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Making deep hive boxes

1826 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
I have a bunch of 1 x 10's(3/4 x 9 1/2) cut,and would like to build a couple deep boxes with them. Looking at the Langstroth plans, I see the depth of a deep is 9 5/8". Can I get by with 9 1/2" or is this a no no. Steve
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Officially the deeps are a 9 5/8" box with 9 1/4" frames. Many commercial companies are now making them with a 9 1/2" box and 9 1/8" frames. Some even list it that way. A 9 1/4" frame in a 9 1/2" box leaves a 1/4" bee space between the boxes. This is minimum. A 9 5/8" box leaves a 3/8" bee space. This is maximum. A 9 1/8" frame in a 9 1/2" box is maximum beespace. All of these are within tolerance for beespace. The point is to have no more then 3/8" and not less than 1/4" space between the frames of one box and the next. A 9 1/8" frame in a 9 5/8" box is 1/2" space and that is too much.

If your frames are accuarate and not more than 9 1/4" and not less than 9 1/8", it will work fine.

A look at the web sites of the following companies shows;

Walter T. Kelly Hive body 9 9/16" frames 9 1/8"

Mann Lake Hive body 9 5/8" frames 9 1/8"

Brushy Mt Hive body 9 1/2" frames 9 1/8"

Western Bee supply Hive body ? frames 9 1/8"

Dadant Hive body ? frames 9 1/8"

Betterbee Hive body 9 5/8" frames ?

[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited March 24, 2004).]
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I have tried it and it doesnt work verywell. You always seem to have the frames not fit well into the honeysupers. I ended up taking them all out of use, and modified them to a permanent bottom board, for increase colonies.
You could shim the supers up to make things fit. Right now I am making supers out of 2"*12", to cut down to 9" 3/4". Slighty bigger than needed, but I find that I prefer it to 9"5/8". I dont keep my frame bottoms as clean as I should. For me the extra bit of space sits on the hive better. I use all the leftover scrap on bottom boards. Nothing wasted.

There should not be a problem with supers (other boxes) on top. That would have to do more with the depth of the frame rests. With that spacing proper, everything above the deep is ok.

Use standard frames, and using the 9-1/2 boxes, just use the deeper side of the bottom board. More than enough room the compensate this small amount. I always leave the deeper side of the bottom board in use and totally ignore the shallower (winter) side.

If your going to stack these smaller hive bodies together instead of using them at the bottom, than make sure the hive boxes use the same number of frames. They will work up between the frames as long as they match up. If your going from a 10 frame box to a nine frame box and this space is not proper, than this will inhibit the bees ability.

Note...I almost have to shave a 1/8 to 1/4 amount off most boxes that I have bought. Seems that there is always way to much room after putting the frames in. I can buy boxes and frames from one source and sure enough burr comb will be between every box. Pumpkinpiper...I'd make the boxes, and after measuring with the frames in, you'll be surprised how close you are to correct sizing.
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Thanks for input guys. My frames are 9 1/8". So I think I'll make a couple deeps at 9 1/2, and hopefully will have no problems. Steve
Just check it when you are done. A standard box has 1/8" space between the bottom bar and the bottom of the box and 1/4" between the top bar and the top of the box. If you need more room, you can always cut and glue a thin strip onto the bottom rim.
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