I have a hive that has one brood box with 9 frames and wanted to add another brood box but wanted to know is it ok to add 10 frames to the new brood box or do i have to add 9 since the bottom one has only 9 frames? thanks alot
The usual rationale for using one less frame is that it gives the beek more room to work. The bees have their own rules about beespace.
I run 10 frames (this is my second year) and haven't had any problems maneuvering inside the hive. I was taught to take #10 completely out (this is usually not brood anyway), then lift out #9, examine, put back in position 10, and continue all across the hive to #1. Then carefully slide the frames back into their original positions and replace #10.
I do have a j-hook hive tool (couldn't live without it) so it's a snap to lever up #10. Then I use the blade end to separate the rest of the frames at the ears and pry them slightly away from the rest. Just go slow & steady.
I just did this yesterday with a 3-week old package hive. The girls barely noticed that I was even there.
I like to keep all brood boxes at 10 frames. The reason is simple, bees only need so much space in each cell to raise brood. 10 frames gives them the most number of cells for brood.
Now however, for honey supers, I like to go with 9 frame. This allows the cells to be bigger and more honey to be stored in the same box.
Note: You first need to start with 10 frames, and let the bees draw out the comb. After that you can take out one and go 9. The issue with starting with 9 is that the bees have too much space, and will make weird shaped comb that won't work well for you. It will bubble out on one frame or be turned sideways.
For me I need to keep all my brood box comb interchangable. As I move frames from hive to other hives, to other nucs, or even within the same hive they all have to fit the same way. If not then I cut the comb and let the bees try again.
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