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For those of you that have used the narrow frame spacing...ie. 1 1/4 vs. 1 3/8 here is a question. Suppose you start out with the standard spacing of 1 3/8 and want to try the narrower spacing? Can you use it in the honey supers? Do you have to gradually replace frames in the brood boxes?
I have more frames to build and have been considering trimming them down before assembly but.......why? Will it do my establishing hives (currently working on the 3rd. medium) any good? How do I use them if I do this? Thanks in advance for replies. I'll get back but can't stay on here. Work to do ya know!
 

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Bump.
I have a bunch of frames to do and would like an answer on this. sorry if it sounds pushy.
 

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You can use 1-1/4" spacing anywhere in the hive you prefer. You can even mix 1-1/4" wide frames with 1-3/8" wide frames, or even 1-1/2" wide frames, as long as the frames you use fit into the supers. PF120 frames are what I use most in honey supers, they are 1-3/8" wide (I plan to trim some PF120's down to 1-1/4" spacing, but haven't done so, yet). Bees don't always build comb evenly in all frames, especially when they store honey in them.

I believe the only obvious benefit is that I can fit nine frames in an 8-frame super. In brood supers, this means more brood, and subsequently more bees. If you use 10-frame equipment you should be able to fit eleven 1-1/4" frames. More brood combs can equal more brood, and therefore more bees grown in the same space.

Remember, too, that 1-1/4" wide frames can be spaced 1-1/4" apart or 2-1/4" apart, or more, 1-1/4" is only the minimum that a 1-1/4" wide frame can be spaced. You could say that they are 1-1/4" self-spacing. Some frames are built 3/4" wide and must manually be spaced as the beekeeper desires. I made and use a few like this - they work nicely, but can be problematic.

Even in wild-built comb you can see the bees frequently build honey storage comb that is many inches thick and the center of that comb is not always in the center of the comb.

It has been said that bees are more apt to build small-cell combs in the brood nest when the combs are closer together. This is likely true, but the bees will also build small-cell combs with other frame spacings, too.
 

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>Suppose you start out with the standard spacing of 1 3/8 and want to try the narrower spacing? Can you use it in the honey supers?

Sure, but they tend to want to space those more like 1 1/2" where brood is more like 1 1/4".

> Do you have to gradually replace frames in the brood boxes?

You don't have to do anything. You may mix them anyway you like and they work fine.

>I have more frames to build and have been considering trimming them down before assembly

It's actually easier after you assmeble them as you have a handle to hold onto them whether you're planing them with a plane or cutting them on a table saw with a fence...

> but.......why?
> Will it do my establishing hives (currently working on the 3rd. medium) any good?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm#advantages

> How do I use them if I do this?

Anyway you like. Feeding them into the brood nest coming into swarm season is best, but anytime they are building up you can feed them in. If they are winding down, of course, they won't build anything...
 
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