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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    Posts
    47

    Default 8 frame size question

    This is the my first year into bees so I am trying to learn alot in a short amount of time. As I blunder through and purchase my components I see something which seems very odd to me but I'm assuming is "normal". I have decided to go all 8 frame mediums and bought my unsassembled boxes from Mann Lake along with the standard plastic frames. After assembling the boxes and inspecting them over for a good tight fit, I found I can actually squeeze 9 frames in. Why is there so much extra room? I had thought that by being way over 3/8" extra without the ninth frame I will have serious burr comb issues. Should I build a jig to evenly space the frames across the box?
    On this note about extra room, I find it unnerving that since the frames can be all over the place there is no way the slots of my slatted rack (from Brushy Mountain) will line up very well. I knew going into it that Brushy Mountain made their 8 frame items 1/4" smaller but even then I think I would have a lot of slop.

    Thanks for any info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,070

    Default Re: 8 frame size question

    I would run 9 frames in the mediums. The comb will as you suspect be drawn out better. When the frames are fully drawn, take one out and space them evenly at least in the boxes you are going to extract. I shave frames so I can run 11 in a ten frame. Your life is just easier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,001

    Default Re: 8 frame size question

    Run 9 frames or squeeze the frames together and center them. After the frames have been used for a season you can space them evenly.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,790

    Default Re: 8 frame size question

    Yes, Mannlake sells the 14" outside to outside boxes for 8 frame boxes.
    You can run a set of follower boards in them that way.
    You can divide the box into a double 4 frame nuc by inserting a 3/4" division board.
    Or you can just use 8 frames and push them all together into the center. This way when you work them, use the hive tool to push all 8 frames over to one side to give more space to remove that first frame, when not using follower boards. The bees will draw the outter face of the outter combs deeper, giving a heavier thicker frame on the outside postitions.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: 8 frame size question

    I guess I'll run 9 frames at the beginning since there is only the minor wax coating on the standard plastic frames and I don't want the bees to start throwing wax in weird places. My biggest confusion is that most of what I've read about Langstroth mentions how important 3/8" sizing is, yet this is so far off. It makes sense if one were using follower boards often but from what I know (and that isn't much), it is more atypical than typical for day to day operation.
    And I'm still confused how if every hive has this much slop for frame placement how does one ever gets their frames to line up with the slots on the slattedt rack to prevent the mites from having a great place to land safely.

    Thanks for the replies guys!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: 8 frame size question

    Keep all the frames pushed tightly together in the center of the box. The bees don't use the outside face much no matter how many frames are in there, and if you keep them at the correct "bee space" apart the bees are much less likely to put drone comb all over the brood nest since there isn't space between the combs.

    If you want, you can leave the outer two spaced a bit away from the others, this will encourage the bees to put drone comb there when they raise a bunch in the spring. They will then use that for storage, not more drones later.

    Spacing the combs apart in honey supers works well, but causes a mess in the brood nest. Even so, I'd push them all together to start with, as the bees make much better comb that way. Next year (or after extracting) you can space them out.

    Peter

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