Follower Boards

One of the “accessories” that I wanted to make for my TBH’s was a follower board. They are useful in limiting the space a small hive has. This can help because the small hive would have less space to heat or defend. With a Langstroth hive, people can use a nuc or a single hive body when a hive is small (larger hives often take multiple hive bodies). Since I won’t be able to just add hive bodies as the hive grows, the follower board will allow me to avoid starting my bees in too big of a space.

I had some scrap plywood sitting around, so I used that. It is just a hair over 1/4″ thick so I would guess it was sold as 3/8″, but I am not sure. I started by cutting out a piece the shape of the hive. I made it taller than the inside of the hive so that I could attach two 19″ long strips at the top (these strips will sit on top of the rails that the top-bars sit on). The angles on the hive sides didn’t end up exactly on, so the piece I cut out for the follower board didn’t fit exactly flush with the sides. To fix this I used some of the 1/4″ thick strips that were leftover from ripping the brood bars down to 1 1/4″. With the follower board in the hive, I held the strip up to the wall of the hive and marked along its edge on the follower board. I then glued and stapled the strips in place. Once this was done one each side, the follower board fit nice and snuggly without any large gaps. I am guessing that this doesn’t really needed to be this “tight”, but I figured this way I could also use the hive as a double nuc if I really needed to (a different hive on each end, each with their own entrance). I also glues and stapled the 19″ strips of plywood to the top of the follower board. They will sit on the top-bar rails and also provide a little more space between the follower board and the adjacent top-bar (bee space).

I had been wondering about feeding the bees when I first installed the package. I set it up so that I could feed from the back (to help avoid robbing). With a feeder board in place at the start however, the bees would not have access to the back of the hive. What I decided to do was to cut a slot to fit the feeder at the bottom of the follower board. This way I can have the feeder inside the back of the hive (sticking through a slot in the bottom of the follower board). This way, the feeder is still only accessible inside the hive and I can have the follower board in place. Once I cut the slot, I will take a picture showing what I mean.

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8 Responses to “Follower Boards”

  1. james Says:

    please tell me what a followup board is—i got plans from a barefoot beekeeper supplement, and they refer to a followup board, but i have no idea which board in the picture it is—thanks

  2. goingfishingbob Says:

    Hello, yes I’m doing a lot of research on bee hives and to answer your question about which board is the followup board and being a novice at this I am under the impression that the follower board is a divider to the main hive,set up to limit the area to the bees for there hives ,it is the one that just about blocks the front of the hives on the inside of the box .in the picture above on the right, its the plywood with the label in the right hand corner . I can asume that there is just enough room for the bee’s to migraite to the back section were the brood queen would be located.
    Hope this helps BOB…

  3. Nagarasa Pandi Says:

    Nice to see your blog to know about follower board. Can I use it in my website.

  4. hives Says:

    hives removed…

    […]Follower Boards « Top-Bar Bees[…]…

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