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  1. #1
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    Default 8-frame super dimensions

    I hadn't thought much about the dimensions of 8-frame supers, but I recently had a little extra time, and inspired by a recent thread began by Intheswamp, I played with some options for supers of varying dimensions. Until this I had always used 13-3/4" outer width supers, now I wonder why I hadn't tried the slightly wider dimensions, earlier.
    This image shows how nine, 1-1/4" frames will fit into a super of 14" outer width, and still accommodate vertical slatted racks 1/4" thick and offset from the side-walls by 1/4". This provides only 1/8" between the slats and each outer comb surface. Perhaps the slats could be trimmed down to 3/16" thickness in order to provide even more side-clearance for the outer frames.






    The next time I build a batch of 8-frame supers, I'm planning to make them 14" wide, so I can try this idea out. Interesting, this width super will accommodate eight 1-3/8" wide frames, both 1/2" thick vertical side-racks and still leave a 1/4" space on each side, between the racks and the outermost comb faces.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-20-2011 at 10:18 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Well, I finished some plans for 14" wide 8-frame supers, with cleats and vertical slatted racks, then I built a couple to try them out.

    See ->









    and the slatted rack details ->







    In the future I believe I will purchase the supers from Cheesman and then make my modifications. I contacted him and he said he would be fine making them 14" wide and without handholds if I wanted them that way. Fortunately his price is much better than I can even purchase acceptable wood locally, and I wouldn't need to spend time selecting the boards or cutting the components, just assembling them and adding the cleats and slatted racks. With 14" outer dimensioned 8-frame supers, I believe honey supers, that I run without the slatted racks can easily fit 9, 1-3/8" wide frames or even ten, 1-1/4" wide frames. It's amazing the difference that extra 1/4" makes.

    I did go with 5/16" thick standoffs, and 3/16" thick slats in my final prototype assemblies which changes the dynamics slightly but gives the same overall thickness of the slatted racks at 1/2" from each super side-wall. Slightly more space for the bees to cluster between the slats and the super walls.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-24-2011 at 03:06 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Kalamazoo,MI
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Hey Joe, was wondering what the slatted racks do for you with the warm temps. you have ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Some photos ->



    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by tefer2 View Post
    Hey Joe, was wondering what the slatted racks do for you with the warm temps. you have ?
    I've used these slatted racks off and on through the years and different times and locations, and just in the past decade or so started using them again here in the desert Southwest.

    However, it is difficult to identify specific benefits, that are obvious. Mostly, because I began using screened bottom boards, bottom slatted racks, vertical slatted racks, and upper entrances, all at the same time. In my present configuration(s), for almost the past decade, I haven't had a single swarm. That may or may not be directly influenced by the slatted racks. I used to have considerable bearding all through Spring through Autumn, but that has almost disappeared on hives configured as above, but may also be influenced by the fact that I am now raising my own replacement queens and requeen regularly.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I hadn't thought much about the dimensions of 8-frame supers... I had always used 13-3/4" outer width supers, now I wonder why I hadn't tried the slightly wider dimensions, earlier.... The next time I build a batch of 8-frame supers, I'm planning to make them 14" wide, so I can try this idea out....
    Good luck and I hope everything goes well. What width (thickness) lumber will you be using? The Bee Commerce (I think it is) 8 frame 14 inch wide super is made using 1 inch lumber that has only been dressed down to 7/8 of a inch thick instead of the 3/4 inch board thickness used by most other equipment makers. Because each sidepiece is 1/8 of an inch thicker, it results in an 8-frame hive that is 14 inches wide (overall) instead of 13.75 inches. The inter dimensions however remain the same at 12 1/4 inches. I don't know if you know this or have thought it out but I wanted to toss it out there for your possible benefit.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Scrapfe,

    Thanks for those details - very interesting. Even though manufacturer's of 14" outside width 8-frame supers maintain the same internal dimensions, I find that I rather prefer having an additional 1/4" added to the internal dimensions instead, room for an additional 1-1/4" wide frame, and vertical slatted racks.

    I'm just using the more-common 3/4" thick lumber, but I only built the two supers (prototypes), additional supers I can order from Cheesman for less than my cost for lumber and the time spent selecting the lumber and they'll be ready to assemble.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-24-2011 at 03:07 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
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    moravia,ny
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    scrapfe is correct. many hive dimensions still given today are not correct because of todays thinner boards. best just to use inside measurements.

  9. #9
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    Garland County, AR
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    All of this is waaaay over my head - but very interesting!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  10. #10
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    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Do you have a problem there with SHB? To me the vertical slated rack ends (post 4 bottom picture) look like a time share for SHB. But during a wet year I only get 5 feet of rain. That may be more than parts of your region gets in a decade, so SHB may never become the problem they are here or elsewhere.

    From your post I conclude that there are no reasons for this except that this is what you want to do, which btw is reason enough for me. So just call me curious or maybe the word is nosey, but was the vertical racks first intended for, the bees to cluster and/or climb into and out of the supers on, or is the benifit intended to create an up draft to ease the effort the bees expend to cool the broodnest slash interior? Perhaps the intent is to isolate the inner portion of the Sun exposed outer surface to reduce heat stress issues?

    Or you could reduce the thickness of the slats to 1/8 (.125) inch and still have a space of 1/4 (.250) inches between on each outside frame and the vertical rack. What is the up or down side of doing that? But tell me what keeps the bees from doing bad things between the vertical slats? The reason I asked was that there are no demintions given for the spaces between the slats. Are these spaces a standard bee space or not?
    Last edited by Scrapfe; 11-25-2011 at 10:27 AM. Reason: I got a genuine Indian guru, showing me a better way.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Scrapfe,
    No problem with SHB, yet. The slatted racks have no spaces where bees cannot access.

    I did not invent these, just adjusting the concept to fit my equipment. I believe the racks provide clustering space in and around the brood nest, and that clustering bees can more easily control the brood nest environment, since they can have a virtual perimeter around the brood nest, and moderate the brood nest environment without getting in their own way.

    I have thought of reducing the slats to 1/8", but am concerned that if they are only 1/8" thick, they may be too prone to warp/deform. I'm even concerned that they may be too thin at 3/16".

    The spacing between slats can vary between 1/4" and 3/8", and work just fine. I space them just so there is bee space between them. That is mentioned in the narrative at the bottom of the plans.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
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    Dec 2011
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    2

    Default Re: 8-frame super dimensions

    Joseph,

    Regarding using slatted racks in the sides of the boxes:
    1. I recall reading in a separate thread that you found that--in the brood chamber--the outermost comb would be used for brood because it faced the upright racks, rather than a frame typically dedicated to honey. Are you now also using slatted racks in the outer edges of the honey supers? If so, can you identify probable advantages with respect to such things as:
    a. more evenly drawing the comb in the outer frames?
    b. less proclivity to swarm?
    c. less bearding?
    d. other?

    2. Assuming that beespace were maintained, what would you think of racks made of thin round members, (e.g. shiskebob skewers, threaded through and glued into holes drilled through the uprights of the racks.) By using such thin material for bees to perch on, the space available for bees and ventilation would be increased compared to 3/4" slats. Thanks for your views on this.

    Thanks,

    SkepWrangler

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