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Discussion in 'Top Bar & other Alternative Hives' started by Big Bear, Sep 15, 2012.
If you do or don't I'd like to know you're thinking as to why or why not.
I don't, because I don't use horizontal hives. :roll:
ok then. thanks for participating, I guess.
May I ask what are horizontal hives? I don't think I have see any or even heard of them and I don't us flollower even in my regular hives I have.
Unfortunately, there don't seem to be a lot of topbar hive keepers on this site. But take heart, that's likely to change over time! I keep only Lang hives, but if I had more room and privacy in my backyard, i'd keep a couple of TB or horizontal hives for fun too.
here's an article on horizontal top bar hives and not using follower boards with photos.
here's a photo of the type of hive.
I have a top bar and use follower boards. I use them because I follow the thinking that a new colony does nto like to much space. I suppose that flies int eh face of the fact that any swarm will take up residence in a cavity that starts out as large as it is ever going to be. But they selected it not me. I simply consider it an advantage to getting the bees to agree with my choice for them enough to stay. Plus I like being able to use the empty portion of the hive for feeding etc.
perfectly good reasoning. I just get curious to what beeks do and why. You never know. I might see an idea I want to borrow.
If Adam Foster Collins sees this thread I'm sure he'll chime in. He has TBH as well as some 8 frame Langs.
Follower boards ? ----- You got me. What are they ?
Not in the glossary on 101.
I use dummy boards but not in a horizontal hive. Are we talking the same thing ?
barbarian, did you see my post above with the link to the article. That can give you a better idea of what follower boards are in a tbh
Hey Big Bear,
Good to see you here. I used to see you on some of the other forums, but you haven't been there in a while. Good to see you're still trying to share your thoughts online.
I am presently running 5 tbh's and I use followers on all of them, for a few reasons.
1 - I drill a row of 7/8" holes in them just below the top bar level, and screen them over. This allows ventilation to the "attic space" up under the roof. I did that to the boards last year, and so far, I've never had a hive put any amount of propolis over those screens. I also found less wetness in the hives this spring. (I have end entrances, by the way, so these openings in the follower are on the opposite end of the hive.
2 - I like the way using a follower can shorten the box, effectively capping of the space. If you don't use a follower, then you have to have bars down the whole length. If you do, then you can use those bars somewhere else. - and with no bars after the follower, those vent holes vent right into the space under the roof - but don't let a ton of light in.
3 - a follower gives me a nice template to make other hives, and followers - keeping consistent size is a big help; allowing you to move things from one box to the next.
4 - a follower makes a nice aid for cutting comb for cut-outs. You can lay comb right on it, cut on it and use it as a template for size, all at one.
And, as a side note, if you have an end entrance, you can cut a follower short and use one on that end too - allowing a nice access point for the other end as well.
Sorry users. I have realised that I used a term (dummy board) in post no.10 on this thread, which some users may not be familiar with. :sad:
Dummy board (UK) ----- A board of the shape and size of a frame and comb. Used for a variety purposes.
Following (UK) ---- After going to the a hive(s), some bees fly around you for a distance away from the hive. A bad trait.
Hope these help users unfamiliar with the terms.
barbarian, around my parts here, a "Dummy" board is used in conventional hives to help make the interior smaller. Quite often used to conserve heat in the winter.
A "follower" board is somewhat the same, though shaped for an HTBH and used much more frequently to adjust space availability and other reasons (see Adam Foster Collins post #12).
They are similar in general though.
so they are essentially the same?? I had in mind that your definition of dummy board was what I know as a follower board. I never heard the term Dummy Board until barbarian used it in this thread. I still am uncertain as to the difference?
In my experience, A "dummy" board is shaped for use in a langstroth type hive. It's primary purpose to replace frames with solid boards thus shrinking space available to bees, concentrating them in the center of the hive and adding some extra bit of insulation for overwintering.
A "follower" board is made to fit within a horizontal top bar hive and stays at one end of the hive and can be moved out to allow addition of more top bars or moved in to close gap from removal of top bars.
both boards regulate space. the "follower" board is used more frequently throughout the year where the "dummy" board" seems to be more seasonal and limited in how much it can restrict space.
again, that's just from my experience here in Nebraska.
I've used follower boards since starting TBH's several years back. I made mine so that it is hollow, and one side is just a solid wall. If I turn it around, there is an opening near the top and it is then a feeder that can be refilled from the top. I've not used the feeder feature much as my TBH's go into winter well stocked and have made it through the winters with no need for feeding. Nice option, though, should it be wanted.
A follower/division/dummy borad is essential to survival down south. If the bees have to much to defend and HVAC they die or leave (abscond) at least in Florida. Small hive beetles and moths love oversupering and too much space.
I made a set of 5 frame hollow fillers when I picked up nucs to take up space in the 10 frame hive bodies; Probably another example of time not well spent! They only got used for the trip home and about a week after.
That's interesting to note Gary . What of using smaller hives instead and pulling comb more frequently to accommodation more space I wonder. That's an experiment I have read a few others make and I intend to do the same experiment up here in Nebraska as well.
I figure to use a 2.5 foot instead of a 4 foot horizontal hive. Theoretically, this allows more bees to occupy and defend comb and if beekeeper harvests may once per month and replace with new/empty top bars.
What makes me wonder about this is when it becomes too warm and they stop drawing new wax. I see a possibility of bees back-filling remaining top bars and absconding/swarming late season because of lack of space.
I'll try to setup two hives like that this year to see how it goes.