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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Will this create difficulty for bees, particularly the queen and drones to move between the top bars into the next hive body?


> If sidebars are trimmed to 1-1/4 inch, does that not reduce the top bar spacing to 1/4 inch?

Yes. 1/4" is not a problem. Beespace is a range between 1/4" and 3/8". Bees can squeeze through 1/6" if they have to.
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