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### Author Topic: 12 Frame Boxes?  (Read 2427 times)

#### Simon

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##### 12 Frame Boxes?
« on: February 08, 2013, 10:07:36 AM »
I recently read a post on another unrelated forum that suggested that 12 frame, deep, approx 20" square supers are the best way to go - obviously someone with a really good back (probably only temporarily) or some really cool hive moving devices.  The recommendation was also to stack the boxes such that the frames in each layer are 90 degrees to the previous layer.  I haven't been able to find any further information about this system, but I may have been searching with the wrong key words.  Now, I don't want to get into the weight advantages of 8 frame vs 10 frame setups etc as that is pretty much a given, but I am interested to know if this arrangement works any better than conventional rectangular Langstroth boxes/hives (I am not intending to try it out).  Has anyone tried this 12 frame square hive idea?

#### Moots

• Guest
##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 10:28:51 AM »
Interesting...
Someone on the forum in recent days referred to frame placement as "cold way", being clueless as to what that meant, I googled it and found the below explanation, which I found very interesting.  However, it makes no mention of the concept of alternating between the two methods from box to box.

Warm way vs Cold way

#### Moots

• Guest
##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 10:34:52 AM »
One other thought...
Aside from the weight savings, part of the argument supporting 8 frame instead of 10 is that the bees tend not to want to use the frames on the ends anyway.  Seems like 12 would just be extending exasperating that problem...."If" you buy that theory!  :)

#### Michael Bush

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##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 12:21:35 PM »
> Has anyone tried this 12 frame square hive idea?

I have some 12 frame deeps (9 5/8") and some 12 frame Dadant deeps (11 5/8") and some 21 frame Dadant Deeps (11 5/8").  Square has it's advantages and disadvantages.  The idea was from C.P. Dadant.  When Langstroth came out with his ten frame 9 5/8" boxes, Dadant thought that one of those was not big enough for a brood nest for a prolific Italian Queen.  So at that time the two competing systems were one 12 frame box of 11 5/8" frames vs one ten frame box of 9 5/8".  Langstroth's version won out for a while but then when it turned out that C.P Dadant was right, people just added another 9 5/8" box to make up the difference in needed space.

Most of my hives are now 8 frame mediums (6 5/8").  This size is no where near big enough for a brood nest, but is the perfect size to lift when full of honey and several of them make a very nice brood nest...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

#### Simon

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##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 07:20:12 PM »
I have read a bit of David Cushman's writings, but not the bit about "Cold Way or Warm Way".  It also hadn't registered in my brain that British Standard Hives are square.  Thanks for the link Moots.

Like Mr Bush said, I had considered the similarity with Dadant (and Warre) style hives, but the initial bit of Dadant history I found only mentioned 10 and 11 frame Dadant hives.  Michael do your bees use all the frames in your 12 frame boxes or are they reluctant to get to the outside frames like many hives are with 10 frames boxes?   I suspect that the number of frames may have more of a bearing on the frame spacing/comb width than anything else (most of the time).

Maybe offsetting the layers of boxes helps with access for the bees - potentially, any frame is accessable from any frame in the layer below (or above for that matter). There might be some advantages with heating and ventilation as well???  As with most things in life, beekeeping is a sea of compromises, fix one thing for summer and make yourself a problem in winter, get nice square boxes that the bees like but very few use, so you can't buy off the shelf supplies.... interesting design though.

#### Michael Bush

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##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 08:34:21 PM »
>the initial bit of Dadant history I found only mentioned 10 and 11 frame Dadant hives.

Dadant put 11 frames in his 12 frame boxes... he spaced them 1 1/2"

>Michael do your bees use all the frames in your 12 frame boxes or are they reluctant to get to the outside frames like many hives are with 10 frames boxes?

Somewhat reluctant.  But when you expand it to 22 frames they are using more than 12 usually... but they may ignore the first one and the last few as they work across.

>   I suspect that the number of frames may have more of a bearing on the frame spacing/comb width than anything else (most of the time).

That depends on the width and the spacing...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

#### Joe D

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##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 08:58:24 PM »
If the bees wouldn't go past 10 or 12 frames, there wouldn't be TBH's.  You can make a TBH using Lang frames and  put what size supers you like on top of the TBH.  You could put as many frames in which ever direction you want in the super.   Or make the TBH long enough for brood chamber and supers.  Just throwing this out there.

Joe

#### LeeMike

• New Bee
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##### Re: 12 Frame Boxes?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2013, 01:10:13 PM »
Looking for the plans to Dadant Blatt 12 frame model. German model with a porch on the front. I live in a rainy place and that porch would be a great help to the bees. Mr. Bush can you give me hand with this?