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I've heard that once you have comb built up, that you can decrease a 10 frame hive by one frame without violating bee space. The advantages would be, ease of removing frames, thicker supers (more honey), slightly less total hive body wt.



I'm wondering if one would reduce just the supers by one frame, or both supers and deep. Wouldn't it be like a jigsaw for the nurse bees/workers/cluster, if the deep was 10 frame and supers were 9 frame?
 

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If you run 9 frames in the broodnest, don't space them evenly across the hive body...as you would in a honey super. The bees will build out the top and bottom of the comb and it will become drone. Then, the problems with removing the first comb are still the same.

Instead, have wider space at the side walls of the body, and have the 9 combs pushed almost together toward the middle. Then the outside comb can be pushed toward the side wall a bit and the next comb can be removed easily.
 

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I tried nine frames in the deep brood nest for a while and went back to 10. Bees don't need the extra depth for brood cells and the extra space in the brood nest just gets more room for burr comb or drone cells. Crowding the nine together in the middle as Michael said is would be good solution to that if you do go with nine. I like having the extra comb in the brood nest. I have nine frames in the supers and as far as the frames not being aligned top to bottom I don't think the bees have a problem with that.
 

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One of the reasons for the even spacing of combs is when you start extracting the honey. The frames of honey are thicker and easier to extract than the thiner one in a 10 frames/box
I have seen and worked with a lot of the 9 frames per hive body and brood chambers and it's a lot easier than the 10 frames/ super and or brood chamber.
You can also save 10% of your investment by pulling out one frame of drawn comb/box and adding it to another box.
Your experience, with time , will help you with making a decision.

Ernie
 

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Normal comb width for honey storage combs can be 1 1/2 inches or more. Bees like big thick combs to store honey in.

You can also get away with 8 frames in your honey supers. The bees will draw out the combs thicker.

But running 8 frames or 9 in a honey super, you want drawn comb. If you put in 8 or 9 frames of foundation in a honey super, you are likely to end up with messed up combs.
 

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It's harder for the bees to keep the brood warm in the winter. Better in Mexico or south america to keep cool. Depends on where you live.
 

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Not if you place the foundation in the 3-5-7 frame positions.

In the honey supers? That is a good way to end up with the bees just drawing out the 2-4-6-8 frames thicker, and not drawing out the foundation. (And they will still sometimes mess up the combs.) Staggering foundation between frames of capped honey will get the foundation drawn out instead of the combs drawn fatter beside the foundation...but you want to extract capped honey, not leave it in as a comb guide.
 

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We run 9 frames in brood nests and do as MB says by pushing them together in the middle and leaving the space on the sides. The reason we do this is that we go through hives pretty quick and it is much easier to manipulate frames if you have that space in there. It enables you to remove the first frames with enough space that you won't roll the queen or hurt any bees. If you have ten frames you have to be extra careful in removing the first frame. So basically it's to save time and reduces the chance of damaging a queen.

We run 9 frames in honey supers because the bees pull out those to fill with honey. These we space evenly in the box.
 

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If you are thinking of moving your brood supers frequently and ten frames are too much, go for medium brood supers or an eight frame like ladies and older gentlemen use. No offense intended to the ladies who can pick up a ten frame deep of brood. Winter clustering and reduced brood capacity are the disadvantages. Brood is much lighter than honey.
 

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I run 9 in brood chambers and supers. All work like a charm. Don't like to run 10 in brood chambers because of how tight it is when removing frames/checking for swarm cells. Too easy to roll/kill the queen when placing frame back in box.
 

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Normal comb width for honey storage combs can be 1 1/2 inches or more. Bees like big thick combs to store honey in.
They like wide combs for drones, too. So if you have 9 brood combs spaced evenly in the hive body...like honey combs in a super...you get drone comb at the top and bottom of the frame. At that point, removing the first frame is almost as tight as with 10.
 

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In my experience it's uneven combs that roll bees. When I tried 9 frames in ten frame box I got very uneven comb which rolled MORE bees, not less.
I agree Michael, and that was my point. Pushing the 9 combs a bit toward the center, leaving more space at the side walls, eliminates that uneveness. The outside of the outside combs are built out a bit...but that doesn't really matter. They don't usually use that surface for brood rearing, and if the comb is widened and filled with honey then good enough.
 

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We use 9 in the brood deeps (actually 8 plus a division feeder) and 8 in the medium supers, always drawing comb initially with 10 in the boxes (9 and a division feeder with the deeps). We found no problems wintering in Wisconsin with this configuration in the brood boxes. We find the 9 frames easier to manipulate at a fast pace, with the end frame having room to move, and little chance of the queen being there. 8 frames draw out thicker for honey and go through the uncapper better, leaving less for hand uncapping before going into the extractor.
Sheri
 
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