Fordguy, here's what Mr. Imirie has to say about his 3/4" shim:
"If you are using DRAWN COMB in your supers, but you are still getting burr comb built in the shim space, the bees are really trying hard to tell you something, and that is: WE NEED MORE SUPER SPACE! It is hard work, time consuming, and requires a lot of nectar EATING for bees to build comb; and, hence, if your bees have plenty of drawn comb super space for them to temporarily unload lots of nectar for storage until they can ripen it into thick honey, the bees will not trouble themselves to build burr comb in the shim area between supers of empty drawn comb!"
I made 3/4" shims for all my hives last fall, and drilled a 1/2" hole in one side for ventilation, head space, and upper access. I put it under the inner cover and the bees loved the extra space and the upper entrance. They didn't start building burr comb under the inner cover until a few weeks ago and then I pulled the shims.
George, so you were using yours at the top? That's a good idea and will keep the bees from bridging the frames between supers.
The main concern that stays in front of my mind is that beespace should be maintained. One way of doing this, that hasn't been discussed with me by anyone is to put slats in the shim what would be similar to a slatted rack. As long as the distance between these and the frames stay within beespace, your shim could be as think as you want it.... Sounds like a lot of work however.
I put mine in on the very top super to provide an upper exit. Imrie states that it will help avoid congestion and prevent the bees from having to move across the brood nest to exit every time. My bees are not using it as an exit and I wonder why? Theresa.
This happens when they have an alternative entrance that is tried-and-true and they prefer. Has the hive gone through a complete brood cycle since you put these on? Sometimes the new bees are better at finding it than the old ones.
Putting them on top doesn't effect bee space any more than sitting a hive on a 3/4 inch bottom board. And is a good way to provide upper ventilation or an upper entrance. In between hive bodies, you'll get comb on the bottom of the frames above the shim.
It's been on for a while but I did have it between the supers and now it is on top and has been for about a month. I did notice today that some of them were clustered around the opening and a few were flying out so mabe they have figured it out. This hive is a double hive body with four shallows so it would certainly be easier for them to fly out the top than to traverse all the way out the front entrance. Theresa.
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