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I have been running my hive with nine frames in a ten frame boxes in order to make it easier on myself when carrying out an inspection for about a month and a half now and I was wondering if there were any clear down sides to doing this or any other clear benefits aside from ease of inspection. I had read an old book about using nine frames in a 10 frame box only for honey production/ storage and to use 10 frames for brood and was wondering what others had experienced with using 9 frames and if I should continue with my nine frame setup. The bees have on some of the frames extended the comb out to about half and inch outside of the bar and I noticed this behavior about 2 months ago when I added new frames to the hive, was wondering also if this is normal or if I should attempt to change it? Thanks.
 

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I do 9 frames on my tighter boxes and ten on the slightly larger ones, for the same reason you do. Easy to remove the first frame during an inspection.

I push the 9 frames tightly together and have a gap on the outside edge. I think it helps to keep the bees quiet during the inspection since I don't have to fight that first frame out.
 

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I always found that if I get my inside measurements right on my hive bodies and used 1 and 3/8th inch standard with frames, you almost have room for eleven frames and so plenty of room in the hive for ten frames and easy inspections. So, On the brood nest, I like as many frames as possible and pushed right up against each other with extra space spread evenly on each side of the hive body. Then the bees can draw nice and strait and compact in the middle where the brood cluster will be and yet there is not enough room on each side of the brood nest to make them feel compelled to draw where there is no frame.

In the honey super, you might have different objectives like wanting easy uncapping of the bee keeper.

I think almost anything can work but also think that proper space in the brood nest might help the bees and there is enough space that the bee keeper does ok too.
I am foundationless and actually run 11 frames at least when starting to get frame drawn out and think it helps get better comb most of the time. I have no experience with foundation but have to believe bees treat empty space depending on size of that space, about the same.
Not saying lots of things don't work, just saying this is my experience to date.
Cheers
gww
 

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Running just a single deep brood box with 9 frames isn't quite enough room to generate a booming population, compared to using 2 deeps at 9 frames each. Not sure if that matters to you. I prefer to have my frames be flush against each other, and so I cut the fat comb off. I bring out a thin fillet knife and a 2 gallon bucket with a lid with every inspection, and trim - sometimes with bees on frame. They are fine for the most part - blade goes under them!

In Europe, there was a tradition (I think) of using 1.5" frames, to allow for the bees to build that fat comb at the top, and for swarm control. Or here - with Charles Dadant? I have found that 1.5 in spacing can lead to 3 combs on 2 frames... ;) for an additional mess.
 

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We run single deep brood chambers with 10 frames, and deep supers with 9 frames. At the end of the ispection, the 10 frames in the broodchamber are forced away, leaving the slight extra space close to the operator. When trying to put 10 frames from a super in during cold weather, the added wax allowed when there are 9 can cause problems.

And no, a single deep brood chamber can make very populace hives with a little effort and skill.

Crazy Roland
 

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the reason there is 10 frames in a 10 frame box is comb density, the more dense the combs the more brood can be covered for spring buildup.
the reason we do 9 frames in a 10 frame box it it "seems" easier, in time the 9 will get fat and also be too tight.

some what depends on you and what you want and how the spring build up it there.

Since I build my own hives I add in a 1/2 inch and have it a lot looser and 10 so one can play with the math a bit if you wish.

If you integrate the volume with seems from 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch the cluster gets bigger hence the reason for 10 in the brood box and 9 in the supers.

GG
 

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I run ten frames in my brood nests and in the past shaved frames so 11 would fit. That worked too but I have gotten lazy in my old age and taken the easy out running ten. Nine frames results in a lot of burr comb as the bees will fill the void. Nine frames are actually pretty loose in standard eight frame boxes.
 
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