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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    875

    Default 8 frame or 10 frame

    I'm trying to make things easier since I'm new and also since I'm building my own boxes and have read alot on going with all med. boxes for everything . I think it would be easier for me all around , so now do I go with 8 or 10 frame is there any down side to 8 frame med for all boxes . This may be all wrong but I thought I read that a 8 frame doesn't offer the insulation from cold of a 10 frame box in the winter , I don't want to do anything that would hurt them from surviving the winter .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Litchfield, CT, USA
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    430

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Beekeepers usually go with 8 frame because of weight. Much lighter to pick up and easier on the back. I've heard the opposite about winter survival. I think it's a matter of preference. I prefer 10's. It's like the metric system. Easier.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    The down side to 8 frames is that you need 20% more equipment to run the same hives.

    As far as all mediums go; that is the dumbest idea since man first thought that keeping stinging insects was a good idea Combine the two (8 frames and all mediums) and you now need 35% more equipment to run the same hives.

    These are purely my opinion though... having tried both configurations. And Dnichols is correct; it is harder to winter bees on smaller equipment in northern climates.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Stafford, VA
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    74

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    The down side to 8 frames is that you need 20% more equipment to run the same hives.

    As far as all mediums go; that is the dumbest idea since man first thought that keeping stinging insects was a good idea Combine the two (8 frames and all mediums) and you now need 35% more equipment to run the same hives.

    These are purely my opinion though... having tried both configurations. And Dnichols is correct; it is harder to winter bees on smaller equipment in northern climates.

    I guess that makes me and a lot of other bee keepers pretty stupid.

    Laketrout: I see you're in PA. Your winters there can vary pretty significantly depending on where in the state you are. If you have the more gentile "Virginia" like winters, I wouldn't worry too much about using the 8 frame. If a winter's particularly bad, you can always add protection to the hive later. If you were much further north, or if you get ugly winters where you are (more than a couple feet of snow in the year) I'd personally stick with the 10 frame if my back could handle it. Bees will use honey not only as food, but as insulation. This is why you'll sometimes see starve-outs where the bees didn't move horizontally, and starved to death just inches from full frames of honey. Typically, it's the frames against the walls that are left full. The bees aren't so much ignoring the honey as they're avoiding the cold of the outer walls and their programming doesn't allow them to weigh the variables. 10 frames give you that extra frame of insulation on either side.

    As for sticking with all mediums, there's other reasons to do that that don't involve just the weight of the hives. For instance, I add my empty frames to the BOTTOM of the hives, as I prefer not to use "honey supers" and queen excluders. (Queen excluders more rapidly wear down the wings of the bees that have to squeeze through them shortening their lifespan.) Bees naturally want to build new comb "downward" and the queen bee will naturally prefer to lay in newer comb. By rotating the hive bodies upwards, I have no problem with queens laying in the honey frames as they naturally keep themselves towards the bottom. Rotating deeps would be incredibly difficult. Using this method, I can keep fresh wax in my hives instead of the old, black, pesticide filled stuff that gets more and more toxic from years of use, and during harvest I also end up with sell-able (albiet darker) beeswax.

    And whether you buy into that whole "it takes x pounds of honey to make 1 pound of wax" mantra (I've heard everything from 6 to 16 - no real studies have been done) the fact is that a hive body full of honey in naturally drawn comb has a miniscule amount of wax in it. I'll take the few ounces of honey lost for a healthy hive any day. The bees will have plenty of room to store the spring rush (in the now empty cells of last year's overwintering stores) as they build the new comb. (Note that the new comb is not typically built by the foragers, so you are not taking away from their ability to collect.)

    Every beekeeper has their own method of keeping bees, and every beekeeper has their reasons for keeping them that way. My reasons are based on 15+ years of research. Still, if your method works for you, I would not call it "stupid." Don't be afraid to experiment, Laketrout. (Although, I wouldn't recommend using my method of experimenting on ALL of your hives simultaneously... It can end poorly, and makes for a very expensive spring.) Just because something's "always been done that way" doesn't necessarily make it "right." Bees were kept for over 5000 years in the same basic way until Johann Dzierzon invented the first movable frame hive - which would ultimately lead to the development of the Langstroth. If we had everything figured out and perfected already we wouldn't be worried about CCD, so clearly there's room for experimentation.

    Have fun!

    http://fdsmagissues.feedstuffs.com/f...fds03_8034.pdf
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-pbu081408.php
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0818101323.htm
    http://www.thedailygreen.com/environ...cides-55081801

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    875

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Are you using med or deep brood boxes. Any reason for the 10 over the 8 .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,523

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    I use all mediums, 10 frame. I wouldn't go 8 if you stay with mediums. Maybe I'm not northern enough for bluegrass, but I haven't noticed any difference in wintering with mediums. Easier on my back.
    Regards, Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
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    875

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    OK to me it sounds like all medium 10 frame would be a good standard setup as I see the 8 frame boxes vary in size a little and not as popular , then if I run into some good used boxes they will all fit my stuff and it will save my back . Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,379

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    You will find a greater selection of hive accessory equipment (top feeders, queen excluders, etc) by sticking with 10 frame vs. a more limited selection in 8 frame.
    Graham
    --- HVAC design via ESP ... Who'd a thunk it ...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I use all mediums, 10 frame. I wouldn't go 8 if you stay with mediums. Maybe I'm not northern enough for bluegrass, but I haven't noticed any difference in wintering with mediums. Easier on my back.
    Every additional frame between the cluster and side wall of the hive adds insulation, especially if those frames are full of honey.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,341

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    I have mine all against each other over winter. So honey on the sides just keeps them from getting as much heat from next door and honey that gets left behind, but if the hive is standing alone, it might add some insulation. The extra honey also acts as a heat sink, not all a bad thing, but it keeps things from warming up as fast on a warm day and might keep them from getting in a cleansing flight.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
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    977

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Quote Originally Posted by laketrout View Post
    I'm trying to make things easier since I'm new and also since I'm building my own boxes and have read alot on going with all med. boxes for everything . I think it would be easier for me all around , so now do I go with 8 or 10 frame is there any down side to 8 frame med for all boxes . This may be all wrong but I thought I read that a 8 frame doesn't offer the insulation from cold of a 10 frame box in the winter , I don't want to do anything that would hurt them from surviving the winter .
    It has been my experience the bees don't like to pull the outer two frames out on 10 frame equipment. It is true, you can rotate the empty outer frames back to the inside, and they will pull them out.

    For me, lifting eight frame equipment is just easier, even an eight frame deep does not feel as cumbersome to lift as a full 10 frame medium. Perhaps the eight frame equipment is just easier to get a handle on?

    Since I started with 10 frame deep equipment, I run mostly eight frame deeps for my brood boxes, eight frame meds for supers. That is because I can swap brood frames, splits and so forth with my 10 frame equipment.

    Our climate zone is a six. For me, eight frame equipment overwinters successfully the same as 10 frame equipment. We have successfully overwintered bees in seven frame deep nucs.

    Too bad there is not a way you could spend time working with both eight and 10 frame equipment.

    HTH,

    Shane

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,402

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    You can't go wrong with 8 frame hives, bees like'em better!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Beekeepers now days just do not have any backbone. Bro Adam was 86 years old and still using 11.75" deep 12 frame boxes.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Didn't Brother Adam have lots of helpers doing the actual heavy lifting?

    When I started beekeeping, at 9 y.0. it was with the usual 10-frame deeps. My hives were on top of a garden shed. I could not carry entire supers up there or down from there empty of bees/honey or full of the same. I had to move everything one piece at a time - boxes, frames, etc. Quite easy, but very tedious.

    A few years later, it became a little easier after reading a "Gleaning in Bee Culture" article about using all medium supers, and trying it. But at the same time I grew older and quite a bit stronger, so it wasn't too much of an issue.

    Now the bees aren't on a garden shed, and I'm very much older, and after reading Michael Bush about using all medium 8-frame equipment. I tried it and like it very much. I have a few pieces of 10-frame equipment, mostly to remind me that it is easier to lift an 8-frame deep of honey than even a 10-frame medium of honey, because more of the weight is closer to your body and that makes it easier to manage.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Winthrop, WA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    I started with a 10 frame traditional hive and just bought my first 8 frame hive...I did order some 8 frame deeps though so they are not all mediums. The lure of lighter equipment for my weakling back was irresistable.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: 8 frame or 10 frame

    Its primarily down to weight, if you are happy with a 10F full depth go for it. I can lift a 10F FD but I need to be carefull. A 8 F 3/4 size (WSP in Australia ) is much easier to move with limited care.

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