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I can’t post new threads on the equipment forum for some reason.

Anyways. I’m building a bottom board, and had a look around and I see the Americans often have a large sloping landing board. Here in Australia it is often just an inch or so of a flat extension.

Then looking at wild or feral bees, they often have none. So my question is what is the point of a landing board?

Is there a benefit to having one at all?
 

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Some of mine have none, others a wide, long, flat one. Do the bees care?

I like it because I can watch the bees' activity. It appears that they enjoy sunning themselves on the landing board.
 

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I have some with the big landing board, some without, and some NUCs with just a small slot entrance. All seem to handle it fine. Even with the landing board they seem to beard up and out so the landing board doesn't get a whole lot of traffic regardless. Most bees land right in the entrance. I just like them because it lifts the hive up a bit higher and I think they look nice all in a row.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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bees coming in with a full load often fall short. The Landing board is thought to catch a few of them. the one falling in the grass will rest a bit then fly again and try to get in. So Hypothetically it helps with efficiency.

I do also see bees gathering there so there is some optical reference to what is happening in the hive at the entrance.

absolute necessity I do not think so. Help full perhaps.

GG
 

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I learned to build bottom boards from a NZ beek. Short, flat landing area. sometimes they use it, sometimes they just land on the wall. Sometimes they land on the ground in front of the hive then climb up to try again. Mostly I see it as a takeoff zone and as an inspection zone for the guards.
 

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I ditched the landing gizmos long ago (except on my very original long hives - they just look cooler that way).

A hole in a wall - what they get (just like in a tree).
The wall of the hive IS the landing pad (just like a tree trunk).
 

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It is a tool. Landing boards in combination with one clipped wing of the queen make totally sense, since the queen that tries to swarm can crawl back into the hive and continue her royal work. While without a long landing board she most likely dies outside the hive, which is not very helpful at all.

(Don't clip two wings, because then the queen hops further and further away.)

Clipping a wing and using a long landing board, right to the ground, stretches the time window between swarm controls. You need to control just before the young queens emerge, which is before 16 days from egg on. Typically the bees swarm with the old queen when the first swarm cells are capped, which is 8 days after an egg was laid in a swarm cell cup. So you buy more time by using those two tools.

This works especially well with bees, that tend to lay eggs although there are swarm cells. Buckfast bees, well selected, do this. The queen lays eggs and eggs, although there are multiple swarm cells growing. That helps much in preserving the hive productive, because the broodnest is the honey pump of the hive. The young bees become nurse bees, the nurse bees feed 25 % of the jelly they produce to foragers! Because foragers use the nectar as a carbohydrate source – but totally lack protein in their diet. Protein they get from nurse bees, that do not feed larvae and young bees, but foragers as well. So a well established broodnest in the hive, that goes on and on, produces much more honey in a season, than does a hive, where the broodnest shrinks when the hive prepares to swarm. Which is typically for Carnica, for example. Weeks before the actual swarming the broodnest shrinks and even if you prevent the queen from escaping, by splits or tacking the queen to a frame or so, the broodnest doesn't work properly.

Saves you much work: clipped queen, landing board and a proper bee.
 

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Long landing boards look pretty nice, but thats about it. I have hives with short landing boards and my queen castles have nothing at all as a landing board, everyone seems to do just fine.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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My landing boards give me a place to set the robbing screens on the nucs. Other than that, I don't know that the bees themselves care. The hive at work is a swarm trap and like Greg says, the wall thickness (1/2") serves as the landing board. They cluster around the entrance and beard vertically just fine.
 

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I have almost no landing boards. Except a few that I missed. Usually a source for rot. If I were to have them though they would only protrude 1 inch.
 

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Seems like the big landing board is for the keeper more than for the bees. I just have an inch ledge.
For the keeper that wants to make honey.

Some professional beekeeper friends compared it side by side and made +10 % more honey with landing boards. I find the same in my operation. But that's just some observations.
 

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Clearly, our European colleagues don't know some of the N. American issues.
One such issue - skunks.
Wide and low landing boards make for a very attractive and easy feeding lot for the skunks (I'd call them skunk attractants).
While the flat front wall is easier to protect with the "skunk screens" (akin to conventional robbing screens).

This same issue of skunks is overlooked in the fiery debates about the upper entrance vs. lower entrance.
 

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I doubt they help much, but noticed on a heavy flow they get in and out more quickly. How much? Maybe could make a difference.
Honey production is not a high priority for me. I find a landing board helpful for observation. Are they bringing in nectar/pollen? How do their wings look? How are they behaving? All of this can be observed without a lb, but it gives you the opportunity to observe better. J
 

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I find my hives work quite well without a landing board. The problem with the landing boards is they capture snow which can clog the entrance and kill bees so I prefer not to have them. Landing boards are for humans. Bees do just fine with a hole in the wall.
 

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I have landing boards on two of my three hives. Honestly I purchased them because I thought they looked cool.

I guess they have the additional effect of raising the height of the hive another couple of inches. I don't know if there is an optimum height for a hive.
 
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