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About bar spacing


#1

I set my beethinking TBH up with the bars pushed tight against each other. Placing the 28 bars this did leave me with a small space at the end of the hive that was open but I didn’t consider it an issue since it was at the currently unused end of the hive. Been doing lot of reading, see that some people put in spacers between their bars and I see a photo on the beethinking site where the bars are showing with a gap between them.

Do I want a gap between the bars so that the bees can venture between them?


#2

Thanks for the question. You absolutely do NOT want a gap large enough for the bees to move between the bars. We generally start out our colonies with the bars flush with each other. Around half way through the hive, as the colony expands, their combs tend to get fatter as they fill them with honey stores. This means the bars needs to be spaced SLIGHTLY farther apart (1/8" or so) – not enough for bees to go between. If you leave larger gaps, and we’ve had many customers do this, the bees often move up and begin attaching combs from the roof down to the bars…a disaster!

We don’t use spacers. Instead, we just gap the bars slightly. In other parts of the country where small hive beetle exist, it may be better to use 1/8" spacer sticks. You could try gapping and see how it goes, and if you see an abundance of beetles, start using spacers.

Best,

Matt


#3

I just wanted to post a follow up to let you know I tried the narrow spacing idea first and it worked great. They did fill the tiny gaps with propolis but it gave just enough extra room so that when I pried the bars apart to inspect I was not tearing comb that was stuck between two bars because they had gone a little wide with the honeycomb.