Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some inexpensive Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture! What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Landing Boards and New Apiary Location

After reading this thread on biobees forum I decided to make landing boards on all my hives. At first I thought landing boards being a bad thing since birds, toads and mice/rats can easily get to it and then cause damage to the colony but after a short contemplation I realised that feral colonies have "landing boards" in form of a tree bark. Just look at the Oak bark for example. Most tree hollows have a deep entrance which creates enough landing space.
I remember last year observing my two top bar hives and seeing many foragers falling down to the ground loaded with nectar. They could not land on the tiny entrance which was clogged with guard bees and reciever bees. Each time a forager bee falls down it needs time to recharge and rest before it can take off again. This ends in less honey for the colony . 
So I decided to make, not that large, landing boards so foragers have a better chance to enter the hives without falling to the ground.
Birch branch as a landing board

As mentioned before, our summer house is situated on the North side of a small hill and I had no other place but to place the hives as shown on the picture bellow.
But after talking to a few beekeepers I think Im in need of a new spot. All beeks (including my wife's father) told me that having hives on the north side of the hill is a bad idea. The only place on our property which gets enough sun is right behind the house which is facing South. The hives will be protetcted well from the north and west winds here.


  1. The problem with birds picking bees is most common in winter and early spring. A removeble landingboard is a solution.

    Another old common solution is a landingboard that you can rice verticaly by hinges with some distance during the winter. It will then protect the entrance but the birds cant sit on it.

    1. I like the hinged landing board idea ... I think I have a few small hinges somewhere in the garage ...

      Thanks for the tip! Landing board in the summer and wind break in the winter!