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Thread: 8-frame boxes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Natick, MA
    Posts
    65

    Default 8-frame boxes

    I switched from the regular 10-frame system to 8 because I couldn't lift the boxes when full. I'm happy with lighter boxes, but have some issues with the system itself.

    The boxes I got from Humble Abodes (mostly shallows) seem to be a standard size - they fit with bottom boards, excluders, etc. from other manufacturers - but it seems they're too big for 8 frames. I can very nearly fit 9 frames into them. The net result is too much space between frames, especially when they're drawing and establishing comb. If I distribute the extra throughout, they build big fat comb which would be nice except it's irregular, lumpy, and frequently joined to the next frame in places. If I put all the extra space at one end they build huge lumps of comb and attach it at random everywhere. Is there a special frame for 8-systems that's a tiny bit wider? (Not that that would matter down in the real business area.) Are there frames a tiny bit narrower at the top so I could fit in one more? I didn't notice this type of problem with the old 10-frame equipment.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    Mine also have space to put frame number 9 in when new. Just push all the frames tight together until they are drawn out. After that space them and you do not have the issue with the space anymore.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    Yup, 8 frame equipment has extra room on the sides. Just push the 8 frames together in the middle and leave the gap on either side. I wouldn't add the 9th frame because it gets mighty tight and pulling the first frame when full of bees becomes difficult. I enjoy the extra room when doing inspections, it allows me to slide a frame to the side before pulling it out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wilkes County, NC
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    I use 8 frame hives and love them. I purchased mine from Miller Bee Supply in North Wilkesboro, NC. I don't have any problems with extra comb or spacing. If they are all spaced evenly my girls draw them out nicely. I actually have to take a end frame out to do an inspection.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    You can do one of the following:
    Live with the extra space (leave it on the sides)
    Make a follower board (or two) and fill the gap with that.
    Shave a hair off each frame and put 9 frames in

    I do all of the above...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Olympia, Washington, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    I am a new beekeeper in Olympia, Washington and have two 8-frame hives. I am also experiencing the extra roomy boxes using 1 3/8" frames. After my girls were naughty and got quite creative with comb-building, I have done two things. Since I am new, all of my frames were starting from foundation. In my brood chamber bottom boxes I put in follower boards (about 1/2" thick) on one side to take up some room. The board is made of rough sawn Western red cedar and looks like a regular deep frame. This was thoroughly successful. All of the comb down there is straight and even with no burr comb. Also, one does not want or need extra room in the brood chamber. The second deep brood chamber, however, has no follower boards and there is quite a bit of extra room to build burr comb (which they do not hesitate to do). My medium supers began with 8 frames and the girls got so giddy that they even had a large clump of comb built perpendicular to the frames! I just put a new medium super with nine frames on one of the hives, as they are stronger, and we are getting into our blackberry honey flow. We will see what happens. I notice that the interior dimensions of the hive boxes vary wildly from one manufacturer to the next. One supplier (Mann Lake) builds boxes a full 12 1/2" wide (interior measurement). Another local one is 12 1/4" wide. There you have it. I plan on building more follower boards and will probably space out my medium super frames as the comb gets drawn out from the foundation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Natick, MA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    Thanks for all the info, folks - I'm glad I wasn't just hallucinating. I think I'll try making some shaved-down frames to add just until they're drawn, then removing them and spacing out the rest to yield fat but straight combs for easy uncapping. With any luck the extra drawn frames will be usable in encouraging expanding hives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: 8-frame boxes

    Keep in mind that a ten frame box also has excess space. On purpose. Just slightly less.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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