Bee space

By | March 30, 2012

One of the more unusual things I’ve learnt about is bee space.
Bees like their hive to be water tight and warm, so they can build up comb and fill with brood (young) and honey.

Any small gaps or cracks in the hive, bees like to fill in with a glue like substance propolis, for warmth and water tightness.
Any larger areas are potential spaces for wax honey comb, the hexagonal cells which can hold larvae, nectar, pollen, or honey.

But gaps of between 5mm – 9 mm are left alone, for the bees to be able to move about within the hive, tend to young, the comb, the queen etc. This 6-8mm space is called bee space.
Anything less than 6 mm is filled in with propolis.
Anything larger than 8 mm, can be filled up with comb.

Modern hives exploit bee space, designed to incorporate bee space allowing sections or frames to be easily inspected.
It allows bees the room to be able to work between the combs to tend to young and the queen, to create new comb and fill with nectar and honey.

Bee space is the space in between.
- which reminds me of the Claude Debussy quote “Music is the silence¬†between the notes.”

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