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Discussion Starter #1
I have always found the markings on runways to be useful. Last night, while discussing hive decorations with my wife, I wondered if bees might as well. I've seen discussions here of the problems bees may have touching down on the landing board if their hive is moved just a little. So, I thought, maybe the same runway threshold pilots use to look like they know what they're doing might help bees as well.

I'm thinking of using the pattern below on one of my bottom boards to see if the bees on that hive land more gracefully than on a plain one. If nothing else, it is a distinctive entrance marking that might reduce drifting.

The two light areas above the threshold markings are for runway heading. Typically hives face east or south. The runway heading markings are the opposite magnetic heading, rounded to the nearest 10 degrees and dropping the last digit. So if the hive faces east, the heading is west (270 degrees) and the runway is marked 27. If the hive faces south, the heading is north, and the marking is 36. Not that the bees can read, but you want to impress your pilot friends.

Threshold-Line.jpg
 

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Admit it. You're thinking about blue runway lights and a windsock...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, now that you mention it, fiber optics might make a pretty set of runway lights. ;)

But do I really want to encourage them to fly at night?

A tiny little windsock might be a nice touch, though!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
And VASI approach lights. Don't want them coming in too low and crashing.

White over white, you're high as a kite.
Red over white, you're alright.
Red over red, you're dead.
White over red, you land on your head.
 

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Admit it. You're thinking about blue runway lights and a windsock...
Taxi lights are blue, runway is white. Centerline lighting is white, except it turns red for the last thousand feet.

But you folks go ahead with all the fancy lighting. My bees are 'bush bees', and fly to places with no runways, no lights, and no navaids. I did it that way for many many years, see no reason to do anything special for the bees.

Real pilots dont need runways, lights, or any of that southern city stuff.

Hmm, cant figure out how to embed a video here.

http://youtu.be/JwMlgc1saHs
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've seen a shorter landing, but it was a Super Cub with an STOL package in a stiff headwind. It's fun watching the Fieseler Storch do this at Fantasy of Flight, too.

Pretty cool. Use any beta? I think the bees use beta to brake when landing.

From the reports I've seen they have trouble landing on water and snow, something bush pilots are famous for.

Now I've got this picture in my mind of a bee with tundra tires, and I can't stop smiling.
 

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But do they catch the ball or is it "bolter, bolter, bolter"?

Mine seem to bolter a lot in the afternoon. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What is really impressive is that they conduct simultaneous takeoffs and landings from the same runway, in opposite directions!

I've seen this at the Franklin NC airport, but traffic there is maybe six sorties a day, not six a second.
 
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