I am new to beekeeping and I just got my new 10 frame hive and put it all together. I put 10 frames in and I have some extra space on the sides, it looks like I could fit another frame. Is that normal? I might add that the hive came from a reputable source.
I am attaching some pictures.
Just to add the sizes: external 19 7/8 and 16 1/4 and internal 19 1/8 and 14 7/8.
depending on the frame width, you could actually "physically" fit another frame in the box. When you can, that is nice for storage. But like a can of worms, once you open it, the only way to get all the worms back in the can is to get a bigger can. There are a couple things to be aware of, though they will not affect you in the immediate future. First there are people that feel frames should be thinner than they normally are, which would (if you made frame modifications) actually allow you to fit an extra frame in the box, thus keeping the bees closer together and encouraging certain things that in that discussion are desirable. This is a specialized and somewhat advanced thing, that is interesting and worth reading about, but I think would not be generally useful to most people, and make manipulating things a bit harder.
Secondly, you may find that there are times when you may only want 9 frames in there. Depending on whether you are using all 1 size (same size box for brood nest and supers) there are people that when all the comb in a super is drawn out and being filled, they will pull out a frame going to 7 in an 8 frame box or 9 in a 10 frame box. Then they use a tool that will evenly space all the frames. If you ever buy a "getting started toolkit" or one of those type of packages, you may get one in it, and not know what it is or what to do with it. It is a straight line with a bunch of triangles. Looks something like this:
The reason being that they will build deeper comb for storage (up to a point). This is kind of a good thing in honey supers, and the opposite is desirable in the brood nest.
Anyway, probably more than you or anyone ever cared to know about frames and spacing and boxes. But looks good, 10 frames will not be nearly as loose when you have a bunch of bees in there and they start building comb and propolizing things. You will appreciate the extra space.
I work my hive from the side. I push all the frames against the side that is opposite the side I'm working from, like in your first picture. When I inspect I use that space as a place to slide a frame back into before removing it, that way I don't roll bees. I leave the first frame out, then replace frame two against the side I am working from. Each subsequent frame goes against the frame I previously inspected. When I'm done all the frames are against the side I'm working from except the frame I removed. Now I use the hive tool to lever against the box to move all 9 frames at once back to their original side. This keeps you from crushing bees between the side bars. Last I hold the first frame I removed over the box and give it a quick single shake to de-bee it so I don't roll bees when sliding it in, then I place it in the gap and then slowly slide it over giving bees time to get out of the way. The bees build a little ladder comb to help them ascend but they don't fill the space. They use the space as an express way to the supers instead of climbing through the brood nest.
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