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Author Topic: 8 frame medium advice  (Read 354 times)

Offline Hi-Tech

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8 frame medium advice
« on: July 21, 2015, 06:15:16 PM »
I have always been a medium frame guy. Learned from my mentor to use mediums for everything. I have decided to go to 8 frame mediums and have made my first hive and have it in place. Have any of you 8 frame guys and gals out there run into anything you don't like about 8 frame hive bodies? Just curious if there is anything I need to be on the lookout for...
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 03:34:05 PM »
> Have any of you 8 frame guys and gals out there run into anything you don't like about 8 frame hive bodies?

Actually the more I used them the more I liked them.  There were benefits I never considered.  I pretty much manage my hives "by the box" now.
Michael Bush
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Offline mikecva

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 12:12:52 PM »
The only thing I need to do with mine (I only have 4 that were given to me, the rest are 10s) is make sure they have a little more food going into winter up here then me 10 framers need. Other then that I have had no problems. Some beeks I know in the club think they (8 framers) tend to swarm more but I have not seen it.  -Mike
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 10:00:27 AM »
>The only thing I need to do with mine (I only have 4 that were given to me, the rest are 10s) is make sure they have a little more food going into winter up here then me 10 framers need.

I don't follow.  I leave them less because they leave less behind...
Michael Bush
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Offline Colobee

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 11:52:08 AM »
I just started using them. So far I really like almost everything about them.
 
One fortunate issue I just had to deal with was a new queen unit that needed a second box after just 2 weeks. Four days ago they looked OK, and yesterday they were "wall to wall" & overflowing the hive.
 
It appears the bees "like" the narrower space of the 8 frame as opposed to the 10. I've often seen them ignore the outer most two undrawn frames for some time. Mine drew out 3 medium frames (total) in as many days. The timing is good and we are having one heck of a flow right now.
 
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Offline little john

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2015, 10:40:37 AM »

It appears the bees "like" the narrower space of the 8 frame as opposed to the 10. I've often seen them ignore the outer most two undrawn frames for some time.

I don't know if this is relevant to the thread, but - quite a few British beekeepers have started padding-out their 11-frame brood boxes with dummies, to make 8-frame boxes for over-wintering. Reports are vey favourable.  Maybe it's no coincidence that Warre boxes are also 8-frame.

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2015, 12:26:56 PM »
I would say it is not a coincidence that the Warre is 8 frame.  It's just a good design.  It fits the typical cluster of wintering bees better.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2015, 05:57:00 PM »
The standard outside width of an 8 frame hive body is said to be 13-3/4" , making the inside dimension 12-1/4". Using 8 standard 1-3/8" frames leaves 1/8" slop between frames including spacing the outside frames 3/16" from the sides. Seems like a lot of space. On top of that,  I'm considering using 1-1/4" frames. What would be the correct internal space of a hive body be for 8  1-1/4" frames be? I realize we need a bit of extra space between frames just to get them in and out when we have too, and also to allow for a little expansion for high humidity, but an 1/8" between each frame?

A standard 10 frame hive body with 10  1-3/8" frames with the outside frames spaced 3/16" from the sides only leaves 5/8" slop between the 10 frames, so that's a bit tighter. I'm planning on building some 1-1/4" frames and medium boxes, and am trying to decide just how wide I should go on the inside dimension. I'm not worried about trying to match any standard equipment, I just want the best fit. I'm thinking 10-3/4" inside dim would work good for 8  1-1/4" frames. 

Offline texanbelchers

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2015, 06:14:41 PM »
I would advise you to stick with the "standard".  That is quoted because it is either 13.75" or 14" depending on who made the box.  Eventually you'll need to purchase something and will need it to fit.  I made all my frames 1.25" (where 9 frames fit in), but have needed to use 1.375" frames from others for various reasons.  Now, for time and wood quality issues I'm seriously considering purchasing frames and boxes.  They all need to work together or you loose flexibility and your job as a beekeeper gets much harder.

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 11:04:33 AM »
Yes, there are many reasons to just stick with standard equipment, but my question is still "what is the best width for the bees in an 8 frame box with 8  1-1/4" frames in it?" Do we want all that extra space in there?

Offline texanbelchers

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 11:20:42 AM »
It isn't a problem, just put the frames together and center it.  The bees will hang out on the sides, but I haven't seen them draw comb there.  For brood areas you can run 9 1.25" frames with minimal wiggle room.  For honey, you can spread them out after they are started and they will make wider comb, if you wish.  If you are foundationless and don't have each frame started they will just make wide comb into the empty space of the next frames.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2015, 11:24:44 AM »
>Using 8 standard 1-3/8" frames leaves 1/8" slop between frames including spacing the outside frames 3/16" from the sides.

Never leave "slop" between frames unless it's in a super.  Put them tightly.

>Seems like a lot of space. On top of that,  I'm considering using 1-1/4" frames. What would be the correct internal space of a hive body be for 8  1-1/4" frames be? I realize we need a bit of extra space between frames just to get them in and out when we have too, and also to allow for a little expansion for high humidity, but an 1/8" between each frame?

Buy a standard box.  Shave the frames down.  Put 9 frames in.  If you feel you have too much left over, make some follower boards.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2015, 04:37:50 PM »
Ok thanks.

Offline Colobee

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Re: 8 frame medium advice
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 11:31:26 PM »
I filled the extra space with cut down plastic frames. I shaved the spacer off of one side, and place it snug up against the outside or inside, as needed. It makes a half frame out of a full one - one side of the frame "foundation" is flush to a wall, & not possible to draw out. The bees have drawn the exposed side out, just like regular full frames, but only on the one side.
 
I can get a divided ( standard) 10 frame nuc to hold 5 frames on each side, and the nuc boxes above hold 4.5 frames. Everything fits the "standard" dimensions - bottom boards & outer covers. I had to build custom "half  size" inner covers for multiple box nucs.
 
Mann Lake 8 frame boxes - 12.5", inside, will easily accommodate an extra "half frame" and leave some slop for the inevitable propolis onslaught.
 
That's what happens when you buy plastic frames on sale... :tongue:.
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