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Author Topic: Use follower boards in TBH?  (Read 3424 times)

Offline jeremy_c

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Use follower boards in TBH?
« on: May 19, 2009, 12:44:07 PM »
I have seen some that say they use them, others do not? What are the pro's/con's?

Jeremy
Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 01:08:15 PM »
I'm using mine right now for feeding. I have a notch cut in it with a mason jar feeder immediately behind. That way, I can just open the back of the hive to refill without disturbing the front part.

They are supposed to help new packages have less area to ventilate/heat. In winter, they help block off the unused portion of the hive for the same reason.

Whether or not you want one might depend on the length of your hive. I have a 4-footer, so that's a LOT of hive for a new package of bees.
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline jeremy_c

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 06:47:22 PM »
I have 4-footers also and new bee packages (a 2# and 3#). Starting, I put 8 bars inbetween the two follower bars. The installs are only 1 week old.

Jeremy
Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.

Offline Natalie

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 09:15:42 PM »
I use follower boards too.
Why are you putting them between two boards? Are your entrances on the side?
If not then you usually just use one, I put several bars in front of the entrance and then the follower board.
I move it back to open up more bars as needed.

Offline mtbe

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2009, 09:59:13 AM »
I'm a newbee and use the follower board.

I too, cut out a space to add a boardman feeder in the follower board.  I loose a bit of space toward the end, but by that time, I don't have to feed anymore.

However, once the bees fill out the entire box, does one really need the follower board?  I plan on leaving the honey in over winter, and take what they don't use in the Spring.

So, when I remove the honey in the Spring, do I reduce the size of the box again, by removing some bars and moving the follower board toward the entrance (entrance on one end of hive)?

Or, to keep them warm in winter, do I move the follower board toward the front in the fall?

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2009, 12:13:39 PM »
I'm new, too, mtbe, but I think if my bees don't fill the hive with honey and brood, I will close off any unused space late fall for winter and early spring to give them less to keep warm in my WI winter. Of course, if for some reason they go completely crazy and make me 150 lb of honey, I will take some off, leave them a lot for winter, and still close off the remaining space with the follower board.
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2009, 11:55:13 PM »
The pros are that you can manage the space better.  The cons are you have to build it.  :)
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline RyanB

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 07:28:55 PM »
Also keep in mind that due to moisture your top bars will expand and contract.  If you build to close tolerances and then your top bars expand they will no longer fit. The follower board allows you to move things so that you dont end up with too tight a fit.
Currently Fermenting:

Cherry Melomel - 1Gal
Pear Melomel - 1Gal
White Pyment - 1Gal
Root Beer Mead - 1Gal
Mead Cyser - 5Gal

Recently Finished:
Sack Mead - 1Gal, Very Good!
Braggot - 1Gal, Very popular!
Mead Cyser - 1Gal, Wifes Fav!
JAO - 1Gal, Nice, A bit too sweet.

Offline mtbe

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 11:08:25 PM »
Good one Ryan B.  I actually ran into this issue this Spring!!!

Still not sure what to do in Fall/Winter.  If all of the bars have comb (I want to keep the honey in the hive until Spring), do I need to reduce the size of the hive by moving the follower board closer to the entrance?  What do I do with all of the other comb?

Offline RyanB

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 05:42:44 PM »
Good one Ryan B.  I actually ran into this issue this Spring!!!

Still not sure what to do in Fall/Winter.  If all of the bars have comb (I want to keep the honey in the hive until Spring), do I need to reduce the size of the hive by moving the follower board closer to the entrance?  What do I do with all of the other comb?

Assuming you mean empty comb?  My understanding is you leave all the capped honey comb in the hive along with the brood combs. The bee's will slowly move across the honey combs through the winter.  If there are any empty combs I would remove those and make the hive smaller in preperation for the winter?
Currently Fermenting:

Cherry Melomel - 1Gal
Pear Melomel - 1Gal
White Pyment - 1Gal
Root Beer Mead - 1Gal
Mead Cyser - 5Gal

Recently Finished:
Sack Mead - 1Gal, Very Good!
Braggot - 1Gal, Very popular!
Mead Cyser - 1Gal, Wifes Fav!
JAO - 1Gal, Nice, A bit too sweet.

Offline trapperbob

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 07:23:32 PM »
If you end up with empty comb you could in an emergency fill this comb with sugar water for feeding and put them back as needed next to the winter cluster and they would not starve. But I would not do this till they needed it. If you end up with empty bars on the other hand put a follower board at the end of the last comb and maybe something to insulate the empty space oppisite the follower board. This would give them less room and less cold air to fend off.

Offline Davepeg

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2009, 10:00:26 AM »
what do you use to insulate the empty space behind the follower board?  Hay? 
We love the girls...

Offline trapperbob

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Re: Use follower boards in TBH?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2009, 09:49:18 PM »
I have not used anything but some people I know use old news papers crumbled up even straw.

 

anything