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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Coatesville, Pa, USA
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    822

    Default Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    First off let me say that I'm not in any way affiliated with Kelly's. (other than being a customer) I e-mailed them today asking if they'd consider making 1-1/4 wide frames and they said that they would consider it if there was enough positive feedback. I know that many of you cut your frames down to 1-1/4 wide.
    So the first question is why cut them down? The best reason that I have found is that the spacing is more what they'd naturally draw worker cell to. It will allow for 11 frames in a 10 frame box or 9 frames in a 8 frame box. I recently read a post that Michael bush linked his site to that speaks much better than I would / can to reasons for having the frames 1-1/4" instead of 1-3/8". Here's the link to his site. . .
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#framespacing

    So here's the thing. Kelly's is open to considering making them and may ask people in their montly news letter in February to see if people are interested. I thought I'd try to help them with it. (I'd like them to sell them so I don't have to cut them down) What I'd encourage Kelly's to do is to cut the top bars down 1/16" on each side and the end bars also 1/16 on each side so that the end result is the bee space will be the same as it is now and the frames would be 1-1/4" on center. Would you all be interested in this? Do you see any problems with this? Would you be willing to e-mail them or post here and let us know? If you'd like to e-mail Jane there at Kelly's and give her a little feed back I'd appreciate it. Her e-mail is j_burgess@kelleybees.com Perhaps put "frame spacing" or "1-1/4 frames" in the subject box or something like that.
    Some things to know is they may put some pertinent info in the Feb. news letter (It's free and comes out about every month) and unfortunately I don't get anything from doing this other than the hope of being able to buy 1-1/4" wide frames that I want.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    It would be nice if they would make 1-1/4 frames. Would be nicer still if they would use the correct measurements so they fit correctly and don't bow and warp.

    DarJones
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    It might be nice if they offered their "foundationless" frames with 1/8" narrower Top Bars and 1-1/4" wide End Bars and solid Bottom Bars.

    If the Top Bar were 1/8" narrower, and the End Bars 1-1/4" wide, the Medium F-style frames 6-1/4" x 17-5/8", would be just what I'm looking for.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    DarJones,
    What would those dimensions be?
    Joseph, That's what I was thinking also. However in thinking about it there would be the same benefit for those using foundation also. I'm using foundationless also. My question for anyone that has cut their frames down would be how do the top bars work if they're 1/8" narrower? I understand that the end bars ought to be fine, but with the weight all being born by the top bar I am curious. I think that the bee space currently is 3/8" between the top bars so if taking 1/8" off is too much I think they could only take 1/16" off and have 5/16 which should be totally fine also. 1/4" to me seems to be a bit too small, but MB says that he hasn't had a noticable problem, but that he would rather have a bit more space.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    delber,
    I have done this with many frames which I've also cut down the End Bars to 1-1/4" wide. It works very well (even 1/4" is a good bee space), I have seen no additional issues with the narrower Top Bars. I have seen the occasional Top Bar develop a slight bow, but none of the narrower Top Bars has done so, yet - so I don't expect that it increases the chances of bowing. I've used many wooden frames from several different suppliers, including Walter T. Kelley, and my experience is that Kelley frames have been about the best quality I've seen, so if frames with these dimensions were produced by Kelley's I'd expect they would be of similar quality to all their other frames and products.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    The crucial changes to get narrow frames to work include:

    The top bar should be cut at 7/8 of an inch wide instead of 1 inch. This causes no other problems. The reason for cutting it to 7/8 is so that you can uncap the frames if you need to extract honey from them and so that you get a bee space between the frames. This is also the optimum width to prevent burr comb.

    The end bars can cause problems if they are cut to 1-1/4 inches. Their mechanical strength is lowered just enough to cause them to bow when they are wired for foundation. This can be avoided by cutting the end bars 3/8 of an inch thick. This is a critical change, I have culled a lot of frames over the years because the 5/16 inch thick end bars bowed. Once I figured out that they needed to be thicker, my frames have stood up to 25 years of use and abuse without bowing.

    The way Kelley frames are cut today has the cut in the top bar where the foundation mounts made to exactly the center of the frame. This is the correct way to cut. When I started making my own frames, I made the mistake of cutting exactly to the center of the top bar which of course makes the foundation offset just about 3/64 of an inch from where it should be. This turned out to be a critical measurement because the foundation is offset just enough to make the bees burr comb the top bars together. Again, Kelley does not have to do anything different, their frames are already cut correctly.

    I made a change in the length of the end bars because they are currently cut in such a way that there is 1/2 inch between the frames when you stack supers on them. If you measure the end bars, you will find they are exactly 9-1/8 inches long. Brood chambers are cut to be exactly 9-19/32 inches deep. If you check the difference, you will find that it works out to almost exactly 1/2 inch which is of course much wider than the bees will accept as a bee space. I had to make a change in the top bar when I lengthened the end bar because standard foundation does not quite fit the frame. The change was to cut the notch in the top bar where the foundation mounts 1/8 inch shallower than Kelley cuts them. This has some side effects such as that you can't leave the wedge attached to the top bar for future use, it is too thin to hold foundation.

    Other than the above, there are some tweaks I made in the way end bars slot onto top bars but this was done because of the mechanics of cutting the frames, not because any changes were needed.

    DarJones
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 12-16-2011 at 09:33 AM.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    DarJones,

    I don't doubt that thicker End Bars, when cut down to 1-1/4" width, are important with deep frames, and this is also likely helpful with medium depth frames, but isn't necessarily essential with the mediums. Though I find the idea interesting and I plan to try some of my medium frames with the 3/8" thick 1-1/4" wide End Bars to see if there is a benefit.

    I like horizontally wiring all my non-plastic frames, in our heat I find it very helpful in keeping combs straight and in their frames, instead of dropping out on the ground in chunks.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 12-16-2011 at 08:47 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    Ok Guys one more question. . . (and everyone else too) If Kelly's did sell them already at 1-1/4" wide would you buy them? What if they also widened the end bars to 3/8"?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    I'd buy them in medium depth size.

    BTW, I think you mean thicken the 1-1/4" wide End Bars to 3/8".
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    I would buy 1 1/4" end bar medium foundationless frames from Kelley or anyone else who decides to make them.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,290

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    I asked them before but they thought it was too much setup to do it. I would also like to see a narrower top bar, as mentioned, but I'd settle for narrow end bars. Either would save me a lot of work...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    Yup I would buy em in mediums from whoever decides to sell them

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Orange County, Indiana
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    What I'd encourage Kelly's to do is to cut the top bars down 1/16" on each side and the end bars also 1/16 on each side so that the end result is the bee space will be the same as it is now and the frames would be 1-1/4" on center.
    Sure, I would buy them in mediums tomorrow.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
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    822

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    Thanks guys for your feedback. I e-mailed again today and they're already working on it for the Feb. news letter. My hope is that there's enough that want the 1-1/4 wide that they'll go for it and offer it. I think it would be great!!! I have done a lot more searching here and there's a ton of folks that have said in other places that they'd like someone to make them. If you haven't posted here yet or e-mailed Kellys please do. I hope with enough feedback they'll do it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Coatesville, Pa, USA
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    822

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    Well guys I thought I'd follow up and let you all know that Kelly's has put the article in their Febuary Newsletter. You can view it here http://app.newpanda.com/public/share...b2012large.pdf Thank-you Michael Bush for allowing me to use your info!!! I GREATLY appreciate it. If you all would be interested, please do contact them letting them know you'd be interested in the 1-1/4" frames. (KelleyBeesEditor@gmail.com) Let me know what you think of the article.
    Thanks

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,032

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    I emailed the editor and told him/her I was interested.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    I sent an email also, expressing my interest.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
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    822

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?



    I just got word from Kelly's and they now have deep end bars at 1-1/4" wide. I know that there are several on here that want mediums and I have been told that they'll working on that. I'll copy the message that I got from them. . .

    "Thanks for asking about the frames, I'm told "We now have the 1.25 narrow end bars for deep frames sold in packs of 100 we are working on the medium. Due to the additional labor required we are not sure we will carry these permanently. Call the 800-233-2899 and request the narrow frames 82-Thin if you would like these in deep frames."

    Personally I do hope they continue to offer these frames but we'll have to see how things go. For now I have a call to make. . .

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Batesville, IN, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    I just ordered 180 medium, foundationless, 1 1/4 assembled frames from Kelley's. I had to ask for them (I didn't see anything on the website about narrow frames.) However, they were happy to take the order and promised to send them out this week.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: Kelly's to make 1-1/4" wide frames?

    They accidentally shipped me 400 regular medium end bars. I finally decided to make my own narrow end bars instead of using Kelley's. I will be thinning down the top bars as well...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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