Discarding one frame from the ten usually found in a Langstroth super, and spacing the remaining nine evenly encourages the bees to fatten up the frames more fully with honey.

That’s the view of veteran Randburg beekeeper Mike Miles, who in addition sells beekeeping supplied and equipment through his business, BeeQuipment.

Says Miles: “I always use nine-frame spacers and encourage those visiting our shop to do so too.”

Standard ten-frame supers

Normally a beehive super with frames comes standard with ten frames, which fit snugly across the width.

This follows the principle of the “bee-space” between each frame, says Miles.

However, If you insert frame spacers then of course you only have nine frames in the super – and wider gaps between the frames.

Is there an advantage? Says Miles: “In my opinion there certainly is. When it comes to making honeycomb, as opposed to brood-comb, the bees are not that pedantic about the 5mm space between the top bars.“

Greater yield per super

However, “when it comes to producing honey, and there is a honey flow on, the bees want as much space as possible to store their nectar. By having frame spacers the bees can make nice fat combs.

“I have weighed a full super with nine-frame spacers against one with ten full frames of honey. There is clearly a 3 kg advantage with a full nine-frame super.

Easier frame removal

In addition, when extracting the honey in the honey room, it is far easier to remove each frame when the gap is bigger.

For more information: BeeQuipment tel 011 476 5626

Main image: A super fitted with nine frames and spacers, courtesy BeeQuipment

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