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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nicosia, Cyprus
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    97

    Default 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    I would like your opinion as to which is best: the use of 9 or 10 frames in the brood chamber. I have seen a couple of opinions and cannot make my mind up. The 10 frame configuration is closer to what we find in a natural environment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    I run 9 narrow frames in an 8 frame deep hive body because that is the closest to what we find in nature.

    This only works in the brood chambers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,455

    Default Re: 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    Ten frames in a standard width box gives you more space for the queen to lay in that box. Nine frames makes comb manipulation easier. It doesn't matter in the long run all that much, in my opinion.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    Whatever you do, keep the frames all pushed tightly together in the center of the box. If you use 9 frames, you will find the outside ones extra fat on the outer side, but will still have more room to take frames out.

    If you space them out, you will get a very large amount of bridge comb at the top of the frames and the honey arc will be very fat and uneven, making it very difficult to get the frames out without making a mess. Bees respond to extra space above 3/8" by building comb to close it up, and you will have far too much space between brood areas as they will NOT draw brood comb deeper, it stays the correct depth for raising brood, no more.

    I did this my first year, learned quick. My brother tried spacing out nine frames and had a nightmare, lumpy comb that "interlocked" so it was very hard to get frames out without damage to the brood area, drone comb in patches everywhere, etc.

    I'm trying narrow frames this year, I think it will produce much better brood comb, less misplaced drone comb, and better wintering. I have a couple nucs ready for swarms, and I'll replace any frames I take out of my existing hives for nucs with narrows until I convert them over.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nicosia, Cyprus
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    I cannot see why the extra frame would make a difference to the total area that the queen has to lay in. Studies have shown that a good queen can only use the equivalent of FIVE full brood frames, even though this might be spread out over 8 frames or more.

    Surely the difference between 9 and 10 on the brood surfaces means a single layer of bees in the 10 frame and a double layer in the 9. This surely allows the bees in the 10 frame to cover more brood, keep it warm and expand faster in the spring.

    However, what happens with ventilation? Is the 9 frame able to cope with keeping the hive cooler in high temperatures than the 10?
    Last edited by olympic; 11-25-2012 at 10:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,038

    Default Re: 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    i started with nine, because that's what the first person that helped me told me to do.

    i have since switched to 10, and push them tightly together.

    i like this better because:

    there less propilizing in between the frame's end bars
    they are easier to pry apart using the crook of the hive tool
    the comb is more even
    i roll less bees by 'sliding' the tapered stops on the end bars past each other when putting them back in
    i have read the bees preserve heat and cluster better with that spacing

    i use nine frames however, in the honey supers, to get the fatter honey frames.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,455

    Default Re: 9 or 10 frames in the broodchamber?

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    I cannot see why the extra frame would make a difference to the total area that the queen has to lay in.
    What you say that studys show may well be true, but what I have seen is that sometimes I will see brood in 8 or nine frames in a ten frame deep. Sometimes that frame up against the feeder, a drone comb, will be layed both sides. Usually the outer sides of the two wall combs are full of honey, but rarely brood and at times the next frames in will have brood on the inside side of the combs, but not on the outside sides of the second combs in.So, take a comb out and not only are there then, (what 4,000?) fewer cells available, but the environmental buffer afforded by those outside combs full of honey is also lost. I think.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

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