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Author Topic: Has anyone done Square?  (Read 2249 times)
OldMech
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« on: August 05, 2013, 11:58:07 PM »

Wife had meetings last week.. early morning, so she went to bed around 4:30 PM.. I got bored..... and built a hive around multiple ideas I had..
   Seemed like a good idea at the time... actually, it LOOKS impressive...  But it IS going to be heavy when its full...

   I had quite a few 1x12's stacked in the garage...   so upon staring at them for a while wondering how to start.. I just cut all four sides the same length. Router'd the two top edges so standard deep frames will fit into it...  glued, nailed and squared...  NEXT...   I built a custom bottom board, and made the entrance the same as my Langstroths.. so i could use entrance reducers etc...  so now I had a deep body and a bottom board with attached stand... so i built a second deep body, a vented top cover, and then I built an insulated garden roof to cover it all... hmmm, yeah, its square, holds thirteen (deep) frames in each box...  so i took a standard medium honey super and set it on the top..  the length was right, but the sides had nearly two inches uncovered...  a quick 2x4 through my table saw at a 45 degree angle... pieces screwed to the honey super and the sides are now sealed.. AND, I can use a standard inner and outer cover on it....
   Yes... Inspections will be difficult because of the weight.. but I can still heft a railroad tie to my shoulder, carry it across the yard and set it in place where the wife wants her steps down to the deck built over the pond... So hopefully it will be at least two or three years before I get fat... errr, CONTENT!!! 

   Anyhow.. it uses standard frames, standard entrance reducer and the honey supers modified can still be used on this, or standard hives...    I forced myself to try this hive before I built any more like it...

   Bees build brood in a "ball" so wouldnt square be better than rectangle?...   But making a smaller square would mean none of the standard equipment (frames) would fit...  thats what started the ideas, it sort of snowballed from there...
   I figured to use normal honey supers with covers until winter, then install the insulated pitched roof.
   I have wondered if the bees would even utilize thirteen frames...  My 8 frame hive (single.. Only have one) they dont tend to like the two outsides  of the frames.. in my ten frame hives they dont usually like to use the two outside edge frames.. so i was thinking in this hive they may at least actually USE a full eleven frames... IF, they dont use the outside frame edges. 
   if it doesnt work out, and or proves to be too heavy for me to manipulate, I can cut it down to standard dimensions, but thought I would ask if any of you had ever considered such a thing, and or tried it?   
   Opinions?  ( Other than weight.. i know I may blow out certain parts of my anatomy when i lift it.)
  Thanks!
 
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Joe D
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 01:01:45 AM »

My Langs are all ten frames, and you do usually have to move the outside frames around with frames already well started.  I have one TBH they will build from one end to the other pretty much.  One that I have been thinking about is a long hive.  Brood super with 20 frames, cover over outside 5 frames on each end, and regular 10 frame super on top.  You could make the super any size, frames or height.  I built some med supers over last winter, had been using shallow honey supers, meds are heavier.  Good luck with your project.




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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 02:00:55 AM »

  One that I have been thinking about is a long hive.  Brood super with 20 frames, cover over outside 5 frames on each end, and regular 10 frame super on top.  You could make the super any size, frames or height.  I built some med supers over last winter, had been using shallow honey supers, meds are heavier.  Good luck with your project.
Joe

   Aye, that would be along the same idea, but would be easier to inspect since you wouldnt have a 190 lb top brood box to move to get to the bottom one. Interested to see how much they like/dislike the reduced size of the honey super. Was thinking that in a tree, nothing would be the same size, so hoping they dont get as wound up as my wife when she doesnt like something I've done to the house.
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »

I've done square Dadant deeps (19 7/8" x 19 7/8" x 11 5/8").  I've done square Langstroth deeps (19 7/8" x 19 7/8" by 9 5/8".  I've done square mediums (19 7/8" x 19 7/8" by 6 5/8").  None of them are a size I want to lift if they are full of honey.  But the concept of a Dadant deep is that it always stays on the bottom and is never lifted and it's large enough for a prolific queen to have room to lay and big enough to overwinter with no additional boxes.  I have put two five frame nucs on top of the square hive and they are pretty liftable and they fit.  But the wall in the middle does interfere with communication.  Most people running them are using shallow square supers on top, but even those weigh 60 or 70 pounds.  The worse part, though, is not the weight so much as those extra pounds are almost 20" away from your body which makes them seem much heavier.

I've experimented with many other configurations as well.  In the end I run all eight frame mediums.  One of the more useful uses of the square boxes when when I divided it in two with vertical double excluders and ran it as a two queen hive...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 01:35:09 PM »

I've done square Dadant deeps (19 7/8" x 19 7/8" x 11 5/8").  I've done square Langstroth deeps (19 7/8" x 19 7/8" by 9 5/8".  I've done square mediums (19 7/8" x 19 7/8" by 6 5/8").  None of them are a size I want to lift if they are full of honey.  But the concept of a Dadant deep is that it always stays on the bottom and is never lifted and it's large enough for a prolific queen to have room to lay and big enough to overwinter with no additional boxes.  I have put two five frame nucs on top of the square hive and they are pretty liftable and they fit.  But the wall in the middle does interfere with communication.  Most people running them are using shallow square supers on top, but even those weigh 60 or 70 pounds.  The worse part, though, is not the weight so much as those extra pounds are almost 20" away from your body which makes them seem much heavier.

I've experimented with many other configurations as well.  In the end I run all eight frame mediums.  One of the more useful uses of the square boxes when when I divided it in two with vertical double excluders and ran it as a two queen hive...


   Excellent! Thank you for replying! I was thinking such a brood box might be used to make splits with the simple addition of opposing entrances and a dummy board..  IE.. simply sliding the dummy board into the center. One side has a queen, the other doesnt. The side without would hopefully produce one in short order? Or would they still think they had a queen?
 I would assume the bees would have to get used to the opposing entrances so they didnt all just fly back to one of them? Possibilities or bad idea?
  The square deep on its own would retain enough resources to overwinter?  If so, that would indeed be nice..  Less height for the wind to catch and cool down, but wider and harder for the bees to access when balled for the winter?
   The weight of it doesnt bother me... yet...  Wife still uses her bullwhip and makes me work harder than I ever did when gainfully employed.  I've been trying to get fat and lazy to prepare for my 50th birthday but I am becoming suspicious she is set on killing me before either happen!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 02:53:40 PM »

> The square deep on its own would retain enough resources to overwinter?  If so, that would indeed be nice..  Less height for the wind to catch and cool down, but wider and harder for the bees to access when balled for the winter?

It works ok.  I'd prefer more room for winter, but that also depends on the race of bees.  It's probably plenty big for the feral survivors and Carniolans.  It's probably a bit small for Italians, but it is big enough for them to survive.  I like enough for them to also have enough resources to expand in late winter.
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Michael Bush
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OldMech
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 03:38:08 PM »

Interesting.. I happen to have all three. Carniolans Italians and feral..   the feral bees I have caught swarms from at one of our farms has lived in that tree since before I was a twinkle in daddys eye are by far my favorite to handle and deal with. My step grandfather grew up on that farm, and told me many years ago that those bees had been in there since he could remember. There are three other trees on the property that usually have bees in them, swarms from the big tree.. the other trees die out every third or fourth winter, and are usually replaced by swarms from the main tree.. needless to say, it is a prime swarm trap location that always pays off.. I have it in mind to try to eventually convert all my hives to whatever these mutts originated from and have become. They build comb like there's no tomorrow and can be handled easier than any of my other hives. With luck, I hope to catch two or three swarms of them next spring. Split the ones I do have, and eventually replace the carny and italian queens in my other hives with queens from these.   Which is why i was thinking about that larger hive to make splits from..   The biggest pain with these bees, is that the queens are striped.. their coloration is identical to the workers. Obviously they have larger abdomens, but it makes finding the queen very difficult amidst the bright yellow striped bees.. so I suppose I will have to learn to mark the queens..
   Anyhow, thank you for the Input Michael B. Watching to see how the bees take to this hive will be interesting
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 08:53:56 AM »

> The biggest pain with these bees, is that the queens are striped.. their coloration is identical to the workers.

I get queens like that now and again.  They are very hard to spot.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 06:23:05 PM »

bees evolved for high aspect ratio (>7)cylinders..not low aspect ratio(<1) cuboids
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 09:20:39 PM »

bees evolved for high aspect ratio (>7)cylinders..not low aspect ratio(<1) cuboids


        need help

   Anyone know the language? if so could you translate? Only know Rustic American English...       cool
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 03:38:25 PM »

Wife had meetings last week.. early morning, so she went to bed around 4:30 PM.. I got bored..... and built a hive around multiple ideas I had..
   Seemed like a good idea at the time... actually, it LOOKS impressive...  But it IS going to be heavy when its full...

   I had quite a few 1x12's stacked in the garage...   so upon staring at them for a while wondering how to start.. I just cut all four sides the same length. Router'd the two top edges so standard deep frames will fit into it...  glued, nailed and squared...  NEXT...   I built a custom bottom board, and made the entrance the same as my Langstroths.. so i could use entrance reducers etc...  so now I had a deep body and a bottom board with attached stand... so i built a second deep body, a vented top cover, and then I built an insulated garden roof to cover it all... hmmm, yeah, its square, holds thirteen (deep) frames in each box...  so i took a standard medium honey super and set it on the top..  the length was right, but the sides had nearly two inches uncovered...  a quick 2x4 through my table saw at a 45 degree angle... pieces screwed to the honey super and the sides are now sealed.. AND, I can use a standard inner and outer cover on it....
   Yes... Inspections will be difficult because of the weight.. but I can still heft a railroad tie to my shoulder, carry it across the yard and set it in place where the wife wants her steps down to the deck built over the pond... So hopefully it will be at least two or three years before I get fat... errr, CONTENT!!!  

Dr. Emile Warre's hive is square and if  shortened Dadant deep frames are used it becomes a cube.  The Warre hive is 12X12 inches square interior measurements (13.5X13.5 exterior) and 8 inches deep which equates to a 6 inch comb depth.  It holds eight frames.
The Imperial hive had 12 frames and it was a beast to work with At 16 yrs old I had a hard time lifting the second deep when trying to inspect the lower deep, at 19 7/8 inches wide and 20 inches long it was just too cumbersome and weighed over 120 lbs full of bees and honey.  

 
Quote
 Anyhow.. it uses standard frames, standard entrance reducer and the honey supers modified can still be used on this, or standard hives...    I forced myself to try this hive before I built any more like it...

   Bees build brood in a "ball" so wouldnt square be better than rectangle?...   But making a smaller square would mean none of the standard equipment (frames) would fit...  thats what started the ideas, it sort of snowballed from there...
   I figured to use normal honey supers with covers until winter, then install the insulated pitched roof.
   I have wondered if the bees would even utilize thirteen frames...  My 8 frame hive (single.. Only have one) they dont tend to like the two outsides  of the frames.. in my ten frame hives they dont usually like to use the two outside edge frames.. so i was thinking in this hive they may at least actually USE a full eleven frames... IF, they dont use the outside frame edges.


Having worked with 8, 10, & 12 frame hives, I have found that the maximum number of brood frames per box is 8, meaning 2 frames of stores in a 10 frames hive, usually one on each side of the brood chamber, with the 12 frame it was 2 frames of stores on each side of the brood chamber.  Problem one with the 12 frame was that the frame had to be manipulated in order to get the 11th & 12th frames drawn and filled.  Second problem  was that those extra frames then set on the outside of the hive and crystalized and molded with the bees ignoring them to the point of dying of starvation with at least 4 frames of honey still in the double deep hive.  Conclusion: width becomes a problem much faster than height.   To enlarge a brood chamber past eight frames the expansion must be vertical.

Quote
  if it doesnt work out, and or proves to be too heavy for me to manipulate, I can cut it down to standard dimensions, but thought I would ask if any of you had ever considered such a thing, and or tried it?    
   Opinions?  ( Other than weight.. i know I may blow out certain parts of my anatomy when i lift it.)
  Thanks!

Don't cut it down, convert it into a Queen Castle, using 1/4 inch panels to separate frames the box, as described can have groves cut into the end panels so that 4 sections of 3 frames each result.  Build a screened bottom board to fit placing one entrance on each side and end panel.  Each entrance, if cut to fit a Boardman feeder, will allow feeding each section individually and a 1/2 inch hole is drilled mid-way up the side just off the other entrance for use when the feeder is in place.  The Queen Castle can them be set up just like a split and as it develops can be split by inserting the divider panels resulting with up to 4 queens which can be keep throughout the summer for use when needed.
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 06:06:32 PM »

OK.. so I am not as original as I thought. Considering the weight this thing will be I ddint think anyone else would be foolish enough to try it... But I am intrigued by the idea of using it for a queen castle..  I am JUST starting to look at rearing queens, watching videos and reading what I can find..  I want to catch and grow at least two more feral swarms from the above mentioned tree at the farm outside town. Those bees seem to be a wee bit tinier than the italians and carnolians I have. they are more colorful (including he queen) and they are absolute darlings to work with...
   Depending on how far a Queen will go in order NOT to mate with her own drones??? Fact or fiction?
   I am also hoping for a feral drone breeding..  that tree is JUST over three miles from my house/hives... I know of two other feral colonies a little bit further away. One closer, but its a pain to get to through the brush.. I found it Coon hunting two falls ago.. As far as I know, there is no one with pure strains of bees IN our little town... population 480.. Several farms around have one or two hives, the closest is about 12 miles.. so I have a fair chance of having the feral queens mated with feral drones???   Or do they allow their own drones to mate? I guess i havent looked into that aspect of it much yet.
   I like the idea, and will consider it seriously. Thank you for the informative Reply Mr. Bray!!!


   Edit;
   What do you do for a roof on something like that? Use a divided inner cover to allow individual inspections of each section?
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 10:12:54 PM »

On a Queen Castle (QC), as I described, the cut for the divider panels has to run from the frame rabbit (rest) to the screened bottom, it is cut 3/8 deep into the wood just as is the rabbit.  The panel is cut 3/4 inch above the top of the box.  I've found that 1X4 lumber works well as inner tops between the panels so that each section can be handled individually.  I drill 2 7/8 inch holes in the inner tops covering the holes with #8 hardware cloth.  The holes are just the right size to accept a pint or quart jar feeder. Feeding is can be done with the top off, or 2 medium depth nucs, side by side will cover the feeders.  At least 2 holes to each inner top.  The two end sections are slightly wider due to the hive body wall.  Atop the entire hive I make a migratory top to keep out the rain.

The QC is based on an old design I saw in the 1960's and upon which I've made improvements.  There are several ways to operate the QC the easiest of which is to set up a split using the two middle sections as a single unit, which will result in the creation of 1 queen, then as that fills out the center panel is inserted and the two other panels are removed, resulting in a 2 queen.  The third phase is to have all 3 divider panels inserted resulting in 4 queens. 

The queens can be harvested and transferred to other hives at any time after the 1st queen as laid 4 frames of brood., from there it is pretty much self perpetuating until the beekeeper decides to tear it down into nucs.  Queens can be removed and placed in individual cages or a complete section (3 frames) can be taken, placed in huc or hive body with additional  frames and combined with the targeted hive.

If you're interested I might tell you how to develop hives with a 3 tiered brood chamber in just 6 short weeks.  I system I've develop for rapid expansion or late swarm/slits.     An August swarm/split can be made winter survivalable by late September.
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2013, 05:48:50 AM »

OK.. so I am not as original as I thought.   

      You will find out that are very few things you can think of that will be original  shocked when it comes to beekeeping. 

             

                        BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2013, 06:09:39 AM »

   Edit;
   What do you do for a roof on something like that? Use a divided inner cover to allow individual inspections of each section?


This as what Mike Palmer of Vermont does.

http://www.betterbee.com/Products/Nuc-Boxes-and-Components/Double-Nuc-with-supers


This is what Overland Honey in Portland, Maine does

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/beefarm/productinfo/612/

You can see a video on this page you can also look at the Brushy Mountain2013 catalog on page 38

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/catalog.html?utm_source=June+E-Flier+2013&utm_campaign=June+E-flier&utm_medium=email


This is what Walter T. Kelly does
https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=33323331333833353338

Queen castle Product Code: 447




                                BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: August 10, 2013, 08:03:48 AM by Jim 134 » Logged

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 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2013, 07:44:22 AM »

Brian, I am interested "If you're interested I might tell you how to develop hives with a 3 tiered brood chamber in just 6 short weeks" please share this

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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2013, 12:04:07 PM »

On a Queen Castle (QC), as I described, the cut for the divider panels has to run from the frame rabbit (rest) to the screened bottom, it is cut 3/8 deep into the wood just as is the rabbit.  The panel is cut 3/4 inch above the top of the box.  I've found that 1X4 lumber works well as inner tops between the panels so that each section can be handled individually.  I drill 2 7/8 inch holes in the inner tops covering the holes with #8 hardware cloth.  The holes are just the right size to accept a pint or quart jar feeder. Feeding is can be done with the top off, or 2 medium depth nucs, side by side will cover the feeders.  At least 2 holes to each inner top.  The two end sections are slightly wider due to the hive body wall.  Atop the entire hive I make a migratory top to keep out the rain.

The QC is based on an old design I saw in the 1960's and upon which I've made improvements.  There are several ways to operate the QC the easiest of which is to set up a split using the two middle sections as a single unit, which will result in the creation of 1 queen, then as that fills out the center panel is inserted and the two other panels are removed, resulting in a 2 queen.  The third phase is to have all 3 divider panels inserted resulting in 4 queens. 

The queens can be harvested and transferred to other hives at any time after the 1st queen as laid 4 frames of brood., from there it is pretty much self perpetuating until the beekeeper decides to tear it down into nucs.  Queens can be removed and placed in individual cages or a complete section (3 frames) can be taken, placed in huc or hive body with additional  frames and combined with the targeted hive.

If you're interested I might tell you how to develop hives with a 3 tiered brood chamber in just 6 short weeks.  I system I've develop for rapid expansion or late swarm/slits.     An August swarm/split can be made winter survivalable by late September.

I am very interested also
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2013, 12:59:45 PM »

I thought this thread was about that little device attached to cell phones for payment.  grin

I have noticed that the bees I have in a story and a half keep the main brood chamber in the bottom and expand into the top when needed.  My two deep hives may wind up in the top and never seem to go back down on ocassion.  So I'm liking the idea of a larger bottom for a experiment in my area. 
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2013, 03:29:32 PM »

I would certainly be interested as well Mr. Bray..
   I feel that one of the strong points of a larger brood chamber is that I can make splits from it more easily..  With luck the queen will not expand her perimeter, but there will be more stores on the outside frames to choose from when making this into nuc's..  I really love my striped American Queens... (see note below)

   Todays inspection of the Carniolans had them riled up, with two managing to get INSIDE my veil.. despite the fact it is sewed in place to avoid just such issues..  I didnt get stung, but my gloves did..  The Italians were only slightly better... but my feral colonies were calm and as accepting as if it were a spring inspection.
     As time passes I am getting more accustomed to finding the striped queens, and as they didnt seem to be bothered as much I did take the time to search them out.   I am so used to seeing black or caramel colored queens that it is always a thrill to see the full colored large abdomens they sport.
   As the winter progresses I am going to be devouring all the information I can find on queen rearing. Next year I am going to simply do splits from swarm cells. I have some hope that I can replace the southern queens with offspring of these American bees. But, I would like to see if I can produce these queens.. I would be interested to see if they remain true to color and temperament.

   We will see if those larger brood boxes are an aid or a pain..   Queen castle may be the perfect answer!

   NOTE;  No such thing as American bees?   I know bees are not native to the US. How many of us living here are native?
   The tree I am collecting swarms from has had a hive in it, that I am personally aware of, every year, for at LEAST 41 years.. Minus the years I was in the Navy SeaBees that I did not personally see them.
  I found that hive when I was attempting to climb in that tree when I was 8 years old..  As the story was passed down to me.. it had bees in it before Grandpa went to fight in WW2..   So those bees have had their green card for a LONG time, they know the language, and in fact, could have been settled there before my Great Grandfather came across from Germany when he was six.  So as far as I am concerned, they are as American as I am, perhaps even more so. Who knows their heritage? Russian? Itallian? Carniolans? How many bee species have come over to this country and escaped? Were those strains of bees around at that time? Buckfast?  I am not sure...
   What I do know.. is that these bees are slightly smaller than the other varieties I have. Up in that tree, they are never medicated. They replace their own queen when needed. They survive the winter cold, and the summer heat, the mites and the other diseases without assistance...     While it is certainly possible that they have died out and been replaced, I would have to think it was one of their own swarm/swarms that recolonized, as the closest beekeeper I can find is 12 miles away..  and thats another story in itself...  I looked in those mostly uncared for hives.. to find striped queens in both...
   
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2013, 01:27:36 PM »

Here's what Carl Killion said:

"One could hardly call the hive I use a ten-frame hive; it is standard ten-frame Langstroth size in every respect, but only nine frames are used.  We find any number of beekeepers using only nine frames in a ten frame hive body, but the frames are equally spaced and occupy all the space that ten frames would occupy.  The nine frames used in our hive body are spaced their regular distance apart, and a follower board is used on each side next to the side wall of the hive... The main reason is we get more brood in the nine frames used than most beekeepers get in ten frames.  In actual experience we find a queen does not like to lay in the two outside combs in a ten-frame hive body, next to the wall of the hive, the reason perhaps being the sudden change in temperature.  The result, we find in nearly every hive, is only eight frames of brood instead of ten.  One more advantage to using only nine frames spaced and arranged as they are, is that our sections in the super are directly above frames of brood.  By having all sections over brood, the bees work in them better than when sections are above solid frames of honey.  One will find the frames of honey on the sides if all ten frames are used.  Right here it might be well to mention that this is one of the reasons we like the eight-frame size super in preference to the ten-frame size."--Carl Killion, Honey In The Comb, Chapter 3
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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