Follow boards

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Bob Wilson:
I am still working out the times and usage of followboard. As you can see in the picture, I have removed it from this horizontal langstroth.
I seemed a good thing during the the cold winter and early spring, but it created problems.
1. It contributed to swarming. Probably because I kept the hive too restricted. Swarming has been the number one issue with my long hives.
2. The bees seem to beard more with it in. I am not sure why.
3. Since a follow board is not meant to completely seal off the unused part of the box (it has a gap at the bottom), small hive beetles have access to the whole box, so why not the bees? They have to police the entire box anyway.

Ben Framed:
Bob I do not know anything about long hives, except the problems associated with them as discussed on the forum here. I do not know the advantages to the long hive as compared to the modern langstroth hive. No doubt there must be some advantages or folks would not be so intent on using them. I know our own Brother from Texas has commented on their use as he is an amputee and he commented that it helps him height wise.  Do you have, or have you tried the langstroth type hives that are widely used today? If not this may be a consideration?


--- Quote from: Bob Wilson on July 15, 2020, 12:46:43 am ---3. Since a follow board is not meant to completely seal off the unused part of the box

--- End quote ---
I think it should.  I would make attempts to make it so.  There should be enough space on the bee side so they don't swarm.
Long hives have the advantage of easier access to the bees but they also have the disadvantage of requiring much more intervention many more times.  It is like trying to keep bees in nuc boxes.

Ben Framed:
I am not going to stray off the subject to far. Therefore I will start another topic spinning off form this topic. I will call it The Rose Hive.

Bob Wilson:
Acebird. Greetings Brian. I am pretty sure that a follow board is not meant to completely seal off the back half of a long hive. They are 4 foot long boxes, with inevitable slight warping of the wood, so the follow board might be tight in one location but looser further back. Also, it is easier to seal a square box with a flat board of top and a weight, than a vertical board inside a box.
The follow board, as I understand it, is to create a false back, restricting the building of comb to the front. Since it is almost impossible to make it truly sealed, most people leave a 1/2 inch gap at the bottom, so bees that get through (and they will) can get back in again.

Ben. My bad back laid me out if work for a week not long before I decided to beekeep. That alone set my feet upon horizontal beekeeping. I have three of them as of now. It is like opening a file cabinet, and shifting around the files.


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