Frame spacers

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Vanterrier

House Bee From SW Northumberland
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
217
Reaction score
202
Location
S.W. Northumberland
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
1
Could someone outline the optimum use for each width of the plastic frame spacers please. I inherited lots of both and used the 35mm on my bb last year. Just wondering if the wider ones are for supers to get deeper comb/honey or if I'm missing a trick.
K ;)
 
personally I would put them all in the recycling and use Hoffmans in the brood and castellations in the supers - or even castellations in both.
I ripped out all the knuckle busting castellations years ago. My knuckles continue to thank me year after year.
 
Could someone outline the optimum use for each width of the plastic frame spacers please. I inherited lots of both and used the 35mm on my bb last year. Just wondering if the wider ones are for supers to get deeper comb/honey or if I'm missing a trick.
K ;)
The wide ones are for supers. The idea is you start foundation off with the narrow spacers and once the bees have built the comb out and started to fill it you change over to the wide spacers. This means removing some of the end frames. You get more honey for less cappings and once drawn out to the wide spacing are right for next year's crop. I have used them but they are frowned on on this site and just collect rude comments. If you are happy to use them that is fine. The problem with the wide spacing is that they don't sit easily in a tangential spinner and they are difficult to remove the cappings nicely and easily. Horses for courses.
 
as long as you don't buy the cheap flimsy ones that certain suppliers sell
Yes - the really nasty ones are like rejected razor blade material .. vicious ! It doesn't seem to matter what you pay, some of the best ones I have were from Simon the Beekeeper and were really cheap - good thick and galvanised. I picked some up at full price on the back of an order from a well known beekeeping supplies and they were diabolical - went in the bin.
 
The wide ones are for supers. The idea is you start foundation off with the narrow spacers and once the bees have built the comb out and started to fill it you change over to the wide spacers. This means removing some of the end frames. You get more honey for less cappings and once drawn out to the wide spacing are right for next year's crop. I have used them but they are frowned on on this site and just collect rude comments. If you are happy to use them that is fine. The problem with the wide spacing is that they don't sit easily in a tangential spinner and they are difficult to remove the cappings nicely and easily. Horses for courses.
Thanks for that comprehensive reply. I have just bought DN1 and SN1 frames in the sales so Hoffman are a future consideration, thanks.
I don't have a tangential spinner ( or any spinner yet) so that's OK for now.
I inherited most of my existing kit so I'm happy to use what I have for now but hear the hoffman/castellations recommendations.
Now at least, I know better what to do with what I have, and why there are so many more wides than narrows.
K ;)
 
and used the 35mm on my bb last year
They're actually not 35mm. The plastic ones are 37mm if you line them up the same way or 36.5mm if you alternate them. If you make your own 5 frame nucs that are exactly half a brood box width then the 37mm spacing fits nicer than Hoffman's 35mm.

Standard castellations are 38mm in this country. Usually 36mm I think in europe.
 
Took on a hive with plastic spacers. I use all Hoffman frames. Awkward to run the two together.
Thorne have stopped selling Hoffman convertor clips so I looked around the workshop and discovered these push pins, if pushed right in, give something close to the right spacing and can be mixed with Hoffman frames.

DSCF20231218-01-crop.jpg
 
I realise I don't fully understand these castellation thinggys. I've never seen them here.... Can someone please explain?
 
I realise I don't fully understand these castellation thinggys. I've never seen them here.... Can someone please explain?
they are fixed to the sides of your boxes, the lugs of the frames slot into the spaces in the castellations, this ensures the frames are evenly spaced apart - it also stops them moving about when moving the boxes.
 
Took on a hive with plastic spacers. I use all Hoffman frames. Awkward to run the two together.
Thorne have stopped selling Hoffman convertor clips so I looked around the workshop and discovered these push pins, if pushed right in, give something close to the right spacing and can be mixed with Hoffman frames.

View attachment 39302
For 12 mm spacing with dn/sn one can use upholsterers brass dome head tacks , they are approx. 6mm head height.
 
So do you use these to fatten out the comb in a honey super or do you use them everywhere? Is it only where you don't have normal width side bars?
I think when you speak of 'normal' width side bars you mean hoffmans which gives you double beespace between frames? over here our 'SN' frames give zero beespace so you need some kind of spacer regardless of how fat you want the combs
 
So do you use these to fatten out the comb in a honey super or do you use them everywhere? Is it only where you don't have normal width side bars?
As JBM has said it depends on which frames one uses.
Typically I use all Hoffman in BB's , though in supers all mine are spaced 10 or 11 frames for slightly fatter combs.
Over here both deep (DN) and shallow(SN) frames simply have a flat side bar edge and as mentioned gives no bee space, tradionally the finger cutting metal and the less harming plastic wid eand narrow spacers were used and still are by some who haven't moved on.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top