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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Boonville, Indiana,USA
    Posts
    86

    Default 9 frames in the brood Box

    Do any of you use only 9 frames in the brood box? Advantages vs disadvantages?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    Nope. I don't see any advantage worth risking all the burr comb they will build. I have never met anyone nor heard of anyone suggesting to go with 9 frames in a 10 frame brood box.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    OKC, OK
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    Back in the 1980s when I used 10 frame deep brood boxes I used to let them draw out 10 frames then cut back to 9. I thought it helped with ventilation and I didn't roll the bees as much when taking out the frames for inspections. I used the 9 frame metal spaces they make for the 10 frame boxes to get the spacing even. Those are available from any of the supply catalogs.

    Now I use all 8 frame medium equipment and don't cut back because I think 7 frames is too few. Already have to have 4 medium brood boxes to equal the 2 deep brood chambers I used to keep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    >Do any of you use only 9 frames in the brood box? Advantages vs disadvantages?

    I've tried it. My take is:

    Advantages:
    None

    Perceived (but fallacious) advantages:
    More cluster space.

    Disadvantages:
    It takes more bees to cover the same amount of brood and keep it warm.
    The combs will be very uneven as the brood will be one thickness, while the honey stored in other parts of the same comb will protrude, thus causing rolling of bees (and queens) and non-interchangeable combs.

    From my site:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm#faqs

    Q. Why not put 9 frames in the brood box of a ten frame box? Won’t that keep things the same (since I want to run nine in my supers) and give them more space so they don’t swarm and I don't roll bees pulling out frames?

    A. In my experience you'll roll more bees with this arrangement (9 in a 10 frame box) because the surface of the comb will be very uneven due to the thickness of the brood being consistent while the thickness of honey storage varies. This means that frame spaced nine in a ten frame box have an uneven surface. That uneven surface is more likely to catch bees between two protruding parts and roll them than when they are even. It also takes more bees to cover and keep warm the same amount of brood when you have 9 frames instead of 10 or 11.

    "...if the space is insufficient, the bees shorten the cells on the side of one comb, thus rendering that side useless; and if placed more than the usual width, it requires a greater amount of bees to cover the brood, as also to raise the temperature to the proper degree for building comb, Second, when the combs are too widely spaced, the bees while refilling them with stores, lengthen the cells and thus make the comb thick and irregular--the application of the knife is then the only remedy to reduce them to proper thickness."--J.S. Harbison, The bee-keeper's directory pg 32

    Here is a quote from Hoffman (the inventer of the self-spacing frame) about excess spacing in the brood nest (although he went with 1 3/8"):

    "If we space the combs from center to center 1 1/2 inches, instead of 1 3/8, then we have an empty space of 5/8 inch between two combs of brood instead of 1/2, as it ought to be; and it will certainly require more bees to fill and keep warm a 5/8 than a 1/2 inch space. In a 1/2 inch space, the breeding bees from two combs facing each other will join with their backs, and so close up the space between the two brood combs. If this space is widened to 5/8 the bees cannot do this, and more bees will be required to keep up the needed brood- rearing temperature. What a drawback this would be in a cool spring, when our colonies are still weak in numbers, yet breeding most desirable, can readily be understood."--Julius Hoffman

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#framespacing
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    Michael is quite strong in his preference for 10 or 11 frames in the broodnest. If I lived in a long, cold winter location, I might not be as strong in my opinion that 9 is best for my purposes. I use 9 with metal spacers from the bottom board to the cover. Primarily for my convenience and speeding up inspection. Example: Just checking for queenright. I can lift out a frame, see brood, replace frame, reassemble hive, and be gone while the 10 frame beek is racking frames back and forth to get TO a frame of brood.

    I understand that I'm losing some brood growth by having less cells in a given cluster size. But in my area, with good wintering care and conditions, we get ample population to make too-tall hives.

    I'm a little fuzzy on his concern about the step in comb thickness from capped honey to brood cells. The honey is at the top. If you lift the frame straight up, how does that roll more bees?

    One of the reasons that I started out with 9 frames all the way was that it seemed like a straight shot would be less cumbersome for up/down traffic. We demonstrated later that it's true for a populous colony. The offset in frame spacing with 9 frame supers causes forager traffic to back up both below and above the spacing change waiting their turn to squiggle through the offset. That might not be a significant problem with the lower populations of standard management.

    Foragers DO want to travel through the broodnest. Why would you want to increase congestion between frames? But then, MB uses an upper entry. I have trouble converting to fad beekeeping. Note that I consider Mr. Bush the expert on all those manipulations that I have found no need for. I try to keep it simple and effective. The most honey with the least time and effort on my part.

    Walt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    south central ohio
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    Yup. I use 9 all the way to the sky and never had any of the issues spoken about above. Hell I'd never go back to 10.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    I have always used 9 frames. It is so much easier to get frames in and out of the hive. I also use 9 frames in all my medium honey supers. By only having 9 frames in the supers the bees draw the comb out a little more before capping the honey. This makes it much easier to uncap when extracting.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clintwood VA USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    In my bood boxes I start with 10 then reduce to 9 using frams spacers. In the honey supers I start with 9 and reduce to 8 which makes uncapping much easier!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    >I'm a little fuzzy on his concern about the step in comb thickness from capped honey to brood cells. The honey is at the top. If you lift the frame straight up, how does that roll more bees?

    It's not always at the top. I find it much harder to get frames out with 9 frame spacing because of the unevenness of the comb. I find it easier with 11 frame spacing because of the evenness of the comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Logan, UT
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: 9 frames in the brood Box

    I just started this keeping bees this year (alert: no experience speaking here), and after doing a lot of reading during the winter, I decided to try 9 frames in all 10 frame medium boxes. However, I made dummy boards or follower boards for the sides. The theory is that this provides some additional ventilation and perhaps even insulating air in the wintertime. The dummy boards are 1/2 a frame in width each, so the 9 resulting frames are still spaced very similarly to a 10 frame arrangement. I was going to do 9 frame honey supers (with no dummy boards) but then realized the offset problem I would have, and I also realized the honey super's drawn out frames would not be interchangeable with the brood frames as they would be drawn wider. I want to interchange as an option. So for now, I'm planning on using the dummy boards in the honey supers also. Basically this becomes a compromise between the 10 frame traditional hive and the 8 frame hives some are lauding as so great.

    As far as rolling bees, I just start by pulling the dummy 1/2 frame out first which then provides plenty of space to start working through the hive for an inspection.

    I'm still so new, however, that you'll have to ask me in a year or two what opinion I have settled on.

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