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Division Board, for British Hives

The division board is sometimes called a follower board and as it is the full internal dimensions of the hive, with no bee spaces around it, it can be used to 'partition off' part of a bee hive, to render it less useful to the bees or it can be used to fill minor gaps at the ends of groups of frames. In some circumstances it can be used to separate independent nucs.

I have made these using 6 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 12 mm and 16 mm exterior grade plywood. There are always a few spare ones in my van or in an apiary inside an empty hive, so that I can accommodate changes in hive make up.

Typical British Hive Division Board
I treat the absorbent edges with Petroleum Jelly and the flat faces are painted with Linseed Oil.

For National use the board should be 225  mm tall and the width should be arranged so that it can be slid into a box without jamming, as there is a little variability in the inside dimensions of hive boxes, you will need to make yours to suit the boxes concerned. I personally allow 1 mm each side as a clearance.

For complete closure if used above a floor, you will need to fit a strip of wood to the floor or tack a strip on to the bottom edge of the board to stop bees crawling under the barrier.

The 9 mm strip across the top serves to strengthen the lug and increases the area of the top surface. This allows for some misalignment, of strips fitted under queen excluders, in the case that two nucs are being separated within one box. It also stiffens any boards made from the thinner ply woods. For top bee space this strip can be 28nbsp;mm wide, for normal National this can be 18 mm to 22 mm broad.

In the case where there are nucs with queens, the space under the frame lugs needs to be blocked to avoid one queen killing the other.

If the boards are left in place for a long time they will attract accretions of propolis around the edges, this is of no consequence if adequate amounts of petroleum jell have been used.

Division boards and dummy frames are often confused with each other in beekeeping conversations.

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Written... 28 May 2002