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Discussion Starter #1
Measuring twice to cut only once. Can’t find a solid answer searching for this.

What should the space between the bottom frame bar and the floor be? How critical is this on a horizontal hive, considering the entrance does not span the entire length of the hive?

On my vertical hives this space is around 12mm (half inch) but a new bottom board I’ve got has a space of 25mm (1 inch) and apparently some have them at 32mm.

Thanks.
 

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What should the space between the bottom frame bar and the floor be?
In my experience this depends upon the depth of the frame - and of course how crowded the hive becomes. With 8.5 inch frames, I find that rogue comb is sometimes drawn beneath bottom bars if the gap is very much more than one inch - but only whenever the colony runs out of comb space.

When frames are deeper than (say) 11 or 12 inches, then the space beneath the bottom bar isn't usually much of an issue - two inches or so is fine - again, providing the colony doesn't run out of comb space.

Whenever I want to install 8.5 inch frames in a hive designed to take 11 inch frames, then I insert a slatted rack to reduce the excess bottom space which is then generated.

A much better idea - which is what I'm currently doing - is to make Long Hives with a detachable floor - so that a suitable shim can be inserted to increase the depth should standard-depth frames ever be replaced with deeper frames. So by doing this, the bottom space can be dynamically adjusted if required. :)

'best
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks LJ. The common full depth frames we use here are 232mm deep, 9 1/8 inches.

I think if I aim at 20mm, 3/4inch bottom space I should be safe then. I like the idea of a detachable floor even if is unlikely that I’ll be using different size frames.
 

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I’d have thought that the height between the bottom of the frame and the bottom of the box would be one bee space, 8mm, plus the shim height on the bottom board, which dictates the entrance height, would be the required height.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The height of that shim on vertical hive bottom boards is not standard and varies by manufacturer. That makes the overall bottom space quite variable. Some of the bottom boards have a ~20mm shim all round and the entrance is notched to 10mm on one side. I guess that a slightly more space will protect the bottom of the brood frames from any cold drought...

Also, some hive boxes allow for the bee space to be on top, others at the bottom. You can’t mix those as you either end up with twice the bee space or none at all.
 

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If you disregard the so-called standards (bee space, frame size, and similarly artificial things deemed "required"), things work out just as well.

DSCN2476.jpg

Horizontal hives are remarkably forgiving and show how made-up and irrelevant are the "standards".
 

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The height of that shim on vertical hive bottom boards is not standard and varies by manufacturer. That makes the overall bottom space quite variable. Some of the bottom boards have a ~20mm shim all round and the entrance is notched to 10mm on one side. I guess that a slightly more space will protect the bottom of the brood frames from any cold drought...

Also, some hive boxes allow for the bee space to be on top, others at the bottom. You can’t mix those as you either end up with twice the bee space or none at all.
I’ve only seen, and please excuse my imperialism, 3/8” and 3/4” entrances. Not sure why the difference, maybe tall bees. :)
Yeah, everything’s standard but not standard, a couple of mm here, a couple of mm there all adds up. The bees will add ‘stepping stones’ on the bottom board to access the frames. It’s curious that they don’t build brace comb like they do between boxes though.
 

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The bees will add ‘stepping stones’ on the bottom board to access the frames. It’s curious that they don’t build brace comb like they do between boxes though.
I've always assumed they climb up the walls to gain access to the frames - but I've never had an opportunity to check that. Perhaps someone with an observation hive could throw some light on this ?
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I also was curious about the stepping stones. Does skeggley mean physical wax stepping stones, or bees use each other as stepping stones?

I also have slatted racks and the space under the slats is around 40mm - not a spec of wax anywhere on the racks.
 

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I also have slatted racks and the space under the slats is around 40mm - not a spec of wax anywhere on the racks.
Sorry to pop your bubbles...I have many slatted racks with big ladder combs. Dry drone cells. If I built more slatted racks I would include ladders.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting Frank, I don't believe that is the norm. I wonder if they were running out of space above the rack. At least it is drone comb - not a bunch of queen cells :)
 
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