A Dresser Full of Bees

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Beekeeping Education

What is Bee Space and How Big is it?

The average size bee space is 5/16″ However, a space between 1/4″ and 3/8″ is within an acceptable range.

What is a Bee Space?

The bee space is the amount of space needed between honeycomb frames or other obstacles in a beehive that the bees use to crawl between, kind of like a hallway or corridor. The average size bee space is 5/16″ However, a space between 1/4″ and 3/8″ is within an acceptable range. When the space between two surfaces in the hive is within this acceptable range, they will respect the space and leave it free as their passageway to navigate around their hive.

If the space is larger than 3/8″ the bees will most often fill it in with either more honeycomb or burr comb. If the space is smaller than 1/4″ the bees will either leave it alone or fill it with propolis. They usually fill small holes and cracks that lead to the outside of the hive with propolis to seal them up to prevent drafts, helping them maintain a constant temperature, and humidity in the hive.

Frames that the bees build their honeycomb in have spacers on the top. These spacers aid in properly spacing the frames apart from each other inside the hive to create the bee space.

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