11 frames in brood chamber
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Oklahoma USA
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    Default 11 frames in brood chamber

    Anyone run 11 frames in a 10 frame or 9 in a 8 frame brood box? I was going to try it out with some single brood chambers this season.

    It work out good for you or is it to close and end up rolling bees?

    What's the best way to cut the frames down? Table saw, belt sander, palm planner?

    Is the size 1 1/4" ? I guess just taking a 1/4" off each side. Is it worth doing or stick with 10?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,637

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Ck out Michael Bush’s site. I know he talked about running 11 frames, don’t know if he still does.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    884

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    I have heard that it has been done but I imagine that when the bees propolyzed the frames, it must be extremely difficult to pry them out of the box. I always need a bit of free space to separate the frames.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Ocala, Florida, USA
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    622

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Why do you want to?

  6. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Central Alabama, Shelby County
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    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Anyone run 11 frames in a 10 frame or 9 in a 8 frame brood box? >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    For 8 years. I run 11 frames in an 11 frame deep hive body. Most incorrectly refer to it as a ten frame.

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<It work out good for you or is it to close and end up rolling bees?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The way to keep from rolling bees with any frame width is to withdraw the outer most frame on the cold side of the hive body then pull the second frame out then up. You never just pull a frame from the middle.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>What's the best way to cut the frames down?<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    If teaching and they have old assembled frames use a block plane. A belt sander is too imprecise. If new pieces use a table saw. Set the fence up to 1 5/16" and run all end pieces thru removing 1/16" at the spacer. Then set up for 1.25" and run them all through removing 1/16" from the other side. Make sure you remove 1/16" per side and not 1/16" from the same side twice. Then remove 1/16" from the end piece " leg" side with a router. If you dont they will prop up the gap as it is too small. Then set the fence to 15/16" and run all the top bars up then 7/8" and run the other side through. That's 10 cuts per frame

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Is the size 1 1/4" ? I guess just taking a 1/4" off each side.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    WRRRROOONNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!! Do not remove 1/4" per side. 11 frames at 1.25" is the same total width as 10 frames at 1 3/8" wide. Removing 1/16" twice will give you 1.25"

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<Is it worth doing or stick with 10?>>>>>>>>>

    For me it is. It takes about 3.5 hours to modify 100 frames. I am not convinced that you understand why you would want to put 11 frames in an 11 frame box. Unless you understand this thoroughly it is not worth the effort as you have to do this in junction with other things.


    Warning. I rarely visit Beesource anymore. This is the second time in 6 weeks. Bee fever must be the explanation for the recent frequency. You might PM me and wait if questions.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    I run frames plastic or wood frame thru a table saw to 1 1/4" With a sharpie I put a vee on the top bar facing the cut so I can place the cut edges all in the same direction. If you are careful and always pull an outside frame after smoking both sides of that frame and waiting a few seconds, the queen is not going to be there. When I was going defeat varroa with small cell, I started doing this with small cell plastic frames. The bees seemed to do a better job of drawing the frames with the tight spacing.

    I do think that the bees brood up faster in the spring with the small cell tight spacing and that is why the cores of my brood nest are still very tightly packed. As always, whether you roll bees or not is entirely up to you.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
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    205

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    why ?

    Why would you risk stuck-together combs, risk killing bees (including the queen) when removing a frame?

    If you are looking for 'more bees per hive', add a medium as a half-brood box, or better yet, go to two deeps.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,191

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Quote Originally Posted by Sour Kraut View Post
    why ?
    Ditto.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Central Alabama, Shelby County
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    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    <<<<<<<<<< The bees seemed to do a better job of drawing the frames with the tight spacing.

    I do think that the bees brood up faster in the spring with the small cell tight spacing and that is why the cores of my brood nest are still very tightly packed. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Vance,

    I figure it gives me atleast 2 or 3 weeks head start on the build up. I get drones in late Feb when other locals who keep bees the way I did in the 1970's dont until mid to late March. With 11 frames there is tighter spacing and higher worker density per cubic inch. There are those who claim this drives the brood nest up one or two degrees causing a quicker gestation period.

    Hey, thanks for all the crappy weather you sent my way. It was 72*F Sat. and now they predict 22*F in a couple days. My bees are confused.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    3,063

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    There is a fairly long thread on this topic from several years ago. It is worth reading.

    Summary:

    1. Faster buildup in spring because a given size cluster covers more total comb area.
    2. More swarming unless you take precautions such as pulling a split from each hive.
    3. Cutting down standard 1 3/8 frames makes the frames hard to uncap, don't use them in a super.
    4. Foundation must be centered in the frame to avoid problems with one side being too shallow.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?249192

    fyi, I converted to square Dadant hives using 1 1/4 inch frames. I have used 1 1/4 inch frames since spring 1977.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Oklahoma USA
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    88

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I am just naturally curious about it that's why. Naturally curious about alot of things, I keep an open mind. I like to ask questions and expand my knowledge. Get others opinions on things. I feel to many just try to model what commerical keepers do and I'm not commercial.


    I have read that the tighter spacing causes them to build up faster also. Possibly faster because it may raise the heat inside a few degrees. Personally IMO I think it's more natural for bees to be held in tighter space. Tighter spaces warm faster and dont take as much energy.

    I keep bees as sustainable as I can and use the resource hives like Michael Palmer talks about. Even though that information has been around for a long time now, it's still common practice to keep buying bees. Yet it's a very simple process Plamer uses and should be incorporated into all practices small or big IMO yet the norm will just keep buying bees. Why not take the middle man out. Because it's not the norm that's why I guess


    I know tighter frames is not a common practice and that's fine with me. TBH are not common practice here either but that's probably becoming my favorite hive to use. But I still use and will continue to use langs also. I like to try different things really.

    Thanks for the link I will read over that. I tried searching for one but my searches never seem to come up with much results. Maybe it's a key word or trick to doing it IDK.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,922

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    >Anyone run 11 frames in a 10 frame or 9 in a 8 frame brood box? I was going to try it out with some single brood chambers this season.

    I do.

    >It work out good for you or is it to close and end up rolling bees?

    I roll LESS bees because the combs are nice and flat and don't have protrusions everywhere there is honey.

    >What's the best way to cut the frames down? Table saw, belt sander, palm planner?

    I use a hand plane that is set so about three swipes takes off the amount I want. I do it after they are assembled. Any of those things can work.

    >Is the size 1 1/4" ?

    Yes. 32mm. 1 1/4"

    > I guess just taking a 1/4" off each side. Is it worth doing or stick with 10?

    Take 1/16" off each side. A standard Hoffman frame is 1 3/8" (35mm). If you take 1/16" off each side you will make it 1/8" narrower which will be 1 1/4"

    http://bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
    http://bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#framespacing
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #13
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Those are some of the benefits and may well be worth it for the individual. It is not hard to understand why the typical commercial operator would not find it an overall plus.

    I think Fusion_power is spot on in laying out the dimensions necessary to create a frame that respects bee space between top bars. It does not happen by merely shaving endbars of standard frames. He also stresses the need to build frames without any out of square or twist so that the reduced inter face space of the combs is easily maintained by the bees. Any tight spots will result in bridging (bee space) or cells on one face being too short for brood and the adjoining comb face extended and inviting drone cells.

    Give it a try and see how you like them. You can always spread them out to standard spacing with nothing lost. I have some frames I inherited with quick and dirty sidebar narrowing and still in use after 7 years. I dont try to keep them tight spaced though because I found they get burr combed almost solid between top bars.
    Frank

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Murphy, TX
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    444

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Those are some of the benefits and may well be worth it for the individual. It is not hard to understand why the typical commercial operator would not find it an overall plus.

    I think Fusion_power is spot on in laying out the dimensions necessary to create a frame that respects bee space between top bars. It does not happen by merely shaving endbars of standard frames. He also stresses the need to build frames without any out of square or twist so that the reduced inter face space of the combs is easily maintained by the bees. Any tight spots will result in bridging (bee space) or cells on one face being too short for brood and the adjoining comb face extended and inviting drone cells.

    Give it a try and see how you like them. You can always spread them out to standard spacing with nothing lost. I have some frames I inherited with quick and dirty sidebar narrowing and still in use after 7 years. I dont try to keep them tight spaced though because I found they get burr combed almost solid between top bars.
    I tried to address the bee space at the top bar issue by re-configuring the whole design. I have documented my design on this thread. I have been running 11 frames for couple of years. No apparent issues with burr combs so far.

  16. #15
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Quote Originally Posted by pjigar View Post
    I tried to address the bee space at the top bar issue by re-configuring the whole design. I have documented my design on this thread. I have been running 11 frames for couple of years. No apparent issues with burr combs so far.
    Your procedure of cutting looks quite efficient. You are correct that the standard top bar width needs modification also to maintain proper bee space there. It becomes a bit on the narrow side if you narrow the endbars only. Many people run with it, but if you are going to set up to make your own narrow space frames forever it is worth considering bringing top bar width down proportionately.
    Frank

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
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    22

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    Yes, the perfect storm for beekeeping. Warm weather and lots of pollen kicked the queen into high gear, rain washed away a lot of the nectar, and the bees used much of their honey to feed new brood, and now 22F nights. I have fed my bees 24 lbs of 1:1 over the last week for each hive from zip lock bags and they took it all. Hope that was enough, because tonight will be 22f again. Oh, and the days have been a not too balmy 44f. Checked the bags after 3 days, and they are almost all empty again.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    1,407

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    I make most of my own frames for foundationless comb on 1 1/4. As the season progresses it might end up 10 frames. I have had beekeepers with some experience mention how little burr comb I have in the brood nest. That the bees can build as much drone comb as they wish and the fact I almost have an empty frame for them to work on during the flow probably contributes. Most burr comb is in the honey supers where I space them out to 9 and sometimes 8 to a box.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Central Alabama, Shelby County
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    323

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    <<<<<<Most burr comb is in the honey supers where I space them out to 9 and sometimes 8 to a box. >>>>>>

    I run 9 in an 11 frame box. Little burr but do have brace comb.

    Fusion, understand the tornadoes are in your part of the state this week.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Ontario
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    4

    Default Re: 11 frames in brood chamber

    I actually just purchased unassembled frames from a Chinese manufacturer off of Alibaba.com. Once I assembled them and stuck them in a 10 frame deep I found out that 11 of them would fit perfectly. After reading this thread im glad to hear its a normal thing to use 11.
    Are their any cons to using 11? I would only use the 10 except I find it leaves to big of a space.

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