Re: Cloake Board Wisdom
Dean: We used to use a flat board, as you describe and, yeah, it does the job. We upgraded to a setup where the board can be easily slid in and out with one hand though, because lot of days we will do 20 builders and lifting each box off to remove the board quickly became the job that nobody really cared to do. You often found yourself alone in the yard and it can be a delicate balancing act for one person to pull a board and smoke them while dealing with a huge builder with the top half dripping with feisty queenless bees. The switchover to a wood framed excluder and custom cut "tins" that slide in the opening on the end saves us lots and lots of aggravation and needlessly disturbed bees. Everything seals up well and there is extra space for bees to hang on the bottom of the frames of the upper box and on the top bars of the lower box. We can reduce or completely close up the open end as needed with custom cut blocks but like to encourage the bees to use that middle entrance as much as possible so that bees that fly out of the top box don't return down below and leave the queenless builder half starving for bees.
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