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Discussion Starter #1
I have been pushing the 8 frames together in the center of the box. The problem is the bees have decided to build double comb on the outside. I knew there would be some burr, but boy did they fill it up.


They have two 8 frame mediums drawn and are starting on the third. The third box I put 9 frames in. I planned on tearing out the burr, but it had a lot of capped brood on it. I pulled one hand sized piece and wired it into a foundationless frame using hardware cloth. (Saw that here on beesource. Thanks!) Then put that in the center of the 9 frame top box.
Are there any drawbacks to using 9 frames in an 8 frame box? I there a good reason to tear apart bottom brood box to remove the burr comb?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
In the second pic, on the left part of the frame is the piece of comb that I removed and rewired into a FF.
 

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There are draw backs. You need to be able to see each and every frame and comb to manage properly. If you don't remove that burr in the bottom boxes you won't be able to pull that frame and even if you did it would make a mess and cause problems. Using 9 frames will work for a little while till the girls really start to glue things shut. Then it's going to be a real headache. The best solution i've found so far is to use a follower board. 3/4 inch piece of PLY with a cleat at the top that spans from one side to the other with the height of the rabet. This will allow only 3/4 inch in the box left over with you being able to center up the frames with no problems and move them when you need to.
 

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When they fit, properly, nine-frames in an eight-frame box works very well. If there is too much extra space, so that an additional frame will fit comfortably, then it is better to use that ninth frame instead of only eight frames.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I think i will stick with the 9 frames for now. From the look of thing they are about to complete their first brood cycle. I will give them until next week then go back in armed with foundationless frames and rubber bands/wire and try and clean up.
Last winter when we decided to start building boxes, we built them a bit wider than commercially available 8 frame supers. I don't remember my reasoning now, but I know we thought it was a good idea when we did it.
With 9 frames in I have exactly 3/8" of extra room.
I think i may have accidentally built 9 frame boxes:)
 

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There are draw backs. You need to be able to see each and every frame and comb to manage properly. If you don't remove that burr in the bottom boxes you won't be able to pull that frame and even if you did it would make a mess and cause problems. Using 9 frames will work for a little while till the girls really start to glue things shut. Then it's going to be a real headache. The best solution i've found so far is to use a follower board. 3/4 inch piece of PLY with a cleat at the top that spans from one side to the other with the height of the rabet. This will allow only 3/4 inch in the box left over with you being able to center up the frames with no problems and move them when you need to.
Does this not make a great place for small hive beetle to hide?
 

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Does this not make a great place for small hive beetle to hide?
Nope, not at all. See the PLY is 3/4 thick and shoves up right against the sidewall of the hive. On top of it the Cleat runs the entire length of the hive from front to back as well and is only 3/4 thick. It takes up half of the empty area that the bees would turn into a mess with burr comb. As long as the follower board is tight against the sidewall the SHB can't get behind it or around it.
 

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When they fit, properly, nine-frames in an eight-frame box works very well. If there is too much extra space, so that an additional frame will fit comfortably, then it is better to use that ninth frame instead of only eight frames.
+1

If there is enough room to fit an additional frame that is way too much extra space, I would use the extra frame too.
 

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Nine frames will soon become impossible to remove the first one. I use eight and a follower board.
 

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Nine frames will soon become impossible to remove the first one. I use eight and a follower board.
I am not sure I understand the reasoning behind these statements. If the super is sized to accommodate nine frames comfortably - similarly to how ten frames fit in a typical 10-frame super, why would it be any different in a slightly wider than usual 8-frame super? I have an assortment of 8-frame supers, their inner dimensions usually vary between 12-1/4" wide for the narrowest ones and 12-1/2" wide for the widest ones. A difference of 1/4".

My frames also vary in width, most are 1-1/4" wide, but I still have some that are more traditionally 1-3/8" wide. For at least a decade now, I've been squeezing as many frames into these "8-frame" supers as will comfortably fit. Most often there is, bee space between the hive walls and the outer comb surfaces. Sometimes, though rarely, the combs are tightly squeezed into a super. Except for the outermost comb surfaces in these supers to be almost inaccessible to the bees, I've had no other issues. Yes, it was probably silly to squeeze that extra frame in there so tightly, but they still come out as easily as they went in (which admittedly may not have been so easy). This usually happens if I am mixing frames of different thicknesses (1-3/8" and 1-1/4") together in the same super and the total width of frames is off for that super, but I don't have enough frames of the right thicknesses to make adjustments, right then.
 

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>I am not sure I understand the reasoning behind these statements.

Beekeeping is regional. This photo shows a typical brood chamber at some of my sites. And this is only a brace comb photo, not a propolis photo. I will take one of those. If I squeeze frames into a box wall to wall, and it gets combed like this, the frames and box will break before I get the frames out. A follower board helps, overly tight frame spacing hinders.

 

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I am not sure I understand the reasoning behind these statements. If the super is sized to accommodate nine frames comfortably - similarly to how ten frames fit in a typical 10-frame super, why would it be any different in a slightly wider than usual 8-frame super? I have an assortment of 8-frame supers, their inner dimensions usually vary between 12-1/4" wide for the narrowest ones and 12-1/2" wide for the widest ones. A difference of 1/4".

My frames also vary in width, most are 1-1/4" wide, but I still have some that are more traditionally 1-3/8" wide. For at least a decade now, I've been squeezing as many frames into these "8-frame" supers as will comfortably fit. Most often there is, bee space between the hive walls and the outer comb surfaces. Sometimes, though rarely, the combs are tightly squeezed into a super. Except for the outermost comb surfaces in these supers to be almost inaccessible to the bees, I've had no other issues. Yes, it was probably silly to squeeze that extra frame in there so tightly, but they still come out as easily as they went in (which admittedly may not have been so easy). This usually happens if I am mixing frames of different thicknesses (1-3/8" and 1-1/4") together in the same super and the total width of frames is off for that super, but I don't have enough frames of the right thicknesses to make adjustments, right then.
You are in a dry climate.

I put 9 frames in my Mann Lake box fit in pretty easy. Then after being in the humidity of outside it became harder to get out. I had to slip the hook in of the hive tool in and lift straight up. This wouldn't be possible with comb in there. I only did it to help them stay straight since they were starting on the opposite end of the box. Since then I pulled it out. I can't imagine trying to pull that frame out once things were built up. I also have pictures of how much extra room I have in my 8 frames on one of these threads, including measuring tape.
 

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Nope, not at all. See the PLY is 3/4 thick and shoves up right against the sidewall of the hive. On top of it the Cleat runs the entire length of the hive from front to back as well and is only 3/4 thick. It takes up half of the empty area that the bees would turn into a mess with burr comb. As long as the follower board is tight against the sidewall the SHB can't get behind it or around it.
Maybe I'm not seeing this properly.

I just don't see how a board will fit in that tightly against the wall. Wood is never straight so there will easily be cracks and crevices between the board and the wall. But as I said, I may be missing something.
 

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Okay odfrank, I understand what you mean. I've kept bees in locations where they regularly brace-comb all the top bars together like in your photo - it can be annoying. Every once in awhile I get a super that's partially like that, even here - but it is fairly rare (thank goodness). And I'm very blessed that large amounts of tough propolis are also rare in my location.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the replies and dicussion. I think i need to measure exactly how much extra room there is after 9 frames are put in. I think after frames are pushed together and centered I have. 1/4" on either side, or 1/2" total. I don't have experience with any commercial boxes but my frames were from Brushy mountain.
I will measure, take some pics.
 

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That might be enough room to work with... but it will still be VERY tight once they start doing their thing in there.
Once they get most of the fresh foundation worked, I rotate drawn comb to the outside positions. At that point, I pull the 9th frame too. When it's drawn comb facing the outer wall, I don't seem to have an issue with brace or wacky comb.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I will keep that in mind.
I have another swarm started, theyve had cooler temps in their first week and don't seem to be bringing in as much pollen. A little slower starting.
Hive #1has two mediums almost full, the third was added last week. Next inspection I will probably need to rearrange things and clean up the mess in the bottom box.
They should have new bees (saw pupae last week) I wanted to let them get through the first brood cycle before I yank burr and make a mess.
I WAS going to do all this last week when we had them open but saw all the bees I would probably kill and chickened out.
This next inspection I may wire some of the burr into foundationless frames and give them to the new hive to get started.

Im going to make a couple follower boards to have handy. I have two hives, I might try 9 frames in one and a follower in the other.
 

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The Mann Lake 8 frames I have been getting fit nine frames TIGHT. Too tight for continued nine frame use. The factory made frames I helped someone with who had spaced all nine frames, lost their top bars when I tried to get them out.
 
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