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Author Topic: 8 Frame Hive Plans  (Read 10980 times)
manfre
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« on: January 25, 2009, 06:28:20 PM »

Does anyone have plans for an 8 frame hive? If not plans, does anyone know the internal and external dimensions?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 06:41:29 PM »

Outside measurments of standard Langstroth boxes made of 3/4" stock are 19 7/8" by 16 1/4".  The rabbet is typically 5/8" deep and 3/8" wide.  The eight frame box is the same 19 7/8" and the same rabbet.  But the width actually varies.  The only two commonly sold sizes (unless you order from Western Bee Supply who will make them whatever you like) are 14" (from Mann Lake and Betterbee) and 13 3/4" (from Brushy Mt. and Miller Bee Supply).  Mine are all 13 3/4".  Full plans are available for all the ten frame equipment on Beesource.

For internal dimensions, subtract 1 1/2" (3/4" times 2) from width and length.  Depth stays the same, of course.  11 5/8" for Dadant deep, 9 5/8" for Langstroth deep (although many cheat it down to 9 1/2" now), 6 5/8" for mediums (Illinois) and 5 3/4" or 5 11/16" for shallows and 4 3/4" or 4 11/16" for extra shallows.

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Michael Bush
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manfre
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2009, 09:49:04 PM »

Thanks Michael!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 06:47:43 PM »

Mine are a mixture of 13 3/4 and 13 5/8.  The first is the "standard" east of the rockies and the 2nd more of a "standard" west of the rockies.  The +/- 1/8 th inch is hardly noticable when stacked on top of each other so I don't worry about it.
If I were making my own from the git-go and planning to continuing to do it I would make them 13 even.
The one's I had back in the 60's were 12 7/8's but you didn't have any wiggle room left for removing the frames.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 08:43:23 PM »

13" would actually work great but isn't standard at all so other equipment wouldn't fit.  14 1/4" would actually be a nine frame box.  Smiley  That wouldn't be bad either except that it still isn't standard...


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Michael Bush
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Paraplegic Racehorse
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 02:47:04 PM »

This brings up a really interested question: Why is there so much extra "slop" room in commercially-made (and sold) bee boxes? I can understand a little to account for shrinkage and propolis, but it doesn't excuse that level of sloppiness.
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 04:06:37 PM »

I'm going to venture a guess that nobody of any mutually accepted authority set a standard, and that is why there is a difference.  Plus, if you have size A, and only supplier A makes size A, wouldn't you keep buying from that same supplier rather than buying non-fitting equipment from supplier B?  It seems to me that this is somewhat like batteries for remote control cars or chargers for cell phones!

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 07:00:14 PM »

Boxes are pretty precise.  The "slop" is built in.  For one thing propolis builds up between and a little extra room helps getting that first frame out.

Also, I think the eight frame boxes have traditionally had follower boards in them and they were often used for comb honey.  Probably those have had an impact on the size.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 11:35:01 PM »

Another major reason for the "slop" is for working the hives.  That little extra room allows the beekeeper to move the frames enough to get them out without rolling the bees if done right.  In the old days you used to see 8 framers with a groove cut down the inside center of each box for a follower board, essentially making 2 4 frame nucs.  It used to be a common standard in queen operations prior to WWII. 
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