Re: 8 Frame Medium Hive Suggestions (Tips or Enhancements)
Rule #1.) Understand & observe bee-space ! top, bottom, sides, in between frame end bars ( that's why the end bars have shoulders!)
Honeybees enforce this rule religiously. Some times their tolerances are closer than ours
Seriously consider moving the hives into the sun. You can fashion a wind break, but its hard to compensate for being in the woods. SHB do fly, & they often are delivered with your new package of bees. Aaaand, shb are not the only varmints.
My first 8 frame hive bodies I made myself from plans "somewhere on the internet".
I cussed because they were so wide I could get 9 frames in them. I was disgusted that I had a bunch of "non-standard" boxes, so I bought some "standard" 8 frame boxes from Dadant. Those boxes are plenty big too, but not big enough to put an extra frame in, so I have to add a filler board for my brood boxes. ( remember bee-space? well there is an explanation, but yada yada!)
2020 hind site, I really like the 9 framers better.
Enough of my whining. Good Luck with your bees. CE
PS, "standard" frame end bars are 1&3/8 inch wide. That dimension, times the number of frames plus 1/4 inch would be my version of correct width, but you know the "beekeeper question rule" ... ask 3 beekeepers the same question & get 5 answers.
Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.