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Author Topic: George Imirie's Shim  (Read 3990 times)
Tucker1
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« on: May 16, 2008, 05:08:16 PM »

Has anyone ever used a Imire Shim ?  The idea (if I understand it correctly) is to place a thin shim of wood above the queen excluder and under the lowest super.  The shim has a small hole that allows returning foragers to bypass the normal hive entrance and move directly into a super. The foragers do not need to travel up thru one or two brood boxes to store honey in the supers.  The queen still remains below the super because of the excluder, but the foragers can either go into the brood boxes or directly into the supers.

That's the theory, as I understand it.

Has anyone tried it ?  Did it work ?    huh


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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 07:20:22 PM »

I use a Betterbee shim only when I feed with ziplock bags late winter/early spring and then again after pulling the supers in August to use ApiGard for mites. Both situations have worked well for me with very little burr comb. I have not used them as you have described above and probably never will because I am employing top entrances now, the entrance will move up as the supers are added, foragers don't have to trek through the Brood, but I've noticed they do anyways through the bottom entrances. I am debating whether to keep the small entrances at the bottom. I think the shims are a great idea for different applications.  grin
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 06:47:30 PM »

>Has anyone ever used a Imire Shim ?

Yes.

>  The idea (if I understand it correctly) is to place a thin shim of wood above the queen excluder and under the lowest super.  The shim has a small hole that allows returning foragers to bypass the normal hive entrance and move directly into a super. The foragers do not need to travel up thru one or two brood boxes to store honey in the supers.

If I were using an excluder, I would do that.  I prefer not to use the excluder.

> The queen still remains below the super because of the excluder, but the foragers can either go into the brood boxes or directly into the supers.

That's at least part of the theory.  He often added them in various places.  The downside is they violate beespace.

>Has anyone tried it ?

Above an excluder?  No, I gave up on excluders decades ago.  But for a top entrance?  Yes.  For a shim so you can put the queen cage in without pulling a frame?  Yes.  For a shim so you can put pollen patties on?  Yes.

>  Did it work ?

For many convenient things, yes.  For additional entrances I prefer the shim to drilling holes in my boxes.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 10:44:28 PM »

A good way to make a quick shim with little worry is to buy some strips of edge dressing--1/4 X 3/4 inch wood stock used to cover exposed cuts in cabinets etc.  3 pieces laid on the top of the top super will raise the lid 1/4 inch, enough for bees to enter and exit without having to make or buy an additional piece of equipment.  I keep several sets cut to length and handy.  The pieces can also be used to reduce the entrance from 3/4 to 1/2 inch wide, works like a speed bump at the entrance and seems to help the guard bees do their job.
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 10:17:08 AM »

The pieces can also be used to reduce the entrance from 3/4 to 1/2 inch wide, works like a speed bump at the entrance and seems to help the guard bees do their job.
Brian, more clearly define what you are meaning, please.  Best of a wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 10:20:46 AM »

It's easier to just prop the top up a 1/4" and let them use it for a top entrance. 
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 07:11:29 PM »

It's easier to just prop the top up a 1/4" and let them use it for a top entrance. 

True, it is easier, but I'm a gadget person, I'm always making little things for specific situations.  You'd be surprized how often those situations repeat themselves.

To Cindi:

Take 3 pieces of 3/4 X 3/4 stock and build a U, then take 1 piece of 1/4 X3/4 stock and span the open end (notch the open ends 1/4 inch) and you have a shim that allows 1/2 entrance that you can put anywhere in or on the hive.  Top, bottom, between supers, etc.
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 10:07:45 PM »

Brian : Didn't you advocate the use of a slatted rack for a excluder ? And how did it work ?


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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2008, 08:14:00 PM »

Brian : Didn't you advocate the use of a slatted rack for a excluder ? And how did it work ?

Yes I do.  It works as well as an empty super.  The slatted rack atop the brood chamber provides a break between it and the supers that the worker bees will cross without hesitation, the queen will pass only if brood or honey bound in the dedicated brood chamber which should be at least 2 deeps in size.  With an adequate brood chamber there is no need for the queen to pass through the slatted rack.  The slatted rack, at that location also gives a bit of a safety valve on overcrowding that can lead to swarming.  It gives the beekeeper an extra week +/- to react to a population explosion.  If a slatted rack is used between the SBB and brood boxes then there is room for thousands of extra bees before they go into swarm mode.
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2008, 12:02:51 AM »

I use exluders and many think that it deters bees from storing honey above.  I've never used a slatted rack, but if it's below the honey supers, does it not deter them even more than an excluder?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2008, 09:31:39 PM »

I use exluders and many think that it deters bees from storing honey above.  I've never used a slatted rack, but if it's below the honey supers, does it not deter them even more than an excluder?

The slats are about the same width as a frame with a like space between them, they are in no way as restrictive as excluders.  The bees pass through it without hesitation and the queen can but usually doesn't if given the equivalent of 2 deeps for brood.
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2008, 09:42:22 AM »

It's easier to just prop the top up a 1/4" and let them use it for a top entrance. 
True, it is easier, but I'm a gadget person, I'm always making little things for specific situations.  You'd be surprized how often those situations repeat themselves.
To Cindi:
Take 3 pieces of 3/4 X 3/4 stock and build a U, then take 1 piece of 1/4 X3/4 stock and span the open end (notch the open ends 1/4 inch) and you have a shim that allows 1/2 entrance that you can put anywhere in or on the hive.  Top, bottom, between supers, etc.

Brian, I think you meant 3 pieces of 1/4 X 3/4 stock and build a U.

I don't know if I am getting dumber by the minute or what the devil is going on.  What is this flattish shim used for?  I don't quite get it.  Is it used for extra room for more bees to enter the colony quickly?  Can't picture what else it would be used for.

Also, how would you attach (nail? screw? what?) these pieces of wood to make them stay in the U form?  You know I have the worst problem with conceptualizing stuff, and this goes to show how bad it is.  Define more clearly please.  If I am frustrating you, I am sorry, but I have that need to know something 100% and fully and this is not making sense.  Apologies.  Please spend a little time with me and help me to understand.......Have the best of this wonderful and great day, love this great life we live.  Cindi
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2008, 12:15:43 AM »

It's easier to just prop the top up a 1/4" and let them use it for a top entrance. 
True, it is easier, but I'm a gadget person, I'm always making little things for specific situations.  You'd be surprized how often those situations repeat themselves.

Quote
To Cindi:
Take 3 pieces of 3/4 X 3/4 stock and build a U, then take 1 piece of 1/4 X3/4 stock and span the open end (notch the open ends 1/4 inch) and you have a shim that allows 1/2 entrance that you can put anywhere in or on the hive.  Top, bottom, between supers, etc.

Quote
Brian, I think you meant 3 pieces of 1/4 X 3/4 stock and build a U.

No I said what I meant.  The single piece of 1/4 X 3/4 stock closes the U and leaves a 1/2 inch opening or entrance.

Quote
I don't know if I am getting dumber by the minute or what the devil is going on.  What is this flattish shim used for?  I don't quite get it.  Is it used for extra room for more bees to enter the colony quickly?  Can't picture what else it would be used for.

What do you want to use it for?  Ventilation, 2nd entrance, double queen hive?  Use your imagination.


Quote
Also, how would you attach (nail? screw? what?) these pieces of wood to make them stay in the U form?  You know I have the worst problem with conceptualizing stuff, and this goes to show how bad it is.  Define more clearly please.  If I am frustrating you, I am sorry, but I have that need to know something 100% and fully and this is not making sense.  Apologies.  Please spend a little time with me and help me to understand.......Have the best of this wonderful and great day, love this great life we live.  Cindi

I use the same brads as I use for buiilding frames since the wood size is similar.  Glue will help make it more rigid if necessary.  You might call it my version of an Imirie shim.  In case you haven't noticed I do a lot of my versions of....
« Last Edit: May 30, 2008, 04:42:21 PM by Brian D. Bray » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2008, 10:00:55 AM »

Brian, slowly, but surely I am getting it.  I had to put all your information into a word document and read it about 10 times to finally figure it out.  Can you imagine?  That is how my mind works, or should I say does not work.  I still can't figure out where you would put the brad nails.  I will be making these, I can't ask my Husband, he has too much on his plate right now.

Brian, I know that you are an inventor, I read all about the things that you make, and that is so cool, I am an inventor in my mind only, I have come up with some pretty neat things too, if only I could put them to the physical world.....

Does the brad nail span the two 3/4 by 3/4 pieces of wood to hold them together.  Maybe he can do it for me, one day.

I can't use a brad nailer, I need to use a hammer and nail, so I would have to nail these together somehow, but how?  YOu are probably laughing right now, or getting really frustrated, I know, something so simple to one person is a mountain to climb for another, and that be me, tryin' to climb that mountain.

Why didn't I take woodworking in high school, so many years ago.....my home ec didn't even do me any good, I can sew clothes, but it takes years to make a dress, hee, hee....

You should see how long it takes me to put together a bee box.....have that most beautiful and wonderful day, lovin', livin' this life we all share.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Tucker1
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2008, 03:56:56 PM »

The Imirie Shim has a small square bee entrance, which is about a 3/8" by 3/8" opening. It seems a bit restrictive.  It also does not have any sort of landing board to the bees.  So........it seems that a minor improvement to the concept would be to open the width of the opening to 3 or 4 inches and add some sort of small landing board.

 Brian: Is widening the entrance what you meant by making the shim "U" shaped ?

Regards,
Tucker1

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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2008, 12:21:44 AM »

My version is to glue 3/4 wide by 3/8 thick pieces of wood on 3 sides of the top of an excluder.  I leave the front of the excluder without a piece of wood.  This leaves a 3/8 inch entrance for incoming bees above the excluder so they won't have to go through the excluder to store honey.  It also leaves the correct bee space between the top of the excluder and the bottom of the frames in the honey super so they don't make a lot of burr comb.  I cut the side pieces about 4 inches longer than the supers and extend them out in front of the hive.  Then, I glue a 1/4 board to the bottoms of the extended pieces.  This provides a landing board for incoming bees. 

I've been doing this for several years.  Last year, I left the excluders and open uper entrance all winter long with an empty super above.  I put frames in the super when I thought the bees were ready to start storing honey above.  My theory is that the bees will be used to the excluder and upper entrance from the start of spring build up. 

Comments?   
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2008, 01:12:47 AM »

    Forgive me, I haven't been a beekeeper long so this might be a dumb question.  But wouldn't a top entrance promote robbing or do the bees guard it as well?
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2008, 10:29:35 AM »

The bees guard it. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2008, 11:28:40 AM »

Heaflaw:  Thanks for the information. I would think that your improvement on the shim would be a big improvement.  Watching my bees use the Imirie Shim, I see them have difficulty finding the hole and landing on the side of the hive without some difficulty, especially when the front of the hive is very busy with "incoming" and "outgoing" bees.

Thanks again for the idea. Especially the idea of the landing board. Now I just need to figure out how to add landing lights and an arresting wire like that used on aircraft carriers.  grin

Seriously, thanks for the information.

Regards,
Tucker1
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2008, 04:45:29 PM »

The Imirie Shim has a small square bee entrance, which is about a 3/8" by 3/8" opening. It seems a bit restrictive.  It also does not have any sort of landing board to the bees.  So........it seems that a minor improvement to the concept would be to open the width of the opening to 3 or 4 inches and add some sort of small landing board.

 Brian: Is widening the entrance what you meant by making the shim "U" shaped ?

Regards,
Tucker1



Exactly.  You get a normal width entrance 1/2 inch high with the way I do it.  You can also cut or notch the cross piece to close the U to any width you like.  Sometimes an Imirie shim is just to restrictive.
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