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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default narrow frames and 8 frame hive box - too much gap?

    I am new to beekeeping - have had 2 hives since May. I quickly discovered that I cannot lift a 9 frame medium box full of honey, so I want to convert to smaller boxes as well as converting to natural comb. 9 1 3/8" frames in a standard box leave 2.5" of space. On the bushbees site, under frame width FAQs, it says that 9 frames in a standard 10 frame box leaves too much space causing irregular comb. If I reduce my frame size to 1 1/4" then 8 frames in a 13 3/4 box leaves 2.25" play. Isn't this also too much? Should I use 9 frames in an 8 frame box (making it heavier) or should I reduce the box dimensions? What would the ideal dimensions be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    336

    Default Re: narrow frames and 8 frame hive box - too much gap?

    Just go to 8 frame medium equipment. My 12 yr old daughter can move those. I even have 8 frame shallow supers (w/ 7 frames) for honey supers as honey frames are heavier than brood frames. I and my daughter can move all of those boxes and its easy on you back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Default Re: narrow frames and 8 frame hive box - too much gap?

    You should always have some play. I put 9 1 1/4" frames in an eight frame box for brood. I often have 7 frames in an eight frame box for honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: narrow frames and 8 frame hive box - too much gap?

    Hi Erna,

    Our desert environment is quite different from yours, but here's a suggestion to keep down the weight of a honey super:
    If you are using wooden frames, you can make a quick and cheap "slatted rack" (call me rinky dink, if you will) by taking a wooden frame and a hot melt glue gun and some bamboo skewers from the dollar store (long enough to span the frame from end to end) and make a "rack" on each side of the frame. Be sure to glue them on at intervals of one bee space, ladder-style. This will give you "frames" that the bees will crawl through, rather than propolize or build comb on. You add less than a pound per "rack" and you can take up one frame's worth for each of them you use. If you decide to use them in the brood nest, you will want to put them only in the outermost positions. In the honey supers, you can position them where you like, and depending on the inclinations of your particular bees, your repositioning the frames and racks during comb-building time may help them draw out the comb more evenly.
    I haven't shopped for commercial "slatted racks" recently, but last I saw them, they were surprisingly pricy.
    Skep

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: narrow frames and 8 frame hive box - too much gap?

    Quote Originally Posted by SkepWrangler View Post
    Hi Erna,

    Our desert environment is quite different from yours, but here's a suggestion to keep down the weight of a honey super:
    If you are using wooden frames, you can make a quick and cheap "slatted rack" (call me rinky dink, if you will) by taking a wooden frame and a hot melt glue gun and some bamboo skewers from the dollar store (long enough to span the frame from end to end) and make a "rack" on each side of the frame. Be sure to glue them on at intervals of one bee space, ladder-style. This will give you "frames" that the bees will crawl through, rather than propolize or build comb on. You add less than a pound per "rack" and you can take up one frame's worth for each of them you use. If you decide to use them in the brood nest, you will want to put them only in the outermost positions. In the honey supers, you can position them where you like, and depending on the inclinations of your particular bees, your repositioning the frames and racks during comb-building time may help them draw out the comb more evenly.
    I haven't shopped for commercial "slatted racks" recently, but last I saw them, they were surprisingly pricy.
    Skep
    Hey Thanks! It sounds like it would be handy to have some of those around. I can see I will be spending my winter nailing frames and glueing skewers or popsicle sticks to them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    angels camp, california, usa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: narrow frames and 8 frame hive box - too much gap?

    Erna - From the old guard....some of us use "follower boards". They would be placed in the space outside your drawn comb frames. They act as insulation in winter. From our experience, bees work from the center out so you might try, next spring, putting your least filled or empty working frames in the center of your box...fuller frames would go to either side. To make a follower board.....take a frame with nothing in the center. Nothing.
    Measure and cut a piece of .5" to .75" to the size of the hole. Nail it to the inside of your empty frame. That's it...Place one on the outside of both sides of your working frames. The weight of a box depends on the # of frames, obviously- I'm 65, I run full supers with 7-9 frames depending on the flow. Bees on a strong flow will fill any empty space with comb and honey - Get to know your bees, learn from them and DON'T GET TOO FANCY.
    I used to be a commercial beekeeper....those folks don't put themselves through half what hobby keepers do. Listen to the bees - Let them teach you - Join your local association and ask a lot of questions. Good Luck, Holiday

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