Why add landing boards? They don't have them in the trees, rock crevices, or barns I have found them in.
Most holes in trees do in fact form a type of landing pad - if nothing else becuase they fly into a what is effectively a tube - and then land part way along it - it's just we don't "see" that bit. Adding a landing board definately makes it easier for them.
I ran without landing boards until the farmer at my outapiary commented on how much he'd noticed they had trouble landing when they had to hit the entarance block perfectly - compared to my hives which had a slightly oversize stand- which provided a 1/2 inch of landing "strip".
I hadn't even noticed myself
Anyway, the benefits are:
You can see whats going on inside the colony - by watching what they are bringing in. This can save on manipulations if you learn to read the signs properly = e.g. pollen = brood etc.
It's fun to watch - lets be honest - most of us to this for fun - why not have the fun of watching what pollen colours etc they are bringing in.
You ever watched a heavily laden bee trying to land? It's hard work - give them a hand - let them belly flop onto a landing board and run inside - it's a lot easier.
WHen it's cold, especially when they need to collect water in wintertime- losses are high - they get cold very quickly - providing a landing board lets them run inside - rather than having to keep flying to get the perfect approach - so you reduce losses.
All in all - I reckon it's well worthwhile. I made some landing boards you simply screw on to the hive stand.
You can see them here:http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=957