Due to using the UK standard hive a "National" - they don't have an alighting board. I'd made some, but then injured my back, so much that I had to recouperate at home.
My back is on the mend, and although not fit to be lifting and carrying and moving timber about, I decided I was fit to wield a spray can, on a tuit that's been around :roll: for ages. (a tuit, is known as a get-around-"tu-it" - and hence is always round :roll:
The floor of beehives is a wire mesh, with a metal edge, and I'd noticed months ago the bees were slipping as they tried to enter the hive.
This kind of shows it - the enterance is about 1/3 of the way up, and they have to land, and climb in without a foothold. I've since modified my hive stands to be wider, so their is a ledge - but I've watched some with proper alighting boards and they defiantely seem to prefer it. Besides nothings too much for the ladies is it?
I'd made up some "alighting" boards, along time ago, but hadn't put them into use as I couldn't be bothered to prime and gloss them.
Over a couple of days, with a few rests inbetween, I first primed
Then glossed the boards. This worked well with my back injury as I was trying to avoid sitting. I was either to be lying down, or up and walking about every 20 minutes. I was able to paint a couple, then go for a lie down.
I printed a few sheets on the printer in size 200 text, then carefully used a scalpel to cut out the template
Then used a spray can, to give each a number (Colony 1, Colony 2 etc)
A top coat of laquer to seal the numbering
To reduce surface tension when it's raining, and to improve traction, a good quantity of sand round the edges, and sived over the top provides an ideal surface.
Just a case of screwing them to the hive now. I got the go-ahead from the Physio today to resume some "normal" but non-weight bearing or sporting activities, so thought I'd visit the apiary to screw them on
I'm having two beehives delivered by a colleague from work (I'm not allowed to carry them yet) so screwed them to two empty stands.
The bees aren't used to landing on them yet, it'll take a day or two before they realise they can just belly-flop onto them and then walk in.
Those two unused stands which are waiting for a couple of swarms, that people have collected on my behalf. Swarm in tree....
Swarm in beehive
And finally, because I've been unable to collect them due to the weight.....A friend has been looking after them in his garden. (The two on the left) you can see another method of alighting board on his stand
And finally, it's not unusual for beekeepers to keep their bees on an out-apiary on a local farm in the UK, but mine share with some rather unusual feathered friends (for a UK farm anyway).
I have to admit, I keep well back cos they nip your fingers.
Safely the other side of that fence :lol: