How big can an observation hive frame actually*be?
My purpose In keeping an observation hive is to have parts for use in my backyard hive and to learn and observe more about the bees without interrupting the hive structure itself. As such, I built my hive to have 5 1/2 mediumm frames. The odd frame is cuz it is what fit into the space. Mediums were chosen to be like all the boxes that I have outside. The hive was just started and only has a virgin queen in it now.
I just saw a post noting that full jumbo frames would make an intersting art piece on a wall, which i think it would. I also noticed that nearly one-third of the space in my hive is lost to top bars, bottom bars & beespace So, i got to thinking: can I maximize comb space by using larger frames? If so how large could they be?
Potential problems i see are that It would be much harder to interchange frames with outside (either as bringing frames outside or bringing frames inside) and working one or two larger frames would be harder. But any other thoughts on the topic would be appreciated. Has any one tried a frame equivalent to 3 or 4 mediums?
The other question is, if there are only a couple of drawn frames in a hive, where should they be located? Most of the pictures a see of starting ob hives have them at the bottom with the empties on top ( and it is easier for my kids to see it there instead of up near the ceiling). Since you have to help bees move into an upper lang box, do they find it easier to start at the top of the space and move down? (Asked at the risk of starting up the lang vrs warre debate.)