Follower Boards

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    Has anybody used ‘Follower Boards’ These are explained in an American journal as follows:-

    Follower boards are made of 3/16 – 3/8 inch thick plywood the same size af frames (Brood or super), and placed on each side of the box (Brood or super). They provide for additional insulation and ventilation throughout the hive. They are said to encourage the queen to lay in more frames thus increacing the size of the colony, also provide a quicker route thro the brood box for incomming forragers. Downside is that like anything new in the hive, perhaps the girls would like to paint it with propolis first!

    I found a hive with one follower board in it, which the bees used to make brood comb on between the board and the inside wall of the brood box. Admittedly, the hive had been abandoned by its owner for some time, so the bees had been left to their own devices! I can’t remember, perhaps the follower board was put on the sunny side of the hive, as we do get quite warm (43deg C) here in SW France.

    I assume that the follower board must be placed 1 beespace from the first / last frame in the box.

    Anyone else used them, and are they called something else in the UK ??

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    Hi bob are you talking about dummy boards? Solid “fake” frames that go at either end of the actual frames. Sounds like it.

    Ive seen beeks use them in the UK if they have a small nuc to over Winter, they will place these in if the colony has not filled all the “real” frames. Also Ive seen some people sue them on a very new (small) nuc. I guess it focuses the bees on the core frames first of all and stops them filling empty space with propolis.

    But yes I like your thinking, I suppose it could also be used as a kind of heat shield. Although allowing the bees more room inside and putting a heat shield on the outside seems more efficient to me. Maybe painting one side white or adding more wood or a reflective material.


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