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Right now our two hives look alike because they are wrapped in black tar paper - a few days ago, while those of you south of here were shoveling snow, our bees were flying. I read somewhere and have looked in all my bee books but can't find the reference - that it is helpful to the bees to either provide different colors near the entrance or different symbols - a circle or triangle - so the bees can find their proper hive and not drift.

Anyone have experience with this?
 

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Yes it is helpful for the bees to have variously identifiable hives to minimize drifting. That's because bees use landmarks to navigate. I use different colored boxes as well as bricks or objects in varying positions on their landing board. I also angle them a little differently so the approach is different for each hive. When they come out, they note their surroundings and I think it helps them to find the hive again. But if you only have 2 hives the exercise is sort of moot. The bees will differentiate the hives themselves by their placement in relation to each other ("my hive is to the left or to the right").
 

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A speaker in Orlando at the ABF mtng said that he staples playing cards on the fronts of his mating nucs. I don't think he uses the face cards, for some reason. Maybe they don't look different enuf from each other.
 

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Check out The Beekeeping Encyclopedia by Roger Morse and friend. There is an illustration showing some symbols that bees can see. It says that they can tell the difference between symbols in each row, but not between rows. Or something like that.
 

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I think its a total waste of time. That said ,if it makes you feel good, do it, the bees don't care one way or the other.
:D:D

I recently heard a speaker say that "if the bees don't act they way you expect -- it may be because they don't read the same books you do."

I may try this idea, though.... it will help me sort out the hives, even if the bees don't benefit.
 

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:D:D

I recently heard a speaker say that "if the bees don't act they way you expect -- it may be because they don't read the same books you do."

I may try this idea, though.... it will help me sort out the hives, even if the bees don't benefit.
Just as I suspected, it makes some folks feel GOOOOD!:D A happy beekeeper probobly has happier bees,so I guess the bees will benefit. Go for it!!!
 

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:D:D

I recently heard a speaker say that "if the bees don't act they way you expect -- it may be because they don't read the same books you do."

I may try this idea, though.... it will help me sort out the hives, even if the bees don't benefit.
So where did you see Dr. Tew? He often said that when I was in school in OH. Did ya know that he is from Alabama? Dothan.
 

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Now I don't know if it helps the bees but I have a "purple" hive and a "yellow" hive. The landing boards are colored as noted.
It does help my wife and I talk about the hives and what we have done and need to do; i.e "The Yellow hive needs syrup in the feeder."
I use the color code to do an "after action report" in my notes section for record keeping. I have an Excel spreadsheet form the I made with useful info, observations, my plans for and a projected date of the next inspection.
I will continue to do this with the bottom boards because it helps me, and possibly the bees as well.

RKR
 
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