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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    622

    Post

    I read a lot of posts of NEW BEEKEEPERS and (myself only been a beekeeper 2 yrs). I thought this might be a good topic for discussion. I have just recently found out the reasoning behind using 9 frames in stead of 10. Give us your ideas for the benefit of us N-Bees. Haven't seen a post on this topic before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    I use 10 frames. After studying some of the older books on natural comb spacing there is indication that the combs could go a bit closer together and 11 frames in a langstroth hive would still be within limits. However I will stick to 10 frames. I shall probably return to 9 frames in the supers to ease uncapping once all hives a onto 4.9 sizing. Dave Cushmans site has some good info on natural comb spacing.


    Clay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Post

    When I started I was convinced that only ten frame spacing was "correct". I learned nine frames and even eight works in supers quite nicely. It's much easier to uncap and extract. Less frames to do for the same amount of honey. Generally if I have drawn comb for the super I put nine frames in. If I have new foundation I put in ten. If you put in nine of new foundation they are more likely to cross comb or mess it up. If you put in eight of new foundation they are even more likely to mess it up.

    I have tried putting nine frames in a brood chamber. It works. The bees will make the brood the standard depth cells, but the honey around it will protrude a lot. I think it's better to run ten frames in the brood chamber. You can move things around better without squishing bees and they are less likely to cross comb. And there are more cells to lay in with ten frames.

    Also I have used the frame rest spacers and they work nicely, but it's likely sometime I'll find I want to put ten frames in when it has a nine frame spacer and I have to run and get another box. So I got a spacer "comb". Looks like a big steel comb and you use it to space the frames. I have a nine and an eight. It makes my boxes more versitile and universal.

  4. #4

    Post

    Hi Russ
    you need to keep in mind about bee space or you will get a lot of burr and cross comb/ been there did it.
    in the supers it will work out fine
    good luck=Don

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Micheal,

    I have tried putting nine frames in a brood chamber. It works. The bees will make the brood the standard depth cells, but the honey around it will protrude a lot. I think it's better to run ten frames in the brood chamber. You can move things around better without squishing bees and they are less likely to cross comb. And there are more cells to lay in with ten frames.

    reply:

    Another thing to think about when using 9 or 10 frames is how the wintering cluster acts upon this spacing. With the farther spacing it takes more bees to fill the gap between the adjacent combs. Does this greater spacing reduce the bees ability to thermoregulate the winter cluster? Add treachel mites and varroa vectored viruses to a weakened colony, does this space use up more energy? With bees on different cell sizing, does this space have a more significant impact on the bees as one gets smaller sizing? With the larger distance between combs center to center which requires more bees would this not reduce the total comb coverage (possible max coverage)thus some loss in brood startup for spring brood rearing as the bees will only rear brood in bee covered combs (where more bees are required to fill the gap on the larger spacing). Would the larger spacing be more likely to cause isolation starvation on weakened clusters due to the slightly greater distance to travel along with cluster contraction, as when the cluster contracts more bees will fit between combs drawing them away from already further spaced stores? Just some thoughts.


    Clay


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    622

    Post

    Thanks Guys, I have learned some more new tricks and I am sure others have to. I just hadn't seen anything posted of this subject and I thought it would be helpful to us newer folks. Any other thought out there, keep em coming. Thanks again everone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Texarkana, TX
    Posts
    166

    Post


    Howdy All --

    There is a compromise. I make 2 "frames"
    for each box. Each frame is 1/2" wide and
    holds a piece of 1/8" masonite instead of
    foundation. One is placed on each side of
    the normal 9 frames so that the 9 are at
    proper spacing. All the cells are then the same depth. When working the hive, one
    the spacer frames is removed and the first
    real frame is easy to remove without squshing
    the bees. This for the brood area only.

    Doc

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    622

    Post

    Thanks Doc. Good Idea, anyone have negitive comments to this Idea?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Post

    I have thought about doing something like Doc suggests in the past, but I wasn't willing to give up a whole frame of brood in the brood chamber for it. It probably will squish less bees when going through the brood chamber.

    I am planning on doing somthing like that in my top bar hives, so you can remove something that shouldn't be too attached and see what you are doing. Since the top bars tend to be tight and don't have that extra space on the ends that ten frames in a Lanstroth have and since you really want to see in before you start prying bars apart.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Post

    In the spring, I remove one frame out of the ten frame brood chamber allowing me easier/quicker hive manipulations and less squished bees. When I'm done spring work, I put the frame back to let them work it.
    I think ten frame spacing is best for the brood chambers. It gives them better bee space and more cells to lay in. Nine frame spacing, even eight works well for honey supers. The bees draw out the cells a bit more and it makes for easier uncapping. By filling each frame fuller of honey, you are able to extract more honey/piece of equipment. But be sure you space the nine or eight frames correctly, or you'll end up with a burr comb mess.

    Ian

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Kyle,Texas
    Posts
    39

    Post

    In the book"Honey in the comb" page 22,
    they say to use 9 frames with 2 follower boards with this combo you dont roll bees getting out the first frame.
    It also makes it easy to add stuff(feeders,new queens,ect.).
    The book also claims better brood production because of the insulating air space created by the follow boards. I plan to try it this year.
    Pancho

  12. #12

    Question

    When putting in nine frames, do you slide them all together like with ten, or do you space them apart a little?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Lumberport, WV USA
    Posts
    71

    Post

    The easiest way to space the frames is with frame spacers. You want the frames to be spaced out so the bees can build the comb out farther on each frame to get more honey per frame and also it makes it easier to uncap.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Post

    As stated above, you spread them apart. The two most common methods are to have a frame rest that spaces them, or a spacer that looks like a big comb that you use to space them. I've used both. They both have advantages. The comb you only have to buy once and you don't have to put the frames rests in your boxes. This allows you to change back and forth between 10, 9 and 8 frames without changing the frame rest. If you just want to experiment, you can try doing it by eye, but it's not as easy as it looks.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Question

    Michael,

    >not as easy as it looks.


    Is it important that the spacing be EXACT?

    If frames are eye-spaced at say, 1-1/2, 1-1/2, 1-7/16, 1-9/16, 1-1/2 and so on, is that the problem.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Post

    If you are spacing fully drawn comb you can space it 10, 9 or 8. So obviously it doesn't have to be perfect whne you start because this is a lot of variance. But what happens when you inspect the hive and want to put the frames back where they were? there was a beespace between two of them, but now you pushed them closer together? The bees may tear out everything that sticks out too far, or they may bridge it. That's why it's nice to have something that spaces them the same. You can make a spacer out of a scrap of plywood. It takes a bit of math to calculate the spacing, but basically if you have a long triangle (tooth) for each frame and the spacing between them is 1 1/2" it will come out ok for 9 frames. If the spacing between them is 1 5/8" it will come out ok for 8 frames. Or you can buy a spacer from Walter T. Kelly.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Milford, NJ, USA
    Posts
    73

    Post

    I was thinking in doing something similar to what Doc was talking about. However my intention was to convert the 10 frames supers into 8 frames. The reason being my back vs the weight of the full 10 frames deep supers. So I was thinking in making two inserts of pink insulation to put on the sides of the supers, of the right thickness to conserve the spacing given by the 10 frames per super. This way I sould convert to 8 frames only the (very heavy when full) deeps and still use the 10 or nine frame honey supers on top of them. Do you guys think this makes any sense. What about the idea of having that solid pink foam insulation inside the hive. Could that be bad for the bees? Would they chew it away? Would the extra insulation on the sides be beneficial in Winter in the colder areas?
    I look forward to your comments.
    Thanks,
    Alex

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Post

    My guess is the bees will just coat the foam with propolis and leave it. You can buy 8 frame equipment from Brushy Mt. Bee. They have shallow, medium and deeps but they recommend all mediums. You could put the 8 frame supers on a 10 frame hive and just put a board over the excess of the 10 frame hive to cover the extra sapce. I have also made four frame half size boxes and put two wide on top of a 10 frame hive. (half size does not hold 5 frames because of the two extra 3/4" walls in the middle).

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