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Thread: 9 frame spacing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maple Plain Minnesota
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    182

    Question

    A friend tells me 9 frames in the honey boxes is the way to go.
    I am quite handy with wood and would like to make an "automatic" spacer for the frames.
    What I need to know is; How much space will there be between frame top bars?
    Do I leave a half space between the box and the first frame?
    I could fiddle around and figure this out but if somebody already has the measurements ,that would save me the time and get it right first try.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
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    623

    Post

    I made a 9 frame spacer and I think the the measurement that I used was 1.595" Check this out to make sure though. Dale

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    If you take a 1 x 2 16 1/4" long and put a mark in the very center and then one on 1 3/4" centers in both directions. Then drill a 7/16" hole in the center of the edge (3/4" width) of the 1 x 2 centered on each of those marks and put 7/16" dowels in them you will have what looks like a comb that is spaced correctly. You can buy nice ones that have a triangular tooth on them that are a bit easier to use though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Krum,Texas,USA
    Posts
    14

    Smile

    Hi I did a search on 9 frames and found this. http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000475.html
    I had thought that 9 frames would throw the bee space off, but the link above says that the bees adjust the size of the comb to get the bee space right.
    Update, here is a link from Houston Beekeepers Association. http://www.houstonbeekeepers.org/hbaframe.htm

    [This message has been edited by lostcowboy (edited June 04, 2003).]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maple Plain Minnesota
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    182

    Wink

    Michael;
    I have 9 frame spacers made and they work great.
    However the measurements you gave don't work. If I read them right you specify a peg in the center. There are 4 frames on each side and one smack dab in the center. There can't be a peg there. Anyhow, I made a slight sideways adjustment and all in well.
    And I am pleased to say. "I now have hives 6 boxes high. The top box I just put on so it is empty. Basswood is due to bloom this week or. That will produce well I hope.

    Yesterday was our first hot day. Got to 92. My bees seem to like the screened bottom and ventilated attic. There were very few outside the hive. I made the attic out of some 1 X 3 lumber because that is what I hade on hand. I also screened over all holes in the inner cover. 4 new holes and the original center hole. The bees should have no business above the inner cover anyhow.

    ------------------
    Erwin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    You are correct. I had just made a 9, a 10 and an 11 frame spacer for my PermaComb and got it crossways in my head. There is no center peg in the 9 frame. There is in the 10 frame spacer. The PermaComb is not self spacing and the small cell is actually 1 1/4" spacing instead of 1 3/8" spacing. For the 11 frame I used 1/4" dowel for the teeth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maple Plain Minnesota
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    182

    Sad

    ???PermaComb???
    I just saw a popular posting about that. Guess I will have to read up on it.
    Another new thing to figure out!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
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    1,302

    Post

    I made one years ago. I tapered the dowel ends and added a wire hook on the end so I could hang it on the hive or in the edge of my coverall pocket. Kelley has a metal one that looks like a saw with big teeth. I'd be inclined to buy one of those before making another. It would be a lot easier to clean. I think I'd make a wooden handle for the top edge,though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
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    848

    Post

    beegee: I have one that you are talking about from Kelley's.I like mine have had it for year's.also it has a hole on one side so you can add a hook,the handle is curved & fit's your hand good.>>>>Mark

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Can you add a 9 frame brood box to the top of a 10 frame box without to much disruption to the hive? Will they adjust ok?

    I'm getting ready to add additional boxes any day and this would probably be a good time to modify them. 10 frames is mighty tight and the squish factor is starting to rattle me a bit.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Neodesha, Ks
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    Post

    Use the 9 frame spacing ONLY if you have drawn comb. The idea behind using 9 frames is that the bees draw the comb out a little futher and then it is easier to uncap it. If you are using foundation ALWAY USE 10 FRAMES until they get the comb drawn.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    You will have more problems than squishing (and more squishing) if you go to 9 frames in the BROOD chamber. It will make the problem worse, not better. 9 frames is a great idea in the supers. In the brood chamber the bees will fill the honey portions of the frames out a lot further than the brood portions and since the honey portions on one may protrude up to the brood portions of the one next to it, you can no longer rearrange your frames in the brood chamber without honey from one frame blocking the brood emerging from the frame next to it or smashing the honey across from it. I have done 9 frames in a brood chamber. I will not do it again. The protruding honey will squish more bees and do it more unpredictably. Now instead of nice even faces of combs you have VERY uneven faces of combs. That tiny space you find so hard to deal with is the amount of space the bees will leave regardless. It's just that with 10 frames packed together they will make them more flat and not so uneven.

    If you are squishing bees, try this: First, how are you spacing the frames? You should push them all together in the middle and leave the excess space on each side. Now to get a frame out, start with the outside frame (which has some extra space and the least amount of bees) and pull it first. Now you have room to spread the frames apart. You can pry the next frame over to the space that used to be occupied by the first frame and you have lots of room. You really should always do this because otherwise you might destroy emergency queen cells and leave them queenless not to mention making them angry as you rub all the bees off the comb. I usually just set this first frame on the ground leaning against the hive, but you can get a frame perch from any of several suppiers. I think mine is from Brushy Mt. Then you can pull two or three frames out and make lots of room to manipulate things.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
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    188

    Post

    OK, so 9 frames in the brood chamber(s) is a bad idea.

    I just typed and erased about 4 paragraphs, because at that point I realized I'm not squishing as many bees as I think, at least not on hindsight.

    I thought when I pushed the frames back together, bees were getting squished all the way down each edge of each frame, but now I think it is really only where the frames meet at the very top? If I push them back together slow enough, they should all move?

    I'll address the 9-frame setup when I add my first honey supers.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maple Plain Minnesota
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    182

    Wink

    Thanks for all the good information. So far I have used drawn comb. With luck, soon I will be out of that and will use partialy drawn comb. I suppose I should then go to 10 frames.
    I have a lath so I did point the dowells on my spacers. They would be difficult to use without a point.
    I will also make good use of the "no squish" info. Tommorow, Wednesday is my bee day.

  15. #15
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >If I push them back together slow enough, they should all move?

    All? No. Most? Yes.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
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    251

    Cool

    Personally, I prefer a nine frame config in both honey and brood. That way if the bees are somewhat reluctant to go thru the excluder. I can always pull a frame of capped brood out of the brood chamber and put it in the middle of the first honey super. That get's them moving thru the excluder. This means I can put a frame from the honey super into the brood without spacing problems.

    I believe using 9 frames in the brood also relieves brood chamber congestion somewhat thereby facilitating the queens movement over the frames and the dessemination of her footprint pheromone which when absent is a precursor to swarming.

    Since I use PermaComb, they come with their own reversible 9 or 10 frame spacers which is handy. Also, I don't have the extreme honey vs brood uneveness that seems more apparent with wax drawn comb.


    Thanx.

    John

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Since this is my first season I had noticed the same thing John, that things looked awfully crowded. But, I suppose they are happy that way, as they could easily relieve their congestion in my current hives by simply moving to the outside frames.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Maple Plain Minnesota
    Posts
    182

    Lightbulb

    John; So that is how you get the bees to go through the excluder. My bees had the brood chambers full and wouldn't go up to the suppers so I took the excluder out and they went up. I used all metal excluders. I also have wood framed metal excluders. Would they be better? The queen has not moved up.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

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    Russ,

    I'm not sure if you use excluders but if you do then having the bees draw 9 frame foundation should not be a problem in the honey supers. I have done this with no problems many times. I would never do it in the brood chamber. I do like to "turn" the excluder and if the queen does go above the excluder to lay, then big problems with burr and additional "frame" building/adding can happen.
    I know that for some excluders are out. Then I believe you would not draw 9 frame supers first time around.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Bjorn,

    Can you explain turn? Don't tell me there is a right and wrong side to the thing.

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