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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    grand rapids, michigan
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    449

    Default So which frames to start with?

    Hello... New beek here. Well I will be this Spring once I start my hives. I will build my hives this Winter but buy the frames. I am seeing N style, J Style, whatever other style. How do you decide which style to go with?
    And actually, I would consider making my own frames. I have a nicely equipped woodshop. But I am sure it will be very montonous work. But I'm thrifty too and prefer to make almost anything I can instead of buying it. Anyone out there make their own frames?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Regards, Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    grand rapids, michigan
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Yeah I saw those plans Barry and it looks very doable. Thank you. What wood do you prefer? Pine, popular? Any cheap softwood?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Whatever I have laying around the shop. Mostly pine, some redwood and poplar.
    Regards, Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Wouldn't poplar be prone to rot?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Siloam Springs, Arkansas
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    123

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    I've seen poplar rot in many instances. Too bad, fun to work with. I build (built) my own frames , so if you're up for some satisfaction go for it. If you're trying to get rich, well........
    Trying techniques that I doubt will work because I like to be right!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Wouldn't poplar be prone to rot?
    Can't imagine how used as a frame within a hive covered with wax. I've never seen a single rotten frame in my life. I've seen frames that broke or damaged by moth, but never rotten.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #8

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Berry how about adding the jumbo frame to the drawing. You have listed the lenght for small med and large Seeing there is so much interest in it.
    David

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,083

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    I just made 100 frames from the drawings Barry shared. Made them all from free scrap wood. And maybe 10 hours total in set up and cutting. What did it save me in the way of money? maybe $70 or so over buying them pre made. Unless you are just flat broke, not working, and have time on your hands anyway. I am not sure making them at home is saving anything.

    I do get a satisfaction knowing they are frames I made though.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,537

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    Berry how about adding the jumbo frame to the drawing.
    David
    Sure, if someone can give me the accurate numbers.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,962

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Sure, if someone can give me the accurate numbers.
    The endbars are 11 1/4" tall. The suppliers just make them to fit their standard top and bottom bars. . And I think a true Dadant Jumbo has 1 1/2" wide topbars.

    Copied from Beesource:

    Hive Sizes
    JWG
    Field Bee


    Icon 1 posted December 20, 2006 03:57 PM Profile for JWG Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post A couple notes on the larger brood frames:

    Historically in North America there were two large brood frame designs, the Dadant and the Langstroth Jumbo. There is no "Dadant Jumbo."

    The standard Dadant brood frame (like the one used by Br. Adam) has the dimensions 17 5/8 * 11 1/4 inches. There are 11 of these in the Modified Dadant hive, and 12 in the Buckfast Dadant hive. The frames are spaced wider than Langstroth, on 1 1/2" centers (an important difference).

    . Normally used in an 8 or 10 frame configuration. (One of the reasons why the 10 fr. hive became popular is because the 8-fr. had a tendency to tip over.) Frame spacing is 1 3/8" center to center.

    The Langstroth Jumbo brood frame is deeper, at 11 1/4", making it similar to the Dadant brood frame, but it retains the narrower spacing.

    In Britain, many users of National Hives have gone to a 3 1/2 inch-deeper version of the British Standard brood frame, at 14 x 12 in. to allow for a larger continuous brood comb area. This would be analogous to the Jumbo Langstroth frame.

    20 years ago you could still get Lang. Jumbo frames and bodies from at least one supplier in Quebec but now they aren't in the North American catalogs anymore that I know of. Posts: 131 | From: Wakefield, MA, USA | Registered: Jun 2004 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
    Mike Gillmore
    Field Bee


    Icon 1 posted December 20, 2006 04:25 PM Profile for Mike Gillmore Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post This sounds like a very natural, bee friendly set up. But it could end up being a beekeepers nightmare.

    For example, in the spring flow. If the bees form a band of capped honey across the tops of all of the deep frames, refuse to move nectar into the supers above and start to backfill the deep frames, how would you "open up" the brood nest?

    --------------------
    To everything there is a season....
    Posts: 401 | From: Massillon, Ohio | Registered: Feb 2006 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    I would suggest making boxes with locally available 1x12's and make the frame end bars 3/8" to 1/2" shorter than the actual lumber is wide. Might shave the boards down a tiny bit to eliminate variations, too, and make the end bars to fit that dimension. I've noticed that deep frames tend to be 1/8" shorter than medium or shallow frames compared to the depth of the boxes -- wonder if that has something to do with drone brood in between the boxes every spring?

    I may do that this year, but you do want to watch that you don't get half a dozen different sized brood boxes going -- you never know when you are going to need to swap frames between boxes to do splits, open a brood nest, or give a hive some eggs to make a queen. A big mess if they are different depths.

    Peter

  13. #13

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Thanks odfrank and berry
    David

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,282

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    poplar actually turns into a hard wood as it dries, so Im told ! It gets extremely hard and strong. Its why they make furniture out of it other than it keeps straight and little to no knots.
    I have an old chicken coup in my yard made out of cut poplar logs, 80 years old and no sign of giving up yet
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    I believe the poplar in Canada grows slowly and is a different timber than the poplar in my country which grows incredibly fast (great to grow a quick shelterbelt), but is a very light, porous wood that will rot down quickly and doesn't even burn very well.

    Same tree, i think, but different climate.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,282

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    could be. They call this tree trembling aspen.
    we make wind fence out of it. soo much of it around and it keep straight and easy to cut when freshly timbered
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    3,083

    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    Very likely. Poplar is the name of over 35 different varieties of trees in the willow, cottonwood and aspen families
    Genes: Pupulus.

    Poplar lumber can be bought at Home Depot right next to Oak and Cedar. It is sold as a fine stain grade wood. It is not in fact Poplar but comes from a tree of the Liriodendron genes and is not in fact even related to the poplar. How it got called Poplar I have no idea.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: So which frames to start with?

    There are several species of trees commonly called poplar. Tulip Poplar, Liriodendron tulipfera, has large, tulip like blossoms and lovely greenish yellow heartwood and white sapwood. It is easy to work, fairly hard, not very rot resistant, and the heartwood is pretty much impervious to termites. Grows into huge trees,

    The various Populus species (cottonwood, aspen, and "hybrid poplar" have much softer wood. Very fast growing, rain branches constantly, and rot in a heartbeat. I've been using up some cottonwood lumber a friend left with us a decade or so ago for bottom bars since they don't carry much weight. Using that wood for top bars would be asking for mushy frames that break easily, it's just not tough enough for the job. Yellow or tulip poplar would work great, but I stick with "whitewood" pine, yellow pine, and cedar from the scrap pile at Menard's for top bars.

    The bees don't care, but I want sturdy frames, they are too fiddly to make and I hate to waste the bees efforts making wax by breaking weak frames.

    My neighbor was replacing some window sills and exterior window framing this year, and gave me the redwood the original owner used to build them. Makes great top bars.

    Peter

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