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I know all Lang hives have landing boards. Some top bar hives do, some don't. Not sure on a Warre hive. My question is: Has there been any study to determine if a landing board is helpful to the bees or not? I wonder if it doesn't give the small hive beetles a place to land and climb into the hive. Also wondering if the height of the hive entrance has anything to do with the pests that get in there, such as the small hive beetle. I would figure the amount of vegetation that surrounds a hive entrance also contributes to the pest population.

Any thoughts?
 

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Not all of my lang hives have landing boards.
It doesn't seem to make a difference to the bees or to me managing them.
If I have enough material to make the bottom board and have a landing board sometimes I'll
make it with a landing board, but sometimes I won't.
Strong hives keep most unwanted critters at bay.
 

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Hive beetles fly quite well, so its difficult to see how a different entrance would deter hive beetles.

There are lots of hives with only a top entrance. I have never seen a top entrance hive with a landing board.
 

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My langstroths sit on the ground so a 2" landing board is necessary so the grass doesn't obstruct the entrance too much between trimmings. If I ran top entrances in the summer, I wouldn't need the bottomboard with landing.
 

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You will never see alanding board on a feral hive.
When the Rev. Langstroth built his first boxes there was no such thing as air conditioning so every house had a porch on it, lot of windows and doors and an attic. So thats how he built his bee houses.
Bees don't like porches, windows or big doors. given the chance they will crawl through a small hole at the top of the hive and ignore the bottom entrance.
A small entrance hole is easier to defend and takes less guard bees.
 

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I'll tell you what, I have been debating on chopping off the front porches all winter. My thinking is that it is just another place for water and snow to collect. I will run a few this way and see how it goes.
The pests you speak of are going to get in no matter what it seems.
 

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not necessary. Trees and houses don't have landing boards.

I added this super to a big 2 deep hive and they never used it, before adding the cork they nearly closed the entire hole with propolis.

 

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I use only SSB with insert in . No landing board or hive stand and the bees are ok with it.
 

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no landing boards here...just bottom board that extends out about 1 1/2" past the front of the hive....bees seem to do just fine and I have seen very few that seem to "miss" when flying in
 

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Two of me friends, both commercial beekeepers, did a trial for some time and they found, that using landing boards all the way down to the ground makes a difference of 10-15 % more honey per hive.

They don't know exactly why, but they guess, that is because the first foragers of the day, which start very early in the morning, are the ones that find plants that give nectar in the morning hours. The foragers that find those nectar sources return to the hive, but the morning being a bit chilly they drop in front of the hive where they stay until the sun warms them up again. Bees are clumsy in the morning, which they are not in full sun during the day.

With the landing boards down to the ground they do not miss the entrance or they can walk up to the hive. Even in the morning. Once the early foragers reached the hive, they sort of "wake up" the hive. So the hive gets busier for more hours that day and they start foraging earlier. Which in sum seems to make a difference.

The landing boards are used during the honey season, but are removed before winter, so the critters doesn't bother the hives too much. It is a simple board leaned to the entrance.
 

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You will never see alanding board on a feral hive.
But a feral hive usually has a larger hole and it is round so the bees can fly into the hive easier. I am wondering if the optimum entrance would be a 2" shim above the brood chamber with an 1 1/2 dia entrance fitted with a slider to reduce the entrance when needed. This would be an adjustable mid entrance.
 

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But a feral hive usually has a larger hole
Doubt it. I found bee trees usually have a knot hole, not very large. If the entrance was large, the bees reduced it either with propolis or a comb that covers the entrance completely.

On the other hand, there is lots of tree up and down the entrance, so a long vertical landing board.
 

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>I know all Lang hives have landing boards.

None of my Langstroth hives (or any other hives) have had a landing board for the last 13 years or so... I call them "mouse ramps" as I think they are more helpful to the mice than the bees...
 

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Hmm, I expected the usual top entrance is gold reply when I saw Michael has replied. :shhhh: The entire hive being a long vertical landing board...or so.
 

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In the standard Langstroth setup, even without the "hive stand" with a slanted ramp, the typical bottom board extends beyond the front of the hive, creating a large landing space for the bees. Obviously there are a lot of setups that eliminate this space and the bottom entrance altogether and instead just use a hole on a flat surface. Bees clearly get in and out of the hive just fine. My question, though, is about guard bees. How does the size and type of entrance affect the performance of the guard bees?
 

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From my observation a roundish hole in a vertical landing board is the best to defense. Robber bees cannot land and rush into the hive, the round hole making it easier to go from one side to the other. Few guards are needed for this setup compared to a wide entrance.
 

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So why did you contradict what I said in a previous post? I have not seen a knot hole in a tree that is 3/8 in diameter but one that is 1 1/2 is more common
 
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