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Hi all,

I'm a first year beek. I am also a longtime woodworker, so I decided to make several boxes myself. After using a commercial box or two as a guide and studying all the diagrams/plans for making hive components, I've got several pieces ready to go.

Question is this: why is there almost enough space for an 11th frame in these boxes? An 11th won't fit, but there is almost that must open space in the super if I shove all frames together to one side. Normal?

On a related note, I've just about decided to go with 9-frame spacers in the honey supers, but I was thinking of sticking with 10 frames in the hive bodies. Any comments on this decision?

Thanks,
shifty
 

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Yes that space is normal, it helps in getting the frames out. Nothing wrong with using 9 frames in a super BUT they MUST be drawn comb. If you put 9 frames of foundation in you will violate bee space big time and that means a big mess so I would forgo the spacers and just space by hand since you are going to have to get the comb drawn with 10 frames.
 

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I another year you will realize why that space is there. I have to push to get frames back into all of my hives. I suppose I should keep cleaning them, but that would be a huge amount of work and I suspect that by the next time I was in the hive the frames would be right back to the way they were before cleaning.

By the way, to keep this from happening as fast and to keep cross comb to a minimum, push your 10 frames tight together and kind of center them in the box. In a year you won't have to keep doing this because you will have to push to force the last frame in.
 

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The extra space is there to give you room to work the frames out one at a time so you dont roll the queen and a bunch of bees when pulling the first frame, make it easier the get them out. IMO the 9 frame spacers are more of a pain then a help, espcially when the bees start to proplize around them. As explained if you want to run 9 frames in supers, but are using foundation, start with 10, when they draw them out then pull one and space them out based on 9 frames. Good luck
 

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Shifty, I am also first year beek. I bought used equipment from long time beek. The hive body deeps are 10 frame equipment but he ran 9 frame spacers in them. I put in 9 frames of undrawn foundation and the bees seemed to draw it out just fine. Nine frames of bees doing well.
The honey supers are 6 5/8 deep set up with 9 frame spacers also and I was going to just run 9 frames of undrawn foundation in them also, but may change my mind about that after reading more posts here from experienced beeks. I also have read opinions here about queen excluder may inhibit bees from drawning comb on foundation in honey supers. You can check for posts on that. Have fun & good luck!
 

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Wow! You guys are fast. Thanks for the input. That certainly puts my mind at ease. I thought I'd have to put in some kind of filler board at first.

So maybe if I have 9-frame spacers in honey supers, I ought to have some supers without spacers to help them draw comb from bare foundation first? Then I could use frames with drawn comb in the 9 frame supers next year. I guess I'm just anticipating the honey so much this first year that I'm trying to optimize their working conditions. Overthinking probably (as usual).

It's amazing how much I'm thinking about these hives. I've dreamed about them, I've read and read and read, I've found myself thinking about the bees when I should be driving or working or eating or or or...

Thanks again.
 

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When Langstroth made his first moveable frame hive lumber dimensions were different. Nominal 1" lumber was 7/8"+ and there wasn't as much room on the sides when the frames were placed in the hive body. I use 9 frames and two followers in my brood nests. They will often have all 9 frames filled with brood.
 

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don't worry about the obsessing Shifty, A lot of us likely went through it. Just remember to relax and enjoy the experience. and as always....
 

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I run 8-10 hives each year. All my comb supers start with 9 frames of foundation. I've had ZERO troubles that you guys describe. As a matter of fact, it makes the frames that I use for extracting easier to de-cap. I also run 9 frames in all my brood chambers. Have never had any troubles with them except for a little propolis. That's not enough to worry about though. 9 frame brood chambers make it easier to get frames in and out and less worry about rolling the queen and killing her.
 

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When Langstroth made his first moveable frame hive lumber dimensions were different. Nominal 1" lumber was 7/8"+ and there wasn't as much room on the sides when the frames were placed in the hive body. I use 9 frames and two followers in my brood nests. They will often have all 9 frames filled with brood.
that makes me feel better i just bout some lumber from the store and it wasnt planed so it was more like 7/8. The frames fit nicely and very little extra space. Hope it wont be an issue
 

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Well Shifty welcome to your new adiction hrummf I mean "Hobby" it only gets worst or better how you look at it.
 

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I run 8-10 hives each year. All my comb supers start with 9 frames of foundation. I've had ZERO troubles that you guys describe. As a matter of fact, it makes the frames that I use for extracting easier to de-cap. I also run 9 frames in all my brood chambers. Have never had any troubles with them except for a little propolis. That's not enough to worry about though. 9 frame brood chambers make it easier to get frames in and out and less worry about rolling the queen and killing her.
Hi River, not far from ya,

I too have had no trouble getting them to draw 9 frames of Plasticell foundation. I run 9 frames and a division board feeder in all my brood boxes, I always pull the feeder first (pretty easy) then the 9 frames are a piece of cake. That way I always have a quick easy way to feed in an emergency situation.Doesn't matter how much extra room you give them past bee space they just muck it up.
 
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