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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting ready to build 5 new hives, how deep do you cut the frame rest.

The standard is 3/8" x 5/8" by most plans that I've seen. I've had people tell me to cut them 3/4" deep in order to have more space on top of the frames... which is better?? I know if you do all the same throughout your hive it pretty much works out, but if you mix a 5/8 with a 3/4 then the beespace is not correct and things tend to get glued together.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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If you drop the frame to make more room the bottom bar on the super above also comes down giving the same spacing. stay standard or you end up with burr comb.
 

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Getting ready to build 5 new hives, how deep do you cut the frame rest.

The standard is 3/8" x 5/8" by most plans that I've seen. I've had people tell me to cut them 3/4" deep in order to have more space on top of the frames... which is better?? I know if you do all the same throughout your hive it pretty much works out, but if you mix a 5/8 with a 3/4 then the beespace is not correct and things tend to get glued together.

Thanks,
Andy
I think 5/8 is the standard. If you put a 3/4 deep frame rest box on top of a 5/8, you reduce the bee space between the frames on the top and the top of the frames on the bottom.

If you do the opposite, then you increase bee space. Normally your box depth should provide a bit of bee space UNDER the frames, and the frame rest should provide a bit of space ABOVE the frames. I am too lazy to walk downstairs to get the dimensions, but you can drop a frame into a box, then put a straight edge on the box ends and measure what those are. :)
 

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The correct depth is 3/4" which gives you a top bee space, proper for Langstroth equipment.

I have some equipment from Rossman which causes headaches when combined with other mfr.'s boxes because Rossmans cut a shallow frame rest, like 5/8". The eventual result is practically a bottom bee space hive, not what the Lang is supposed to be.

The shallow rabbet leaves very little bee space over the top bars, esp. after any buildup of propolis, and there is too much space below the frames, which the bees fill with burr comb and it makes a mess. I have resorted to cutting the bottom of the Rossman boxes to prevent this, somewhat, but the space above the frames is still too skimpy.

(Incidentally, their cypress hive bodies have been the worst IME, splitting and to start to rot within a few years, whereas pine equipment from other suppliers is fine. Maybe I've just had bad luck with them!)
 

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Either depth will work. Just make sure it matches the boxes you are currently using. Whatever you decide to go with, they should all be the same to maintain proper bee space.

If you cut them to 3/4", the frame bottom bar will reach all the way to the bottom edge of the box. If 5/8", there will be a slight gap between the bottom bar of the frame and the bottom edge of the box. Check the boxes you are using now and match them.
 

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when ya put the cover on there will be more than a beespace between the top bar and cover. lots of bur comb to deal with everytime you take the cover off.
 

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Besides all the variations from bee equipment manufacturer to manufacturer, there's the matter of personal preference. I prefer all my frames to be even with the top edges of each super. With all the bee space between the Top Bars of the super below and the Bottom Bars of the super above. This way my custom covers (like a migratory cover, but with a rim that creates a bee space) fit perfectly, and perform the function I designed them to do.

I also like to use what are called "old style" metal frame rests. See this link in Dadant's Catalog.


So I need to adjust how deep I cut my frame rests, so I can accommodate these elevating frame rests and still have my frames even with the top edges of my supers.

Edit: I like these metal frame rests, because they are a smaller point of contact for the frames, making them easier to lift out, and to slide about. I also like that the bees can access the area beneath the End Bar lugs/ears. Perhaps, if I am ever plagued by SHB, the bees may be able to pursue them, even in the area of the old style frame rests - at least that's my hope.
 

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hmm i used this set of plans for all mediums and ended up with the frames about flush on top. i havent measured what it is underneath.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/cut-list-for-the-eightframe-langstroth-hive.html

I hope that will work. even with a Bush style top entrance lid i am not sure if they need more space on the top box
pic.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v115/Socjake/IMG_0921_zpsefea7454.jpg?t=1393707761


edit: measured 1/4" under. so hopefully there is 1/8" on top to create enough space. my bottom board has a rim around it so there is plenty on the bottom. maybe i'll take a sander to the bottom of my frames for a smidge more to be sure
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies, I ended up going with the 3/4" deep frame rest... I decided to join the corners with a lap joint so, I ended up making a 3/8 x 3/4" rabbet around 3 sides of the short panels. This way I only had to set up the router table once to get it all done.
 

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We have always used Kelley equipment (and my grandpa did too, going back to about when Kelley started up), and the frame rest rabbet is either 5/8 or 7/8", depending on whether or not the box was designed to use a folded frame rest as described above. Currently they are only making the 5/8" frame rest rabbet, and I don't think it matters much.

Their boxes have the space divided between the top and bottom, with an extra 1/8" on deep boxes at the bottom -- which seems to encourage the bees to build burr comb between deeps in the spring -- and I have made all my boxes to match. 1/4" over the frames is plenty at the top, but I build a 1/8" rim on my inner covers because it's easier for me.

I prefer to have my frames recessed a bit from the bottom of the box but you can suit yourself. The bees don't care.

Make yours to match what you have, especially if you intend to buy frames from that supplier. There are enough small differences between the different suppliers to drive you crazy if you mix and match.
 

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Which is going to work best for you also depends on what kind of covers you use. Deeper 3/4 will be better if you use flat migratory covers. If you use inner covers with built in bee space then shallower will be better.

For nucs/mating nucs that you won't super this is the main thing. If your boxes are going to be stacked then just right is best of course, but if it ends up being too tight Anywhere it will give SHB a lot of hidind places. I would rather have burr comb given the choice.
 

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The only time I make it 3/4" is on my long Langstroths where I don't really plan to stack boxes on it. I make the rest 5/8" for compatability with other boxes. If you don't ever plan to use any boxes but your own, you can use 3/4" on all of them and you may like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks again, I make all my hive equipment except for the frames. My inner covers are flat (without rim), so I'm going with the idea that it will work. I like the experience and satisfaction of making my own gear. The bees usually let me know of thier displeasure in my mistakes or bird brained experiments...
 
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