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Thread: buying frames

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    west monroe LA USA


    I have built the 10-frame lang hive off of this site. When i go to order frames, are the frames standard size for that plan? I have a 9-5/8 brood, a 6-5/8 medium super, and a 5-5/8 shallow super. What is the right sizes that i need for frames and foundations. I am new and never bought anything, so I would appreciate a little insight on this subject. Thanx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    >I have a 9-5/8 brood, a 6-5/8 medium super, and a 5-5/8 shallow super. What is the right sizes that i need for frames and foundations.

    9 5/8" deep boxes take 9 1/4" frames and 8 1/2" foundation.

    6 5/8" medium boxes take 6 1/4" frames and 5 1/2" foundation. That's in theory. In reality you can buy many different kinds of frames for the medium boxes. You can get the top bar, grooved, split, and wedged. The split top bar lets you drop the foundation down through the top. The bottom bars come in solid, split, and grooved. So depending on the top bar and the bottom bar you may need some variation of sizes.

    5 5/8" box. Usually shallows are 5 3/4" or 5 11/16". The frames are usually 5 3/8". The foundation again varies depending on the top and bottom bars. For instance with a groove or wedge top and a divided bottom you'd need 4 3/4" foundation. With a slotted top bar and a divided bottom bar you need a 5 1/4" foundation. Walter Kelly lists five different sizes for a shallow frame depending on the top and bottom bars.

    If you write to Walter T. Kelly they will send you a catalog and the catalog lists all the sizes and what frames/tops/bottoms they fit.

  3. #3
    jfischer Guest


    One thing to watch out for is the thickness
    ("height", when assembled) of the top bars
    versus the depth of your "rabbet" in your

    Not all frames have the same topbar thickness,
    and this will cause problems in "bee space",
    which can result in comb being drawn between
    frames in adjacent supers or hive bodies,
    or result in crushed bees when placing boxes
    atop each other.

    But even equipment bought from a single
    vendor does not necessarily respect "bee space" properly. In fact, all the vendors
    have compatibility problems with other
    vendor's equipment, and some have problems
    with their OWN equipment.

    Its been a few years since the last "tell-all,
    nobody emerges unscathed" review of
    woodenware in Bee Culture. I'll ask Kim if
    he plans on kicking butt and taking names
    again anytime soon.

    The lack of a standard for bee equipment
    dimensions in the US is completely unacceptable, but just try to get any
    beekeeping organization to stand behind
    an effort to negotiate a standard.

    Of course, "beekeeping organization" has
    increasingly become more a contradiction
    in terms than a description of a group...

    [This message has been edited by jfischer (edited December 04, 2004).]


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