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Author Topic: Which is worse: too little beespace or too much beespace?  (Read 900 times)
ugcheleuce
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« on: December 24, 2013, 06:21:25 AM »

Hello everyone

As a new beekeeper designing my own hive, I'm trying to keep beespace in mind (and by that I mean specifically the space between the sides of the frames and the side walls of the hive, not the space above and below the tops and bottoms of the frames).  I'm quite concerned that I'll get the measurements wrong and that I'll end up with either too much space or too little space.  I know that either too much or too little space is bad -- too little space leads to bees glueing the frames to the walls using propolis, and too much space leads to them glueing the frames to the walls using wax comb.  I don't want to "plan to fail", but I may have to anyway.  So my question is: which is worse: if the bees glue the frames using propolis or if the bees glue the frames using wax comb?

[By the way, I use 22 mm wide frames with either hand-spacing or castellation spacing, so the frame tops are never less than 8-10 mm from each other.  This means that the question of frames being glued to each other is not an issue for me.]

My guess is that wax comb would be the lesser of the evils, because one might be able to wring the frame free, or otherwise use a long knife to slice it free.  Frames that were glued to the walls using propolis, on the other hand, will be impossible to loosen without breaking the frame, I think.  Do the bees fill the glue comb with honey as well (i.e. if I have to slice such a frame free, will there be lots of honey leaking out all over the hive)?

What are your views on this?  If my hive building skills are not yet so good that I'm guaranteed to avoid either of these options, which one should I err on the side of?

Thanks
Samuel
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 06:30:24 AM »

Propolis is the stronger glue.  It’s the bees gorilla glue.

9mm between tops and bottoms are good, but that doesn’t mean the bees won’t comb the bottom of one frame to the top of the frame below.  That happens quite commonly with plastic frames with narrow top and bottom “bars”.  Between the frames is a favorite place to put drone larvae.

I haven’t seen much gluing problems on the edges of the frames, but I would target a bee space around 9mm as nominal.  The bees are much more prone to glue tops and bottoms together than glue sides to the hive walls.
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 07:15:31 AM »

I haven’t seen much gluing problems on the edges of the frames ... The bees are much more prone to glue tops and bottoms together than glue sides to the hive walls.

That is my [limited] experience as well.

I remember the first batch of frames I bought weren't exactly square (very poorly made) but the beekeeper who was our mentor just shrugged and said that it doesn't really matter if the frame is closer to the one wall and further from the other wall.

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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 07:31:51 AM »

It may not bee a problem where you are but here in the south, too little bee space gives the small hive beetles lots of places to hide. You end up with more beetles hiding in your hive, just waiting for the chance to take over the hive.
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merince
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 11:53:24 AM »

If you have to choose between the two evils, I would say go with more - wax is a lot easier to take apart and cleanup. The drawback is that bridge comb is often filled with larvae or honey - makes quite a mess when you have to take it apart.
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GSF
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 08:14:06 PM »

Someone rolleyes ate some of the bridge comb and discovered the larva that way.

was that me
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2013, 05:54:05 AM »

Someone rolleyes ate some of the bridge comb and discovered the larva that way.

Look on the bright side: it's high in proteïne.
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
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BeeDog
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 09:32:17 AM »

Hello everyone

As a new beekeeper designing my own hive, I'm trying to keep beespace in mind (and by that I mean specifically the space between the sides of the frames and the side walls of the hive, not the space above and below the tops and bottoms of the frames).  I'm quite concerned that I'll get the measurements wrong and that I'll end up with either too much space or too little space.  I know that either too much or too little space is bad -- too little space leads to bees glueing the frames to the walls using propolis, and too much space leads to them glueing the frames to the walls using wax comb.  I don't want to "plan to fail", but I may have to anyway.  So my question is: which is worse: if the bees glue the frames using propolis or if the bees glue the frames using wax comb?

[By the way, I use 22 mm wide frames with either hand-spacing or castellation spacing, so the frame tops are never less than 8-10 mm from each other.  This means that the question of frames being glued to each other is not an issue for me.]

My guess is that wax comb would be the lesser of the evils, because one might be able to wring the frame free, or otherwise use a long knife to slice it free.  Frames that were glued to the walls using propolis, on the other hand, will be impossible to loosen without breaking the frame, I think.  Do the bees fill the glue comb with honey as well (i.e. if I have to slice such a frame free, will there be lots of honey leaking out all over the hive)?

What are your views on this?  If my hive building skills are not yet so good that I'm guaranteed to avoid either of these options, which one should I err on the side of?

Thanks
Samuel

The best way is to avoid having too much and too little space. But just as I found out this morning as I was checking one of my hives my frame which is too close to the wall are glued like super glue on the hive box wall and took for me a really long time removing that frame with a hook.  embarassed
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It is highly recommend that split be done with only strong healthy hives that have at least two Brood Chambers with Brood in all stages of development. Frames with capped Brood should be split evenly between the two hives.
T Beek
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 09:43:32 AM »

Someone rolleyes ate some of the bridge comb and discovered the larva that way.

was that me

 laugh  There's nothing wrong with eating some fresh larva along with removed bridge honey comb.  I do it all the time throughout summer, very tasty and I assume very nutritious too.

I agree w/ BlueBee, 9mm is optimal.  Also; Keeping frames squeezed together and 'centered' should help keep them from getting glued to the sides.  Upon any inspection requiring manipulations of frames, 'centering' of the frames is the last step performed before moving on.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2014, 06:54:55 AM »

Shoot for the middle.
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Michael Bush
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 07:32:08 AM »

Shoot for the middle.

Shooting for the middle is precisely what I'm trying to do, but with imprecise hive construction the "middle" is not a point but a range.
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2014, 08:05:12 PM »

>Shooting for the middle is precisely what I'm trying to do, but with imprecise hive construction the "middle" is not a point but a range.

Precision is ALWAYS a range.  In this case you need 5/16" +- 1/16", or in metric, 8mm +- 1.6mm.
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Michael Bush
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bbbthingmaker
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 07:40:45 AM »

Which ever you have is the worst.  It's sort of like "What's my favorite ice-cream?  The one I'm eating ." Like M. Bush said, "Shoot for the middle."  Don't try to lean more to one or the other.  Then don't worry about it.
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