Langstroth 8-Frame space question
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  1. #1
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    Jun 2019
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    Default Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Thanks for looking over my question. Also I am aware there is an "Equipment / Hardware" section, but it doesn't have the same viewership, so I thought I'd sneak it on here.

    I have an 8-Frame Lanstroth which I have not used as of yet, however my first Nuc arrives in a couple of weeks. I was hoping somebody can tell me if my 8-Frame body looks correct? (See images).

    My concern is there seems to be enough room to add a ninth frame, and too much room without it.

    I am new, so I'm hoping this is just the way the 8-Frames are designed. I did recently watch a video where the beekeeper made several references about the 8-Frames being of a wrong size, but he did not get specific.


    Thanks,
    b1rd
    Attached Images Attached Images
    First Year Backyard Hobbyist-
    (San Diego Ca.- Zone 10a)

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Fargo, North Dakota
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Normal scene with eight (8) frames. Make sure the two (2) sides each share one-half () of the extra space, with all frames touching.

  4. #3
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    Jun 2019
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Thanks.
    First Year Backyard Hobbyist-
    (San Diego Ca.- Zone 10a)

  5. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    Niagara Co., NY, USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Mann Lake 8 frame boxes are oddballs.

  6. #5
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    The math says an 8 frame box should be 13-1/2" wide, not 13-3/4". But that is the standard.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    6,958

    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    After a year or two nine frames become unmanageable. In the brood chamber I fill the gap with a follower board and in the suppers I space out 8 or seven frames equally after they are drawn out. My no SHB hiding space 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.

  8. #7
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    Dec 2019
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    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Since all my equipment is 8f med this topic is particularly interesting for me... If I am using new frames, I just normally jam them together in the middle, so the frame sides ensure I have the proper spacing between, and there is a bit more space between the outside frames and the sides of the boxes. I've done this because when I try to space them out the way odframe mentioned, my bees tend to build excessive cross comb between frames, and that makes it harder to manage them later on. After frames get drawn or built out (foundation-less or not) the bees tend to build the comb walls out enough to make them a bit "functionally" wider. Because of that, later in the season you will find that there is less room in the box, and you can space them out a bit more without having too much space to worry about cross-comb.
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

  9. #8
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    Sep 2014
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    John Day River, OR
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    A 14 inch box will hold 7 frames and a gallon feeder just about perfectly.

  10. #9
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by b1rd View Post
    I am aware there is an "Equipment / Hardware" section, but it doesn't have the same viewership, so I thought I'd sneak it on here.
    moderator note:

    while true that at any given point in time there are more people 'viewing' the main 'bee forum', it doesn't mean that viewership is greater there or that posting there instead of one of the more appropriate subforums increases the chances your thread will be viewed.

    rather than monitoring particular subforums, most users here will look at 'new posts' or 'what's new' and see new postings from all of the subforums, so you will get the same viewership regardless.

    this particular question is more relevant to folks just starting out with bees who may be spending time perusing through the threads in the 101 subforum, and that's why it was moved here.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    San Diego, CA- USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    moderator note:
    ....this particular question is more relevant to folks just starting out with bees who may be spending time perusing through the threads in the 101 subforum, and that's why it was moved here.
    Ok, thanks.

    I almost put another line of text in there for any Mods to move it if needed, and I'll pay closer attention the applicable sub-forums for future questions.


    Regards,
    b1rd

    PS- And thanks to everybody else for the other replies as well. Being new, I do read through them and evaluate each suggestion, so thanks for taking the time.
    First Year Backyard Hobbyist-
    (San Diego Ca.- Zone 10a)

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    thanks b1rd.

    that is an awkward amount of extra space alright. jamming the 9 frames in there will make it difficult to remove the first one once they are built out.

    i like odfrank's solution(s). a follower board made that way should be easy to remove and allow you separate the brood frames for safe removal. you'll like being able to space them out like that in the honey supers which results in easier uncapping come extraction time.

    good luck with the nuc and we're looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.

  13. #12
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    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by b1rd View Post
    Thanks for looking over my question. Also I am aware there is an "Equipment / Hardware" section, but it doesn't have the same viewership, so I thought I'd sneak it on here.

    I have an 8-Frame Lanstroth which I have not used as of yet, however my first Nuc arrives in a couple of weeks. I was hoping somebody can tell me if my 8-Frame body looks correct? (See images).

    My concern is there seems to be enough room to add a ninth frame, and too much room without it.

    I am new, so I'm hoping this is just the way the 8-Frames are designed. I did recently watch a video where the beekeeper made several references about the 8-Frames being of a wrong size, but he did not get specific.


    Thanks,
    b1rd
    so use 9 frames?? would that be a show stopper for you? Could also put 3/8 or 1/2 inch plywood on each side. or the follower already suggested.
    GG

  14. #13
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    Mar 2013
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    Seattle WA
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    1,247

    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    I would recommend using the follower board recommended above. If there is too much space on the sides, the bees build out the comb farther than the frame guide. Once the wax goes beyond that, the only place you will be able to use that frame will always be on the end. You will not be able to rotate it inward without removing some of the wax. I use mostly 8 frame boxes and the ones from Mann Lake are way too big. I screw the follower boards in and make them permanent.

  15. #14
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    Jun 2019
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    so use 9 frames?? GG
    I was wondering about that actually, and even pondered on posting a follow-up question about doing it. I did see that there looks to still be enough room between the frames for the bees with all nine frames inserted. However, I'm also thinking that having some extra room to work with the frames might be easier in the beginning. I'm guessing I might have to deal with a little more maintenance working with the extra space, so we'll see.

    Like every new beekeeper, at first there's going to be the fear of harming the queen during every inspection, so I'm wondering if I leave a tad more room, then perhaps that might save a bee or two from any rolling mishaps. And I am pondering odfrank's suggestion too.

    b1rd
    First Year Backyard Hobbyist-
    (San Diego Ca.- Zone 10a)

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by b1rd View Post
    I was wondering about that actually, and even pondered on posting a follow-up question about doing it. I did see that there looks to still be enough room between the frames for the bees with all nine frames inserted. However, I'm also thinking that having some extra room to work with the frames might be easier in the beginning. I'm guessing I might have to deal with a little more maintenance working with the extra space, so we'll see.

    Like every new beekeeper, at first there's going to be the fear of harming the queen during every inspection, so I'm wondering if I leave a tad more room, then perhaps that might save a bee or two from any rolling mishaps. And I am pondering odfrank's suggestion too.

    b1rd
    It will not work like you think, every Air gap between the frame ends will get packed with propolis. In time every box gets tight, I make it a practice to scrape this as needed while inspecting. As well if you make it 8, there will be fat and skinny spots, if you keep the exact placement then the combs fit together. I can assure you there will be times you want to or, need to move combs around, then you get a fat to fat and smash bees and the skinny to skinny gets build out, and the old fit is also gone. Also with a bit of space the bees build bridge comb which will drag on the adjacent comb and smash bees and brood I would make a follower board, use 8 frames, squeeze them a bit to one side each time and remove the follower first as a starting point. Wood to wood on the end bars will result in the best frame build out. In time you will understand, bee space is a thing to grasp or you will need to do some fixing here and there of comb. With close comb , mathematically the bees and cover more cells for the same bees count so in the brood nest keep them tight, wood to wood. For queen rolling resist pulling a center frame. Start at an edge then move the frame out away from the next one , then lift it.

    have fun
    GG

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Fargo, North Dakota
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    291

    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Fight the urge to use nine (9) frames in an eight (8) frame box. It might seem appropriate for about six (6) weeks, and then the reality of added propolis, drawn comb, and burr comb will cause further thought. In a relatively short period of time, the frames will not all be touching and that “extra space” seems to disappear. Removing that extra frame during inspections becomes more than a chore, it can be disruptive.

    I run eight (8) frame boxes because of lifting/weight concerns, but seldom do I have to remove burr comb that is affixed to the interior side walls, and when necessary, it is easily done. Frame removal during inspections is also easily accomplished. The only downside arises when the beekeeper inadvertently does not center the frames; if all extra space is on one (1) side of the box, they will create wonky burr comb requiring beekeeper repairs.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by b1rd View Post
    Thanks for looking over my question. Also I am aware there is an "Equipment / Hardware" section, but it doesn't have the same viewership, so I thought I'd sneak it on here.

    I have an 8-Frame Lanstroth which I have not used as of yet, however my first Nuc arrives in a couple of weeks. I was hoping somebody can tell me if my 8-Frame body looks correct? (See images).

    My concern is there seems to be enough room to add a ninth frame, and too much room without it.

    I am new, so I'm hoping this is just the way the 8-Frames are designed. I did recently watch a video where the beekeeper made several references about the 8-Frames being of a wrong size, but he did not get specific.


    Thanks,
    b1rd
    It looks like your box is about 1/2" too wide. The internal (ID) size of an 8-frame box should be 12" . 8 frames @ 1-3/8" totals 11", that will leave you with 1/2" on each side if frames are tight. After some time and some propolis that 1/2" shrinks and becomes about right. Is the bottom board, other boxes, and inner cover all this wide?

  19. #18
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    Jun 2019
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    San Diego, CA- USA
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    69

    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    Quote Originally Posted by unstunghero View Post
    ...Is the bottom board, other boxes, and inner cover all this wide?
    Yes, they are all the same size. The company is called "Hoover Hives," which seemed to get decent reviews.
    https://beekeepclub.com/hoover-hives...e-hive-review/
    First Year Backyard Hobbyist-
    (San Diego Ca.- Zone 10a)

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
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    272

    Default

    When the box and frames are inside and dry you can fit 9 in. When you put them on a hive for a few weeks they expand and you can't get the frames out. However, if you use 1.25" frames 9 fit beautifully in the brood chamber. The frames get spaced out anyway in the supers so 7 frames work well there once they are already drawn. Somewhere along the line when they changed to 8 frame equipment they left too much space. Some companies seem to be making narrower 8 frame boxes now. A removeable follower board in brood chamber is another good option. Then when you use that box as a super you can loose the extra wood and the bees will replace it with honey. And if you get the bee space right it can be a sinch to remove the follower board first to make way for inspecting the first frame without rolling bees. You can also use it to reduce the number of frames available to the queen for a number of reasons.... Enjoy!

  21. #20
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    Aug 2010
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    Lake County Illinois
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    313

    Default Re: Langstroth 8-Frame space question

    I use the Mann Lake 8 frame boxes. I leave the gap at the end, I usually get some pretty good comb honey!

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