8 frame equipment
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Aiken, South carolina, USA
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    2

    Default 8 frame equipment

    Hello everyone, I don't usually post on forms and I'm using text-to-speech on my phone so be patient LOL! I'm a top bar beekeepier and have been keeping bees for about 6 years now and wanted to try my hand at langstroth hives, and wanting to go with eight frame foundationless deep equipment and was under the impression that all langstroth equipment was standardized but during my research have discovered that 8 frame equipment is not, I'm wanting to build most of my starting equipment for next year and one of the main reasons I'm even trying langstroth equipment is because I love the idea of being able to purchase equipment if needed from any supplier and it all working. Two books I have on building beekeeping equipment has conflicting measurements on the short side, one says 13 and 3/4 the other says 13 and 3/8 and the only three equipment dealers I can find that actually have measurements is Mann lake which says 14 in and the other two, i forget their name, say 13 and 3/4. Does anyone have any idea what the best measurement is to use or will I be in the same dilemma with 8 frame equipment as I am with top bar hives? Should I just go with 10 frame equipment for standardization?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,916

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    I think the more standard width is 13-3/4" for the 8 frame hive equipment. As always, different manufacturers may have different dimensions. I found this especially true in nuc boxes.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,188

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Masterblaster, welcome to the forum!!! I use both 10 frame and 8 frame equipment but primarily use 8 frame equipment. In my opinion, Mann Lake 8 frame boxes are too big. They leave too much space on the sides and the bees build comb on the hive walls and the comb on the outside frame gets extended outward way too far. This means that those outside frames MUST always be on the outside or the bee space will be compromised. I do like a bit of extra space on the sides and prefer 13-3/4 but anything from 13-3/8 to 13-3/4 should work just fine.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,812

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    I solve the Mann Lake 14" wide problem with a follower board in the brood chambers and wide spacing in the honey supers. A plastic frame with one side of the sidebars cut off makes an easy follower board.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,278

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    .... A plastic frame with one side of the sidebars cut off makes an easy follower board.
    A crazy simple idea.
    Why I did not think of that!
    And may plug and tape in some foam into the other side too.
    Another reuse for the pile of junk plastic frames I got.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,901

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    The South seemd to have 13 3/4" as the standard. The North has 14" as the standard. Thre is only a 1/8" each side if you put one on top of the other. You can buy 8 frame equipment from Western Bee Supply at whatever size you like. 13 7/8" would split the difference...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Aiken, South carolina, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the reply, I guess the small size difference isn't enough to affect what bottom bored, inner cover, telescoping top or things like robbing screen's and such I can use?

    Wanted to thank you Mike for the info I gleaned from your book! Thanks to you I can see the wisdom of 8 frame equipment and all the same frame depth, though coming from top bar hives helped with that too! Though I'm not sold on mediums... to many extra boxes and frames to store, build and or purchase! Lol!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,136

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    I build my 8 frame boxes at 13-3/4. However the Mann-Lake queen excluders are 14. That means the queen excluder overhangs by 1/8" on each side. This hasn't been a huge problem, mostly an annoyance. I suggest you decide on the queen excluder you want and then go with that size box.

    I also use Ceracel hive top feeders. The 8 frame Ceracel hive top feeder splits the difference at 13-7/8.
    Zone 6B

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,125

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Welcome to Bee Source. I use 8 frame equipment and build my own (everything except frames) using the 13 3/4" measurement. I have several purchased boxes that are 14" wide that overhang by 1/8" on each side but that is a minor issue that doesn't bother me.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    I do buy the deep brood boxes from Mann Lake, because when they go on sale - those boxes are less expensive than making my own. IDK how they can make a brood box for $14 or $15, but I certainly can't beat that price.

    The dimensions are screwed up, lots of space. IDK why they don't know how to make 8 frame equipment to the correct dimension.

    But I can't argue with the price (when they go on sale).

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,812

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Here are pictures of a half plastic frame follower board for a wide Mann Lake 8 frame brood chamber. I cut them on my table saw with a Freud Diablo 90 tooth carbide blade. We usually turn the side with the shoulders remaining to the wall of the hive so that the bees can hang out there and can patrol there for SHB. In the honey supers once we have drawn comb we add Stoller frame spacers. Eight frames fit these wide supers perfectly using a sawn off nine to a ten frame box Stoller frame spacer. Or space with a manual frame spacer. We also wide space some seven to a box in the honey supers.





    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Masterblaster View Post
    Thanks for the reply, I guess the small size difference isn't enough to affect what bottom bored, inner cover, telescoping top or things like robbing screen's and such I can use?

    Wanted to thank you Mike for the info I gleaned from your book! Thanks to you I can see the wisdom of 8 frame equipment and all the same frame depth, though coming from top bar hives helped with that too! Though I'm not sold on mediums... to many extra boxes and frames to store, build and or purchase! Lol!
    buy the covers from the place with the 14 inch box a bit too big is better than a bit too small for the lid. Just my opinion

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    buy the covers from the place with the 14 inch box a bit too big is better than a bit too small for the lid. Just my opinion
    I agree, I have some 13 3/4 covers from Dadant that do not fit my Mann lake boxes.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    633

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganMike View Post
    I agree, I have some 13 3/4 covers from Dadant that do not fit my Mann lake boxes.
    I have also made the same "poor decision" so the advice was from my frustration. Snug fit also makes it hard to break loose as the tool prys out, not up if it is snug. So yes get the covers from the place with the biggest hive boxes then buy the boxes you like or the price point. I also now just make the migratory type from boards and a 1x2 on the ends. a bit bigger to allow for odd sizes.
    GG

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,901

    Default Re: 8 frame equipment

    You can always build your own to 13 7/8" and it will only be 1/16" on each side difference either way.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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