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Do followers poke through the eco floor?

 
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joshrobs
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jul 2019
Posts: 15
Location: Mid Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:54 am    Post subject: Do followers poke through the eco floor? Reply with quote

Hi all, a quick question. Without an eco floor, the followers touch the wood/mesh, but do you need longer followers for an eco floor? i.e. do the followers need to poke all the way through the stuff you put inside, to touch the mesh?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1853
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simple answer is no, just like they don't have to be a perfect "bee-tight" fit to the sides.
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joshrobs
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jul 2019
Posts: 15
Location: Mid Wales

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I thought they did have to be bee-tight to the sides. Thank you!
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1853
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The important thing is to ensure that the body of the hive is bee tight (or more importantly wasp tight, apart from the entrance of course. Any gaps where wasps can sneak in round the back, where there are no guard bees stationed is dangerous, so ensuring that the body of the hive has no gaps anywhere and the top bars fit snugly together across the whole of the top of the hive ... ie no gaps behind the follower then that is fine.

The problem with making follower boards to fit perfectly is that over time with the temperature and humidity changes, the sides of the hive and/or the follower will warp slightly and the follower which once fit perfectly no longer does so, or you move it back 3 or 4 bars to expand the colony and the follower is no longer a perfect fit in that new location. The bees can seal up any gaps that they particularly don't like so in my opinion a slack fit on the follower is probably better than it being tight. There is no problem with bees crawling through to the other side but they are unlikely to utilise that space unless they are cramped for room in the front of the hive and then they will store honey there.
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joshrobs
House Bee


Joined: 01 Jul 2019
Posts: 15
Location: Mid Wales

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm one of these people who're primed to be overly neat, it's something I fight daily 🙄 Also I've very little experience with bees so I don't know how to interpret what I'm reading Smile

FWIW I found a bit about follower lengths, a random mention in the hive managing book (Balanced Beekeeping II) in a section about mating hives: "the reason for leaving the followers a little long on my plans is to allow them to "dig in" to the floor material." I'm interpreting "dig in" to mean "poke into a little bit" Smile
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