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Normally small gaps between the edges of the follower board and the hive walls isn't a problem, but I"ve cut out the center of my follower and replaced it with plastic queen excluder material. since a gap would defeat the excluder function, I need to get a better fit.

Somewhere I saw mention of using screen mesh to get a good fit, but am having no luck Googling.

Anyone seen mention of using mesh and maybe point me to that reference? - Mike
 

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Mine is not super tight, but could you maybe put the screen mesh in loosely against the back of the hive and press your current board against it to get an imprint? Then press your fingers or a tool along the edge between the sides/bottom to get a closer fit, take out and bend/cut to size? I hope that makes sense. Kind of use the back wall of your hive as a pattern.
 

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Funny, I've been constructing a post asking if anyone has built a QE into their TBHs.

I haven't tried it, but your idea of using mesh seems workable. Take some #8 screen, and cut two strips the length of the follower side, about 3/4" to 1" wide. Staple along the edges of the face of the follower. The first time you use it, carefully wedge it into the body so that the screens fold along the sides of the follower, taking up the excess space. If you wiggle it back and forth, the screens will collapse a bit more, making it easier to get in and out of the hive. You don't need to take up all the space, after all.

Upon further review, the bees may propolize the screen to the walls. Second idea: mix up a thick paste of sawdust and wood glue, and slather it on the sides of the FB. After it dries, take it to the hive, and use a file to attack the high spots as needed.

I'm interested to see what you come up with, and how it works out for you.

Cheers!
 

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Somewhere I saw mention of using screen mesh to get a good fit, but am having no luck Googling.

Anyone seen mention of using mesh and maybe point me to that reference? - Mike
http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek15.htm (last three photos) might give you something to work with - BUT - with a Long Hive of whatever type there's really no need for either a bee-tight fit or a QX panel to restrain the Queen.

All that's needed is a solid board which presents as an obstruction over the area of the comb where the queen lays - and perhaps at the top as well. If you checkout the Bienenkiste Hive design, that's all they use as a QX - a plain fixed-position board with a huge gap at the bottom.

The same principle can be used with vertical hives, where a solid board with access points at the corners does exactly the same job - AND allows drones to pass, which a regular QX doesn't. http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek15a.htm (second photo down).

NB. All of the above relates to an alternative means of keeping the queen out of honeycombs - and NOT for keeping two queens apart, where I suspect they wouldn't work, due to the much stronger drive mechanism motivating the queen in the latter case.
LJ



Die Bienekiste Hive - internal view with hive inverted, showing the substantial gap which will exist below the partition board.
 

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How about checking out the various types of weather stripping made for sealing door edges & bottoms? I'd think something along those lines would be workable. :scratch:
 

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I had a similar problem with the hive expanding and contracting since I built it. My solution was to staple a couple thicknesses of 1/4" sisal cord (natural twine) under the follower board and a little on the sides where there was a gap. Worked great and the bees seem to leave it alone. I suppose it kind of feels like barbed wire to the girls so they don't attempt to remove it or get past it.

My sisal is untwisted a bit to make it more compressible. It fills where needed and compresses a bit when not needed.

https://www.menards.com/main/tools/automotive/towing-cargo-management/chains-accessories/ropes-rope-handling/kingcord-reg-twisted-sisal-rope/302471mnpdq/p-1444439535874-c-12173.htm?tid=-4494685275738695068&ipos=14
 

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I just cut up an inflatable mattress (used for camping and gone bad) into strips and stapled them (the fuzzy side outside).
Like so:
20190815_194407.jpg
 
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