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I've been converting to narrower frames with the intent of adding an 11th frame per brood box. I'm planning to make the conversion late winter/early spring when the combs are mostly empty. Is that a good time?
Can I just push the existing frames together and add the 11th frame? When doing so I anticipate some of the less than perfectly drawn comb will contact each other in places and eliminate the bee space. Will this screw things up or will the bees remold these areas and recreate a beespace for themselves?
 

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what is your technique for shaving frames?
i'm interested but inexperianced in this so i'll stick to being a question and not an answer guy
 

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Your comb is relatively new, so running a hot uncapping knife over the frame is an option and will make it straight. If you want to do it that way then you can use my knife which is on my "to buy" list. But maybe you don't need it because somebody here already knows the bees will take care of it.
 

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Stangardener,
I'll let someone else address that question. I've been making my own frames so simply started making them narrower.

Wade,
Thanks for the offer. That sounds like a good plan, but I'll wait for other replies and hope that that won't be necessary.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Comb can be pretty uneven. It's usually more even in the brood nest. If it's empty and has no bees, the uncapping knife would work. But yes, you can just push straight brood comb together and they will sort it out if there are some places that are too close.

They won't have to make a beespace where there is brood comb. It's very consistent in depth and the beespace will still be there when you crowd them down to 11 frames.
 

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When Fall comes around the bees are going to fill all those brood frames with honey if the hive is healthy. If for any reason you have to lift those boxes you won't appreciate an extra seven pounts from frame 11.
 

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In theory, since each frame is 10% narrower, it has 10% less volume for honey storage. Multiply that by 11 and subtract an extra bee space and I'd predict the difference in weight of 11 honeyfilled narrow frames is the same as or very slightly less than 10 standard frames. I'll let someone with actual experience tell us if that's true.
 

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Part of that will depend on how you work your hives. With standard frames a ten frame Langstoth will have about one inch of open space. That is designed so you can even the space on each side when you are through working the hive, then next time you go in you have a little room to move the frames away from the adjacent ones and free them up. I usually try to move all the frames to the opposite side first thing, then pull each frame to the middle of the gap before I pull it out. This keeps me from squishing as many bees and queens during inspections or knocking the cappings off of the sealed honey. I am switching over to 8 frame hives and depending on the type of frame I use I can put 9 frames in a box. I only do that when I need them to draw out foundation for the reason given above. Once they have the inner seven frames of comb drawn I take out the extra frame and give myself working space. Once in a while I forget to take out the extra soon enough and I usually pay for it by breaking the first frame I have to pry out.
 

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>I wonder how one could ever get a frame out of the hive. I have trouble with 10.

In my experience the wider the spacing the more uneven the comb. The more uneven the comb the more bees get rolled when removing frames. I prefer 11 to 10 or 9.

>When Fall comes around the bees are going to fill all those brood frames with honey if the hive is healthy. If for any reason you have to lift those boxes you won't appreciate an extra seven pounts from frame 11.

I don't see any significant difference in weight. As mentioned you now have 11 skinnier frames instead of 10 fatter ones plus one more beespace.
 

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OK, I have a question? I am experimenting with a material that is as rigid as wood, Has the insulation properties of styrofoam, doesn't need painting, will not rot, is UV protected, not affected by insects and weighs less than wood. It comes in 1/2 thickness. Based on what I have read, and what I have observed in my own hives, there is around an 1" of space left in a standard hive. If the wall thickness is 1/2" instead of 3/4" would create enough room to put 11 frames in and not violate the bee space. 11 frames should yield an extra frame of brood.

If this material meets the test, the bees accept it, then I will start making the standard equipment for sale. This equipment in conjunction with PC or HSC should make the hive pretty much indestructable.

I look forward to your comments on the 1/2" material and the extra frame. I can also make the equipment in 3/4" and 1" thickness. The 1/2" thickness should create 11 standard frames in a standard box, this should be the most advantageous for deep brood boxes.

Thanks
TheSurveyor
 

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To increase the brood nest without changing the dimensions of the equipment. So you can still use standard size equipment.
 

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Does anyone know if 1/2" thick material will create enough space inside to hold 11 frames, while keeping the outside dimensions the same as standard langstroth hive equipment.
 

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10 frames to 11

What is the optimum bee space and brood comb thickness? I once made some frames with straight end bars and a .312 metal spacer on each end. this cut down my propolis buildup considerably which was my aim at the time. I'm sure some one has explored these measurments in detail. I just missed seeing the published results. Gary
 

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I thought that this was all worked out back in the 1800s.

If you squeeze more frames into the same space aren't you going to shorten the depth of the cells?

I have a few frames that are very thin. I don't know where they came from. The bees put honey in them but not brood.

Are you trying to work with only one box?
 

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I've been converting to narrower frames with the intent of adding an 11th frame per brood box. I'm planning to make the conversion late winter/early spring when the combs are mostly empty. Is that a good time?
Can I just push the existing frames together and add the 11th frame? When doing so I anticipate some of the less than perfectly drawn comb will contact each other in places and eliminate the bee space. Will this screw things up or will the bees remold these areas and recreate a beespace for themselves?
This question was already asked by Mrs. Langstroth and others. That's why we have the equipment that we have today.

I would expect the bees to rework the combs if you push them together to a point where they touch.

I like the quote that you have at the end. Here's another one. Why reinvent the wheel. Or maybe, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
 
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