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I have purchased all of my 8 frame medium boxes so far from one of the major bee supply companies however I have found the same equipment cheaper on another site. How important is it to stick with the same company for your woodenware. I do know the size of the supers tend to vary from place to place but I wonder if they are still compatible.
 

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It depends on your definition of "compatible".

I have learned to prefer 8-frame equipment with an outside width of 14", and of 3/4" thick lumber, making the inside width, of 12-1/2". I also prefer supers without any of the annoying (handholds) cut into their outer surfaces. Rather, I like to install my own End Cleats, even with the tops of the supers and as a reinforcement of the frame rest rabbet. This makes some commercial covers, fail to fit. However, I have problems of my own with commercial covers, and prefer to use covers of my own design and construction.
 

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They are beehives, not rocket ships. Bees don't carry tape measures. I have a 43 accumulation of mixed equipment and brand new matching equipment. When a good flow comes on it is all laminated together with comb irregardless of how compatile it is.
 

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They are beehives, not rocket ships. Bees don't carry tape measures. I have a 43 accumulation of mixed equipment and brand new matching equipment. When a good flow comes on it is all laminated together with comb irregardless of how compatile it is.


! Worrrrrrd up !
 

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What odfrank said.

Sure, I prefer certain sizes and configurations of equipment (as I've mentioned), but when the bees need room, they need room, and though I might care what the equipment looks like and how "compatible" it is with other equipment I am using -- I too put questionably compatible equipment into use, when I've already used all my, preferred equipment and the bees haven't complained, yet.
 

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I make my own, so I have no experience with different suppliers, but I think that they will be compatable. There may be small (fractions of an inch) differences, but nothing that cause a problem for the bees.

I know that 8 frame box width varies from 13 3/4" to 14" depending on manufacturer. That would not be an issue for me.
 

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The only issue I've seen with mismatched hive manufacturers is a bee space issue. When you pick up the top deep box, you end up pulling out half the frames of the bottom box. The bees glued the bottom bars of the frames in the top box to the the top bars of the frames in the bottom box.
 
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