I can understand why commercial, large operations, would want to standardize on specificly expensive Items. If we, and I'm certainly a novice, but if we attempt to standardize on equipment for our benefit rather than give the bees what they prefer, are we not creating our own delima. As an example, if the bees are left to their own devices and nest in a confined space what determines how they build comb, how they space it, what cell size for various purposes and where do they raise brood and store pollen and honey ?
There are several references in the old text of Bee Keepers and researchers, to the use 1 1/4 in wide frames in the brood chamber and from what I can asscertain, It makes very good sense to me. Reducing the space between combs in the brood chamber to1/4 inch only allows for the bees to be one layer deep when covering the frame for temperature control, brood comb is shorter so mites have less opportunity to infest the cell, as a rule, and doesn't require as much space as stores, you should be able to squeeze one more frame in a 8 frame hive, the bees will use more of it for brood and store their honey in the larger 1 3/8 frames. Looks to me like it would make management of the brood chamber much more effieient if the stores were all above it in a medium. or just use 1 1/4 in the center four or six frames and let them build upwards.
I'm gonna give it a go next spring and see what the results are. If they build comb faster, raise more brood, have fewer mite problems,and will overwinter better, it can't hurt to try it. I suppose I will then Standardize on narrow brood frames and have to keep yet another set of spare frames. HUMMMMM.