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ENZO 

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Hi All,
I seem to have a problem with the Hoffman frames that I got in the Thornes sale (200 of them) and I am not sure if this is common or not hence the post as up until now I have always used DN1 frames/plastic spacers.

As I understand, you can use 11 hoffman frames and a dummy board in the National brood box as 12 frames is a tight fit, Well, when I assembled the frames I found that I could get 12 frames in the brood box and there was still a gap of about 11mm, enough for a dummy board, on inspection I measured the spacing and found the frames to be 34mm instead if the usual 35mm,

Can I get away with this? Or are the frames too close together?

I have little knowledge of Hoffman frames so any help would be much appreciated,

Many Thanks, Enzo
 
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ian 

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Hi Enzo

I happily use lot's of Thornes second(hoff) frames and you do normally get 12 in a Nat box. Go ahead you should not have any problems.



Regards Ian
 

m100 

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Your experience is not unusual, I've had some from the year before last from Thornes that measured 33.5mm, and I recently opened up a pack of top bars that were like swiss cheese.

As for the side bars It could be that they have dried out a bit since they were cut, and at the sizes you've measured they will give around 1/8" less frame spacing than the normal plastic spacers. But my gut feeling is that I doubt it will affect the bees much, just make sure the foundation is dead flat and central. A bit of propolis and they will soon be back up to 35mm :)

did you get dn4 or dn5?? i can get 11 dn5 in a normal nat b box or you get 12 dn4 in a nat b box
The frame spacing is determined by the sidebars which are identical between DN4's and DN5's. The only difference is on the top bar width, constant at 7/8" on DN4's and 1 1/16" over the foundation and 7/8" over the lugs on DN5's.

Assuming 35mm spacing, 12 frames of either type will fit in a properly sized hive box. 11 plus a 3/8" ply dummy make for easier inspections.
 
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ENZO 

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Thank You Guys for such a quick response, It gives me a bit of comfort that other people have noticed this and find no problems using them.

This year I am changing most of my brood frames from DN1's on plastic spacers to DN5's (Hoffman) with the wide Manley bottom bars so that the top bar and bottom bar width dimentions are 1 1/16 inch, it just seems to make sense not to allow too much free space in the brood box.

Thanks again, Enzo.
 

Poly Hive 

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Why use the Manley bottom bars as they are not meant for brood frames.

PH
 

ENZO 

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well, I'm trying to close the gaps between the bottom of the frames to a bee space to prevent as much brace comb as possible, my bees seem to build them out at the base of the frames anyway so I don't think It will affect ventilation so I thought that if the to bars were 1 1/16 inch, why not the bottom bars, I will be running half a dozen hives with this configuration, some in fact with brood and a half, so I've done the same with the half brood frames.

The bottom bars took very little time to make and look good.

Why do you ask? do you think I will have a problem? As yet I can't see a problem only benifits, but I guess we'll see.

Tell me your thoughts, I am always open to opinions and ideas.

Enzo
 

Poly Hive 

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Well if over the years it was thought a good idea to use them as you are proposing it would now be standard practice which it is not.

Brace comb between the bottom bars? Something is not right with the spacing.

What side bars are you using?

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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You could of course go to extra wide spacing 46mm,supposed to reduce varroa and swarming,make a more compact brood pattern and better health, according to Dr Tiziano Gardi of Italy.
 

darrenperrett 

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I read something about the extra wide spacing but it didn`t say why it reduced varroa & swarming and everything else I found was in Italian.

Darren.
 

MuswellMetro 

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I read something about the extra wide spacing but it didn`t say why it reduced varroa & swarming and everything else I found was in Italian.

Darren.

i thought 32mm closer frames meant smaller bees cells, less time to hatch ,equall less varroa...so how does extra wide spacing mean less varroa

or is is all like Homeopothy ..you have to beleive, for it to work
 

Hombre 

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I think you will find that Google Translate will do a fairly good job of making the Italian into passable English. It's improved enormously over the last five years.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Wide Spacing as a Varroa Control.
Over the last few years there have been a number of articles in Italian beekeeping magazines about the use of wide frame spacing to control varroa. It became more interesting to me when I read a report of the presentation at the Dublin Apimondia by Dr Tiziano Gardi on the subject. Dr Gardi, who keeps his bees in an apiary on the banks of the river Tiber, is a teacher at Perugia University.
His presentation was on a 3-year project, financed through an E.U grant, completed in August 2006 and submitted to the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The objective was to evaluate the effects of the “Spaziomussi Bio-Technique” in colonies of apis mellifera ligustica and its ability to reduce varroa destructor numbers, (Spaziomussi is a method of spacing frames devised by a Mr Mussi). 855 hives with wide frame spacing were set up in 15 apiaries in 6 provinces in Italy; the resulting observations in colonies were significant and were as follows.
An immediate increase in the drop of both mature and immature mites.
A lower tendency to swarm and in the 3rd year practically no swarming was experienced.
No deformed bees were found.
A more compact brood pattern was observed.
Healthier bees, a result of the reduction in virus infection and chalk brood.
Honey yields increased on average by 22%.
The report concluded that from the above observations and the data in the following table Mr Mussi’s spacing method is effective.
Throughout Italy modified Dadant hives with 10 frames are used, however with “Spaziomussi Bio-Technique” only 8 frames are used both in the brood box and supers. The resulting spacing then becomes 46mm and special castellated spacers were manufactured for the trial.
In the U.K 35mm spacing is the norm and the nearest we have to the wider spacing used in the Italian trial is by using Manley frames or B.S using castellation and 10 frames both give a 41mm spacing.
I would need a little more convincing about the reduced swarming as stated in (a) above, does this mean wide spacing inhibits the raising of queen cells? I think the +/- in the table may mean the Italians lose count easily.


Apiary Site No of Hives with Spaziomussi Average fall of mites in year 1 of trial. Aug 2004 Average fall of mites in year 2 of trial. Aug 2005 Average fall of mites in year 3 of trial. Aug 2006
1. VC 30 3165 +/- 332 1075 +/- 128 115 +/- 23
2. VC 25 5196 +/- 538 1256 +/- 276 178 +/- 42
3. SP 107 3267 +/- 398 435 +/- 283 129 +/- 34
4. SP 70 3325 +/- 336 2000 +/- 332 500 +/- 162
5. SP 52 No Data No Data 132 +/- 34
6. SP 10 3520 +/- 332 1189 +/- 332 256 +/- 332
7. SP 45 4334 +/- 332 2257 +/- 332 231 +/- 332
8. SP 12 4512 +/- 332 2245 +/- 332 458 +/- 332
9. MS 50 3500 +/- 332 1000/2000 +/-332 200/300 +/- 332
10.MS 150 4368 +/- 332 596 +/- 332 75 +/- 332
11.MS 80 4228 +/- 332 587 +/- 332 91 +/- 332
12.MS 80 2231 +/- 332 503 +/- 332 66 +/- 332
13.AR 60 4501 +/- 332 2236 +/- 332 553 +/- 332
14.BO 60 4538 +/- 332 2231 +/- 332 348 +/- 332
15.TP 24 3489 +/- 332 441 +/- 332 228 +/- 332
 

m100 

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One thing for certain, unless you have a fantastic nectar source you'll never get the bees to draw out fresh foundation with frames spaced that widely.

After reading about this experiment sometime ago I had intended to give it a go on a hive (maybe this year) using a shook swarm (or a collected swarm) treated with oxalic onto hoffmans, then feed like mad and space the frames out in stages using new brood boxes starting with 11 and eventually progressing to 9 castellations. Then I'll take a hands off approach to varroa treatment, only checking and recording mite drop.

In parallel I intend to do the same with conventionally spaced hoffmans and a closed system based on Warre principles.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I thought about giving this wide spacing idea a try as well Martin,after reading about this some time ago.

MM says.
or is is all like Homeopothy ..you have to beleive, for it to work


Could be,perhaps,maybe,but they believed this homeopathy worked on 855 hives over 3 years.
 
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ENZO 

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Hi PH, I am using Hoffman sidebars, I guess I thought that nobody else used wider bottom bars because they would be more expensive to make, but the idea still seems sound to me, well so far,

Many Thanks, Enzo.
 
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Poly Hive 

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Interesting research but the location unlike the language does not translate.

Much hotter there.

PH
 

jezd 

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One thing for certain, unless you have a fantastic nectar source you'll never get the bees to draw out fresh foundation with frames spaced that widely.

After reading about this experiment sometime ago I had intended to give it a go on a hive (maybe this year) using a shook swarm (or a collected swarm) treated with oxalic onto hoffmans, then feed like mad and space the frames out in stages using new brood boxes starting with 11 and eventually progressing to 9 castellations. Then I'll take a hands off approach to varroa treatment, only checking and recording mite drop.

In parallel I intend to do the same with conventionally spaced hoffmans and a closed system based on Warre principles.
not sure I would fancy lifting 14x12 frames with a spacing of 46mm, cant see them holding the weight?
 

m100 

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It's about 35% (47mm/35mm) more weight, circa 10lb on a full honey frame and much too heavy to lift and manipulate safely - not that you always need to if you use dummy boards and runners as you can easily slide the frames with stores out of the way and only examine the brood area

But I wasn't intending to use a 14x12, I've a few normal sized brood boxes that will be pressed into service.
 

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