    Default Open space for mating nucs ?

    How much open space is needed for mating nucs within a fenced backyard, 6ft board fence?
    Poppy's Bees, Queens, and Honey
    Mammoth Cave, KY

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Seneca, SC
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    I don"t know what you mean when you say open space.

    How much space do they need for 5 frame nuc [U]22x 8 inches[/U ] How close can you put them. touching if you have the entrances turned opposite

    How much forage area do they need. It depends on what is blooming.

    I have a hive that is fifteen feet from my patio, that in about 60 days will have 60,000 bees. To me this is about the right distance.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    will they have trouble with orietation witin a fenced yard returning on mating flights?
    Poppy's Bees, Queens, and Honey
    Mammoth Cave, KY

  5. #4
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    There are a ton of theories on that. I have found that patterns painted on the entrance side works extremely well... I know its hard for those that are just starting out to paint triangles, circles, rectangles, waves, dashes, and slashes on there brand new equipment... but the end result will be well worth it... our mini nucs are only a few inches apart and in rows of 500, so it can be tough for the queens to find home.... our 3 ways and 4 ways are set up three foot apart so that the entrances are easier to see from the air and so that the workers aren't having in flight collisions. Lol.

    If you are wondering about how far back to space entrances from the fence, I would say you are ok at 3 feet... but put your patterns on the tops as well as the entrances... just be creative and when repeating patterns, try not to put them in the same place (ie.. right corner, middle, left corner, etc). One of the Ukrainian scientists that stayed with us while we worked on our Moonbeam line, brought his wife with him... while we worked in the bees, she passed the time by painting detailed pictures of folklore stories and fairy tales on everything that would sit still long enough for her to grab. Lol. We had just finished building 2,000 new cypress mini nucs, so she had a great time decorating each one. The queens have no problem at all finding those nucs. Lol.

    Hope this helps, and thanks Svetlana, if you happen to read this!

  6. #5
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    Jan 2007
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Do you find patterns are more important than colour for orientation?

    Thanks

  7. #6
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Yes we do. Although, bold differences such as red, black, grey, and green seem to work well to help mix the patterns.

    Hope this helps!

  8. #7
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    My four ways are stacked up like a high rise apartment building. Do any of them every come back to the wrong one? Probably now and then but not enough to worry me. They take up a lot less room that way and I only have so much that the horses don't have access too...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #8
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    Aug 2009
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    Finger Lakes, NY
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    ...bold differences such as red, black...
    Isn't red just seen as black to a bee?

  10. #9
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    Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Not necessarily... we have tried many shades of reds and have even tested that theory by using black tops and red tops in the same yard and we still had a better return rate from the red than the black. In symbols the red and black never got confused...

    I would gather that the shade, tone, or depth of the color is really what makes the difference. Even if they were completely color blind, they would still be able to tell the difference between bright red, black, blue, green and yellow... basically just because each one would be so different in its brightness level...

    Combining the use of shapes and colors can get you a few 100% rates... that is... IF you get lucky and don't have any hungry birds along the tree lines for a few days.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Even if they were completely color blind, they would still be able to tell the difference between bright red, black, blue, green and yellow... basically just because each one would be so different in its brightness level...
    Well, that might be true if bees saw the same way that humans do, but according to Karl von Frisch, "...the bee can distinguish only four different colors in the visible spectrum: yellow, blue-green, blue, and ultraviolet”

    http://www.sewanee.edu/chem/Chem&Art...ts_2003/Crone/

  12. #11
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    Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Seeing a color and distinguishing a difference on two different spectrums are separate issues... bees may not see the color red, but they certainly can tell the difference between a box that is painted red and a box that is paint white or black... after all, being blind to a color does not make objects of that color disappear, they merely appear grey, white, or bland... the shade of the color is what's important here... a bright red and a deep black are different enough to distinguish between the two even if one were color blind.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    ... a bright red and a deep black are different enough to distinguish between the two even if one were color blind.
    For humans... yes, that would be true. For bees.. no. They see color different than we do. Bees see red as if it were black.

    http://westmtnapiary.com/Bees_and_color.html

  14. #13
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    May 2009
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    Re: Open space for mating nucs ?

    Again, its not about what color they see.. the question here is "can bees distinguish between a red box and a black box?" The answer is yes they can. Do they see the color red? Not according to several studies... but does the "black" that they see when they look at a red box look the same as the black that they see when they look at a black box? No. Again, we have run red and black mating nucs by the thousands every year for a very long time... there are differences in takges between the colors, with the red always having a higher take than black. These nucs are mixed each year in different orders and we have even rotated them between cycles and still the red take is higher than the black and equal to white, green, blue, and yellow.

    We recommend using patterns of some sort, no matter what color the paint is. My grand father showed that placing random coins on top of the nucs raised take rates back in the early 1900's. Then my father demonstrated that even tiny variances in the "shape" of the nucs would raise takes in the 50's by turning wooden bars (nailed with a single nail on the top of the nuc) at different different angles to change the overhead appearance of each nuc.... those that were set at the same angles had lower takes each cycle. Imagine what a queen would see returning from a mating flight to a wild colony living in a small hollow in a tree that is in a dense forest... color can't have much to do with her ability to locate her home as the shape that the forest canopy makes at certain intervals along her route.

    As specialkayme pointed out somewhere, even playing cards can be used to raise the rates because of the differences in each card... and yes specialkayme, I done it, it works. Lol.


    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by rrussell6870; 02-02-2011 at 12:15 AM. Reason: typos

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