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Bcrazy 

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Having seen the photograph of 'Hivemakers' Nuc's and his Brood chamber and super with plastic spacers on the lugs of the top bars, has made me put pen to paper.

I gave up using plastic spacers after three years because in my opinion they collect bees wax and are a breeding site for wax moth. The moth will lay eggs under neath the lug where is covered in wax. People do scrape along the top bar to remove wax but I have found they never clean the plastic spacer.

I now use 'Hoffman' frames on all my hives and the lugs do not get clogged up with wax. They are easier to manoeuvre and do not get clogged up at all.

What are your thoughts on spscers? I look forward to a good debate on spacers.

Regards;
 

tony350i 

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i take my 'Hoffman' frames down to 32/33mm spacing and wouldn't be able to use plastic if i wanted to, i see wax moth being a problem as you have said.

do they get brittle after some years of use.

Tony
 

Poly Hive 

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If I had a fiver for every metal spacer I have binned I could retire. If I added the plastic ones in I could retire to Switzerland.

They are a damn nuisance and are only in usage because some are so hell bent on saving a penny they make work for themselves.

Correct, I detest them.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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Could not agree more,i hate the bloody things,nothing but a hinderence. I live in Switzerland.
 

admin 

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I have only ever purchased the Hoffman brood frames and the metal one piece frame spacers for the supers but did come across the plastic devil spacers when looking after another friends hives.

I found everytime I looked at them they twisted around on the frame bar.

Some people seem to make the box look like a rainbow shrine with all the different colours.
 

Bcrazy 

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I have tried to explain about the filth that these cheap plastic spacers cause to the group that teaches the beginners group, we have a cut off list of 50 each year.

They are so stuck in the mire to even consider changing their method of beekeeping, never never.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who detests them. They should be taken off the market.

I wished I lived in Switzerland. :(

Regards;
 

victor meldrew 

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I've cut my fingers too many times on metal spacers, I use Hoffman in the brood box but plastic spacers in the supers:). The use of spacers increases my options; I can vary the spacings to reduce frame numbers down to 9 . spacers are handy as markers for drone culling frames etc.
Also wide spacers can be used, if one needs to fit a non Hoffman frame into a brood box already containing Hoffmans, the differing colours of plastic spacers can be utilised.
Under my worktop close to my uncapping tray I have 2, 4 mil coach bolts screwed through the top with threads projecting down, these form a handy devise for removing the spacers, I simply offer the frame up between the 2 screws and then pull the frame towards me, the spacer drops into a bucket, I can then uncap and extract the frame without the aggravating task of using my fingers to lug off the spacer:).
Oop North here , we aren't blessed with the greater wax moth, and I've never notice a problem connected with the use of spacers. Surely the wax moth larvae go for frames having been used to rear brood ??.

John
 

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Spacer seems to be essential part of beekeeping, but it seems only have bad points.
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi Finman

Spacer seems to be essential part of beekeeping, but it seems only have bad points.
Yes these infernal things are part of beekeeping but not essential.

John,
You have probably got used to using plastic spacers out of habit, ok if that what suits you great. I found the wax moth would lay eggs under the lug where a minuscule amount of wood can be seen and that's where she laid her eggs.
Since that time I have not suffered wax moth to date.

Regards;
 

admin 

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Do members new to Beekeeping still buy the spacers ?
 

SteveH 

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I too have found hoffmans frames in the brood box better than using spacers. However, I admit to using wide spacers in the supers. I let them overlap whilst drawing out foundation and then move them onto proper wide spacing so they extend each super further. I then pull them off before extraction and have a nice flat edge to run the knife across to remove the cappings. I found this easier than using self spacing super frames. I've not yet tried castellated spacers.

OK, this was only my third season, so some would say I'm still new to all this.:)
 

Hivemaker. 

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Bcrazy, do you mean thats where the moth lays its eggs,or where the larvae goes to pupate.
 

Poly Hive 

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You are having a wee tease John?

They are of the devil.. sheesh they are a nightmare.
Anyway I am full of wine and going off to a well deserved bed. Some 127 days of dealing with guests ending right here with silly arguments on plastic spacers... actually if you enjoy them have fun, if not I have some suggestions but not until tomorrow...... LOL

hic


PH
 

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You must be bushed PH!
Nice to hear your having an xmas break.
 

rich 

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I must admit to having spacers all round at the start of this season, but as Bcrazy has stated, it's what you?re told is best on your course that dictates what you?re likely to use.
Then after a season you soon start to work out where the problems are ?.. Yes, spacers are just a pain, they fall off, you've never got a spare when you need one and so on.
I'm now moving across to castellated spacers in the supers and hoffmans in the brood box, also looking at 14x12 brood boxes too, still assessing them though.

Rich
 

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it's what you?re told is best on your course that dictates what you?re likely to use.
Thats so true Rich,I think lots of new beekeepers run into problems if the person running a course tends to push his/her way of doing things on the class.

In my neck of the woods a course was run for many years that had an instructor who used Langs and supplied Nucs,so everyone ended up using Langs.

Yet 90% of local bekeepers use Nats.
 

Bcrazy 

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Good on you rich.

A wee note about the GWM. Galleria mellonela.
In the warmer period of the season some colonies will contain GWM. If you have a strong big colony then the house bees will normally remove the larvae as soon as they appear.
The newly hatched moth will hatch in a warm dark place.
Yes HM they hatch under the lugs where the plastic spacers are.
Within the hour the larvae will start to feed on honey. At a later stage they will move to the midrib area of comb. The growing larvae constructs tunnels through the cell walls. By this time the larvae are about 1 inch long.
Dark combs are preferred by the larvae because they contain impurities such as mouldy pollen.

Full of useless information.

Regards;
 

victor meldrew 

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I got used to metal spaces but took to plastic ones when they became available:).
Hoffman super frames are a pain to uncap !!
A far worse thing than spacers are castellated runners in brood boxes, they appear to be designed to assist in the rolling of bees:(., yet some people advocate their use !. It's no use removing a frame to give room to manipulate a colony , you could move each frame into an empty castellation in sequence during manipulations but what a palaver :ack2:

John
 

Bcrazy 

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Hi John,
Just a note. Castellated runners in brood boxes are not really the way to go. As you say its a right palaver.
I use Hoffman frames in the brood boxes and the standard frames in the supers with castellated runners. Easy peasy!

Regards;
 

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