Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Follow boards  (Read 291 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 530
  • Gender: Male
Follow boards
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:46:43 am »
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.

Offline Ben Framed

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4556
  • North Mississippi
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 02:11:39 pm »
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?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6004
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2020, 09:22:19 am »
3. Since a follow board is not meant to completely seal off the unused part of the box
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.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Ben Framed

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4556
  • North Mississippi
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2020, 11:58:09 am »
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.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Bob Wilson

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 530
  • Gender: Male
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 12:05:58 am »
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.

Offline Ben Framed

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4556
  • North Mississippi
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2020, 08:24:00 pm »
> 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 around the files.

Sorry about your back Bob. I am glad you have an alternative with the long hive.  👍🏻
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Bob Wilson

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 530
  • Gender: Male
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 09:54:51 pm »
Thanks, Ben.
The worst things about long langs is the footprint. They take up a lot of room for each hive, rather than stacking three or four hives on a single pallet. That problem does bug me, and I wonder about increasing the number of hives in the long run.
 I come so close at times to building a standard langstroth, then my back acts up and i think... Nah. Better stick with what I got.

Offline cao

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1405
  • Gender: Male
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 01:39:23 am »
If you do decide to try a standard lang, consider 8 frame shallow.  It may take more boxes but each one is a lot lighter.  I have a couple hives that are all 10 frame shallows.  They work just fine.  The bees don't seem to mind.

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6004
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 09:48:35 am »
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.
To me a 1/2 gap is worthless.  If the bees can get through they can build comb where there are no frames.  A follower board can be made so it rest on the bottom of the box and the exact width of the box if you angle each side a little so you twist it in place.  Then use foam weather strip on the lid to seal off the top.  If you have an 1/8 gap or larger on the board the bees are going to spend too much time on trying to seal it up.  Make the board as snug as possible so the bees can seal it up quick and easy.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6004
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 09:59:12 am »
I come so close at times to building a standard langstroth, then my back acts up and i think... Nah. Better stick with what I got.
You're not the first to mention this but I think the excuse is not valid.  I have a very bad back.  By using all 8 frame mediums beekeeping is possible without danger to my back as a back yarder.  By the same token no one is running anything commercial with long hives.  The only advantage I see for a long hive is cost (less equipment).  Not a huge difference though.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 17526
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 03:03:18 pm »
In my experience with horizontal hives you have to keep feeding empty frames into the brood nest to keep them from swarming.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Bob Wilson

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 530
  • Gender: Male
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2020, 10:54:19 pm »
Michael.
Yes. That was my great mistake this spring. I didn't understand the concept of how, when, and why to feed empty frames into the brood nest, so there was a lot of swarming. I am really looking forward to this coming spring, and doing it right.

Acebird.
You may be right. 8 frame medium boxes might be OK for me, and i may well try one next year. Who knows? I am a hobbyist, and it wouldn't cost too much to change this over from the 150 deep frames I purchased so far. I could cut them down to mediums.

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6004
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2020, 09:14:02 am »
Although I am not in favor of mixing equipment you could keep a 10 frame deep on the bottom and not have to cut all the frames.  At least in the beginning.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6004
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2020, 09:17:43 am »
In my experience with horizontal hives you have to keep feeding empty frames into the brood nest to keep them from swarming.
Well that pretty much guarantees I will never have a horizontal hive.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline Bob Wilson

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 530
  • Gender: Male
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2020, 11:56:28 pm »
I dont know, Acebird.
With standard langstroths, people are checkerboarding honey supers, pyramiding brood nests, reversing boxes, and all other kinds of manipulations to keep the brood nest open and forestalling backfill. I suppose it happens more often in long langs, to seed a few empties at the front of the box every week, but Its all effort one way or the other.

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 6004
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Follow boards
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2020, 09:32:47 am »
With standard langstroths, people are checkerboarding honey supers, pyramiding brood nests, reversing boxes, and all other kinds of manipulations to keep the brood nest open and forestalling backfill.
Backfill is a preparation for winter so I would not discourage that.  All these other manipulations are spring prep to encourage brood nest expansion for the anticipation of the great flow.  I would not recommend any of these manipulations after a honey cap is established in a Lang hive.  But taking this quote from MB:
Quote
In my experience with horizontal hives you have to keep feeding empty frames into the brood nest to keep them from swarming.
it appears it is a common practice for Long hives.  Assuming Michael to be right (and I have never known him to be wrong) I personally would never keep bees in a Long hive.  That is all I am saying.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it