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Thread: imirie shim

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Clinton Illinios


    Does anyone use a imirie shim? Can you add the shim to your colony at any time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    >Does anyone use a imirie shim?

    I have a few but mostly I use them for extra space for a queen cage on top of the top bars for introducing queens or providing a temporary entrance between some boxes or providing extra space for a pollen patty on top.

    > Can you add the shim to your colony at any time?

    You can, but during some times under some comditions you'll end up with a mess of burr comb because they violate beespace. If you have empty supers on and they haven't gotten crowded they usually don't seem to burr them much. If you let them run out of room they will put an inch of burr between the boxes on every frame.

    Two shingle shims on the top box with the inner cover on that and the cover slid forward works better with more upward ventilation and more of a top entrance. A notch in the inner cover and the top slid forward works pretty well also. But the Imirie shim can provide a middle entrance. The ones from Betterbee are a little more sturdy than the ones from brushy Mt. If you want to make your own, I'd be tempted to make it just 3/8" with metal to reinforce the corners and over the gap for the entrance. That way you'd get less burr than the 3/4" thick ones.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Concord, CA


    This instruction is from Mr. Imirie himself:

    "The ONLY purpose for the shim is to relieve brood chamber congestion by providing ingress and egress to the SUPER AREA. It should NOT BE USED in the BROOD AREA! It should NOT BE USED as an upper entrance in the fall or winter. It should not be used between super s of FOUNDATION (which is far different from DRAWN COMB). The shim should never be in contact with a queen excluder!

    The shim is 3/4" inch high, and hence its placement is defying the "rules" of BEE SPACE, and bees will build BURR comb on top of frames if the shim is used IMPROPERLY -- particularly if it is used in the brood area. If the shim is placed between supers of FOUNDATION, the bees (having no construction blueprints) will build burr comb within the 3/4" inch space of the shim, and "weld" the upper super to the lower super with burr comb as they draw foundation.

    The proper use of an imirie shim is as follows: Use with supers of DRAWN COMB only. Put 2 supers over the queen excluder, then add a shim, add a 3rd and a 4th super, then add another shim, add a 5th super, install the inner cover that has an upper entrance made into the edge of it, and top this off with the telescoping cover and a brick."

    I'm using the shims as a second entrance on two hives for over three weeks, and so far, very few bees use it. I usually see just a few bees milling around the entrance. I will remove these shims the next time I open these hives, since it doesn't seem to be used effectively as a second entrance.

    I also am using a shim on the topmost super to create a ventilation hole under the telescoping cover. The bees have not propolized the shim to the cover in the last three weeks. However, the same result can be had,and at no cost, using popsicle sticks.

    Besides using the shims to create a space for a queen cage or for inserting patties, you can use the shims on the uppermost super that is being stored off the hive and treated for wax moths. The extra space on top created by the shim allows a pan of moth balls to be placed on the frames, and over it a plywood cover can then be laid flat on the super top. Just be sure to block off the hole in the shim with duct tape to create an airtight enclosure.
    Oyster<br />Concord, CA <br />San Francisco Bay Area

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA


    My experience with them is not good, I made six of them and they only made a mess with burr comb, because of the violation of the bee space, however Michael has a good idea of using them for queen introduction. I will get them out and dust them off and try them for that purpose the next time I re-queen a hive. Good thinking Michael!
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  5. #5


    I have been using shims now for several years. The big thing about these is that you have to stay on top of things when a honey flow starts. When the suppers below and above the shim get filled with honey you need to move a empty super into their place to prevent burr comb from being contructed in the gap. As long as there is empty drawn comb adjacent to the shim they will not build burr comb in the gap. This increased management of the supers also serves to maximize honey production, imho.

    The bees will use the extra entrance after a few weeks provided the colony is strong enough to have bees in the supers.

    When I pull supers I place the shim under the escape board to provide a space for the bees to exit to and a entrance for them to fly out of. It makes the escape board more effective by relieving congestion at the shim/hive interface imho.
    BEE-L snob since 1999
    What's a swarm in April worth?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    I leave a couple in my yard to use just to set supers on,and sometimes between several supers, while I pull drone frames or whatever,so the burr comb doesn't get all mucked up.


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