Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have been looking at the actual Langstroth description of its sizes. And it strikes me odd that the internal sizes are odd. I have always noticed that when you have a 8 frame box I feel as though I could almost squeeze 9 frames in it. And when I look at the standard sizes for the frames 1-3/8" if I multiply that by the number that should fit, I still don't have a common space left over. For example, 10 frame box has 1" of free space left over. Wile an 8 would have 1-1/4" left over, and a 5 frame nuc only 7/8". Likewise they don't come out even if I just divide by the # of frames that should fit in there, figuring they accounted for by some consistent fudge factor per frame. Then I thought maybe the metric was not a conversion but rounded etc. But using the metric numbers same deal.

I remembered a story that the 5 f nuc was merely a 10 frame box cut in half, with a new side added on to it. The inside dimensions of the 5f are larger than 1/2 of a 10 F.

It seems very odd for someone to be so exacting in the whole beespace thing, then design a box that is intended to hold a specific number of something else designed to a specific size and just say "and just add a little more for good measure!" :) Granted, in a 10 frame box, after the size of 10 1-3/8 frames there is exactly 1 inch left over. Seems a nice round number. I recognize that both the 5F nuc and the 8F langstroth are later inventions, for which I get to blame someone else for not just multiplying the capacity by 1-3/8 then adding an inch.

I know none of this actually matters if I am making my own equipment and not depending on a vendor's specific sizes matching mine. It would just satisfy a curiosity of history I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
1 3/8" was not always standard width. In use 1 3/8" frames accumulate enough wax and propolis on the shoulders that they functionally need more space to be worked efficiently unless you are anal about scraping them clean regularly. I have several colonies in boxes made with rather thick stock that are a bit smaller internally and I have decided to run them as 9 frame. Makes it safer pulling or replacing the first frame on inspections.

The selection of that size of box was derived I believe around some common commodity shipping box at the time. I can remember when orange crates, butter boxes, dynamite boxes, nail kegs etc., were re used and seen everywhere except the lace curtain households.

Today the size just is as it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,557 Posts
The extra space aids you in removing frames without rolling (and killing) bees and more especially queens since they are taller.

We can get all hug up about details like why are railroad tracks 4 ft. 8-1⁄2 inches apart? Is the "why 1/2?" something to lay awake at night stewing over? Or why are bathtubs 61" long? Why does your house use 120V electricity? Why is a gallon 231 cubic inches? Or we can realize that standards are something that gets adopted over time by most common usage and be glad that having a standard makes life easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The extra space aids you in removing frames without rolling (and killing) bees and more especially queens since they are taller.

We can get all hug up about details like why are railroad tracks 4 ft. 8-1⁄2 inches apart? Is the "why 1/2?" something to lay awake at night stewing over? Or why are bathtubs 61" long? Why does your house use 120V electricity? Why is a gallon 231 cubic inches? Or we can realize that standards are something that gets adopted over time by most common usage and be glad that having a standard makes life easier.
And I like to. It is great to know the rules and how to follow them to reproduce something someone else did in the past. But the real magic comes when you understand those things and know when and how to break them.

I remember the story of a newly wed woman who wanted to bake a ham for her husband. As she prepared in the kitchen to do so she pulled out the ham and chopped off two inches from each side and tossed them in the trash. Then she put the ham in a pan along with the other preparations and put it in the oven to cook. Her husband looked at her funny, and asked, why did you just cut off 2 inches from each of the ham and throw it away? She explained, that's the way she learned how to do it. So in a few weeks, when they were visiting the inlaws, the husband again, curious decided to ask his mother in law, because she had taught his wife how to cook. Curiously, she gave him the same response. The next year whole at a big family reunion, the husband was introduced to his wife's grandmother. She was a delightful woman with many curious tales and just wonderful to talk to. At the end of their conversation, he says, "I just have one question I am curious about, and perhaps you can help me get to the bottom of it." Then he asked her about the ham. She told him, when she was young and first married so many years ago, their oven was tiny that unless you did that the ham would not fit in, so that is how she did it.

Yes, I am cursed with a mind that likes to absorb the conceptual and possibly apply it when considering changes. I love the size and shape of frames based on bee space and propolis gluing and all that. I hate that perhaps a peach crate was available and that once it was used it dictated what a size would be forever. I get that some things are, in fact, arbitrary. However, I love to know if something is the way it is though optimization either by trial and error, or according to the needs to of the builder and the limitations of a tool. I enjoyed reading Dadant when discussing certain sizes and the concern that wood was available in certain sizes and it might be more difficult do go with a certain size. For example, in my mind 9-5/8" is a miserable size for a woodworker. Because a 10" board is 9-1/2" and you are forced up to 12 that is sometimes priced at a premium. Not that it can't be overcome, but if I were designing a blurf today, I wouldn't intentionally make something with a final width to be 1/8" over a standard available size. Just saying. I am probably the only one that gets excited knowing some of the origins of the standards.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
I am sure that in Langstroth's day, a 10" wide board was actually 10" and one needed the extra 3/8", 3/16" on each side, to true it up.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top