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Author Topic: 7 frames in a 8 frame  (Read 1815 times)
dprater
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« on: November 09, 2013, 06:57:00 PM »

My wonderful 80 year old beek mentor GAVE me some 8 frame medium supers but they have metal spacers that make them 7 frames supers. They have not had bees in them for years. I've cleaned them up and put in new foundation.

He said it gives you a little wider cone and makes upcapping easier. Is this a good set up to use,  and what problems if any will I encounter?

dan
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Anybrew
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2013, 08:05:25 PM »

I have learnt that 7 frames work the best in 8 Frame full depth supers. Big fat combs because of the extra space and much easier to extract.  The only way to go for me.


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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2013, 10:06:46 PM »

that sounds intriguing.  i may have to try it out.
any downside?
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 12:08:45 AM »

Not that I have found,perhaps it makes the combs heavy. But so much easier to extract.

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Moots
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 12:21:37 AM »

that sounds intriguing.  i may have to try it out.
any downside?

Other than the obvious of you lose a frame of honey per box?...

This is a fairly common pratice, 7 frames in an 8 frame box, or 9 frames in a ten frame box.  Personally, I've never tried it.  I use 8 frames and have never had any uncapping issues, therefore really don't see the advantage of this method.  To me, it adds work with no real advantage.  You either need to add rails to keep your spacing right or use a tool each time to assist with getting the spacing right.  I prefer to just make sure my frames are all tight and centerd in the box.  
If you do decide to go that route, I think you need to wait until you have comb drawn out before reducing from 8 to 7 frames.  I want to say I've heard if you go to the increased spacing with only foundation in your frames, it will cause problems.  
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 01:38:44 AM »

that sounds intriguing.  i may have to try it out.
any downside?

Other than the obvious of you lose a frame of honey per box?...

This is a fairly common pratice, 7 frames in an 8 frame box, or 9 frames in a ten frame box.  Personally, I've never tried it.  I use 8 frames and have never had any uncapping issues, therefore really don't see the advantage of this method.  To me, it adds work with no real advantage.  You either need to add rails to keep your spacing right or use a tool each time to assist with getting the spacing right.  I prefer to just make sure my frames are all tight and centerd in the box.  
If you do decide to go that route, I think you need to wait until you have comb drawn out before reducing from 8 to 7 frames.  I want to say I've heard if you go to the increased spacing with only foundation in your frames, it will cause problems.  

 applause applause If you do not do this you may get all kinds of burr comb.







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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 05:06:11 AM »

In my search for an answer I found this from Michael Bush. He was talking about spacing in the brood chamber but this should apply here to I think. What he says is: when the combs are too widely spaced, the bees while refilling them with stores, lengthen the cells and thus make the comb thick and irregular.

I guess this is what Moots and Jim are talking about.

Thanks for replys

dan

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Joe D
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2013, 09:59:41 AM »

In the ten frame super, and should be same in the eights, you will get more honey with one less frame.  They build the comb out more.  I would still have the brood chambers with the proper amount of frames eight or ten.  Good luck to you and your bees.




Joe



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Moots
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2013, 10:23:02 AM »

In the ten frame super, and should be same in the eights, you will get more honey with one less frame.  They build the comb out more.  I would still have the brood chambers with the proper amount of frames eight or ten.  Good luck to you and your bees.

Joe,
I understand that they build the frame out more, and I understand that you'll get more honey "per frame"...but the fact remains, you're sacrificing a frame to get there.

I'm curious if anyone has actually ever done some comparisons and proved the "more honey" theory, or is it maybe just a perception of "more honey"....focusing on those big fat frames and not the fact that there are fewer of them?

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Vance G
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2013, 11:46:39 AM »

Combs are drawn best closely spaced.  Personally I like drawing combs with 11 shaved to fit in a ten frame box.  After you have the resultant fully drawn straight combs, it is faster to handle and extract fewer frames that weigh more per each.  I routinely run 8 frames in a ten frame extracting super.  You lose nothing in honey volume and spend less time extracting.   
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OldMech
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2013, 07:17:39 PM »

Combs are drawn best closely spaced.  Personally I like drawing combs with 11 shaved to fit in a ten frame box.  After you have the resultant fully drawn straight combs, it is faster to handle and extract fewer frames that weigh more per each.  I routinely run 8 frames in a ten frame extracting super.  You lose nothing in honey volume and spend less time extracting.  

   Exactly...  the "SPACE" in the hive doesnt change.. YES, you are minus one frame, but the SPACE is still the same. The bees draw the comb out further to fill that space and maintain their "bee" space between the frames...   So in effect, you lose the space nce filled by foundation, cappings etc from one of the frames gaining a wee bit...
  I looked into it a lot, and it is a fact that you "can" get more honey minus one frame... but as moots was saying.. is it worth the trouble for the 1/8th of a pound of honey you get extra?...    The true advantage I have seen, is in ease of handling and uncapping.. One less frame to uncap and extract. The comb is wider, making it VERY easy to uncap... so...   were back to methodology and convenience...  if its worth the spacing brackets or spacing tool, and the time to use/install them to you, then it WORKS for you!!!!

   From all I have read and seen.. the best method is to run 11 frames in the brood boxes and 9 in the supers... maybe one day I will get around to trying that...    For now, ten frames in ten frame boxes is working well as MY method   shocked
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2013, 09:30:25 AM »

The only issue I see is getting the bees to draw the combs straight. You may need to get the frames drawn in a different box, as the extra spacing sometimes causes the bees to get inventive. Once the comb is drawn, I see no issues.
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 09:34:17 AM »

I believe most guys/gals put ten frames in until they are drawn, THEN space them to 9.
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2013, 11:25:30 AM »

I find the built in spacers a pita.  The frames get glued in.  They are hard to clean and they are expensive.  An eyeball and gauge with your thumb is a lot easier. 
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Jim 134
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2013, 07:45:25 PM »

Joe,
I understand that they build the frame out more, and I understand that you'll get more honey "per frame"...but the fact remains, you're sacrificing a frame to get there.

I'm curious if anyone has actually ever done some comparisons and proved the "more honey" theory, or is it maybe just a perception of "more honey"....focusing on those big fat frames and not the fact that there are fewer of them?
Moots...
 I see you missed one of the biggest reasons why commercial beekeepers put in one less frame in the boxes it so that it will uncapped easier (fewer low spots) when going through an automatic  uncapped. You must remember they will have a capping spinner to get the honey out of the capping so while it does save time and labor for them if you can count that.  There is little to no honey lost.





                                BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2013, 08:10:51 PM »

i nailed many 9 frame spacers into honey supers way back when.  it makes uncapping much easier.  if you are extracting hundreds of supers a day it's worth it, if you'll never have more than a dozen honey supers it's not worth the expense. 
don't run them in brood boxes. 
i don't think you get less honey per super but i don't think you get a lot more either.
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edward
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2013, 04:00:36 AM »

If you harvest honey with a beeblower if is easier to blow out the bees if you don't have a box full of frames.

The missing frame makes it a lot easier to blow the bees of the frames.

mvh Edward  tongue
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2013, 06:02:11 AM »

I'm curious if anyone has actually ever done some comparisons and proved the "more honey" theory, or is it maybe just a perception of "more honey"....focusing on those big fat frames and not the fact that there are fewer of them?

Well, we can calculate it, in theory.  If we assume that there will be 1 x beespace at the ends of the box, and 1.5 beespace between frames, then we can calculate how much space in the box is taken up by "empty space" and therefore what the theoretical maximum amount of honey would be.  You can adjust the assumptions in an Excel spreadsheet and see how it plays out.  But essentially (if beespace is 7 mm) an 7-framer will have 10.5 mm more room for honey than an 8-framer.  Don't forget also that the midrib of the comb is 2.5 mm thick, so for every frame less, you save an additional 2.5 mm of "honeyless comb".

However, the above calculation fails to take into account the loss of cell space due to the fact that the bees change the angle of the cells to compensate for the added weight of the honey in them.  Perhaps as much as a full row of cells at the bottom (and possibly also at the top) of each frame will be wasted in the process.  So imagine the frame being 5 mm less tall than it actually is.  In a Langstroth super frame, that would reduce the one-side comb area from 0.052948 m2 to 0.050813 m2 (a reduction of between 0.04% and 0.08%, if my math is correct).

All in all, it would seem that using 7 frames instead of 8 would yield slightly more honey, if we rely solely on the above math.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2013, 07:44:28 AM »

However, the above calculation fails to take into account the loss of cell space due to the fact that the bees change the angle of the cells to compensate for the added weight of the honey in them.  Perhaps as much as a full row of cells at the bottom (and possibly also at the top) of each frame will be wasted in the process.  So imagine the frame being 5 mm less tall than it actually is.  In a Langstroth super frame, that would reduce the one-side comb area from 0.052948 m2 to 0.050813 m2 (a reduction of between 0.04% and 0.08%, if my math is correct).

 Is this a theory or do you have references for the statement.


Moots.....
 I also see I miss the hive will produce more uncapped wax if the combs a cut down to the frame every time it is uncapped.
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2013, 07:54:51 AM »

However, the above calculation fails to take into account the loss of cell space due to the fact that the bees change the angle of the cells to compensate for the added weight of the honey in them.  Perhaps as much as a full row of cells at the bottom (and possibly also at the top) of each frame will be wasted in the process.
Is this a theory or do you have references for the statement.

It is mere speculation, based on my very limited experience with what brace comb tends to look like.  Either way, it is harmless speculation which can only increase and not decrease the accuracy of the answer to the question "does using fewer frames lead to less honey".

Even if the bees don't adjust the angle of the comb, but keep it the same angle, the fact that the comb is built at an angle will result in loss of volume overall if the cell lengths increase dramatically, don't you agree?  I mean, there will be less room on the frame for the top row of cells, and the bottom row of cells will protrude upwards and the space underneath them will go to waste, don't you agree?  Either way, the amount of wastage (if any) would be little (less than 0.1%, as per my previous post).
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« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2013, 08:16:18 AM »

Jim,
Thanks for bring this topic back to life, I had kind of forgotten about it.

ug,
Thanks for sharing your theory and calculations...very interesting!

Jim,
I think you make another great point that has been overlooked in this discussion.  Let's for the sake of discussion, concede the fact and say that a 7 frame will produce more honey than an 8 frame.

If you're a small time or hobbyist beek, without a capping spinner, how much of that honey gets lost in the thicker capping and how much do you lose in the harvesting process as compared to the thinner cappings of the frames from the 8 frame setup?

I think folks are constantly trying to build a better mouse trap, they hear that the big boy commercial beeks use one less frame per box, save time and labor, and get more honey....so they do it.
I'm just not convinced that what makes sense for them always translates to the "little guy"

How many Beeks using the "one fewer frame" in the honey super method actually has a capping spinner???

I'm a newbie with plenty left to learn, I've only got two extractions under my belt....But it didn't take me long to figure out a few things....First, there's a bunch of honey left in the cappings.  Second, It's a pain and rather inefficient to try and get that honey out of the cappings.

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« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2013, 10:28:30 AM »

The honey weight may not differ much with one less frame per box.

If you run many hives and boxes you will save 10-15% in frame Costs and equipment.

All so you will save time and extration effectiveness with the same amount, if you have many hives you will save time, or you will bee able to run more hives.

mvh Edward  tongue
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Jim 134
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« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2013, 05:42:06 PM »

Moots.....
This is what I call a poor man's capping spinner
It depends what kind of extract you have an if you need the Metal Inserts or not if you use a plane knife like Maxant you will be able to set the depth of how much you cut off the capping

Electric Uncapping Plane
http://www.maxantindustries.com/uncapping.html

Extractor Metal Inserts
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/beefarm/productinfo/463/

Capping Bag
http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/beefarm/productinfo/587/




                        BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2013, 05:43:56 PM »

I use 9 frames in a 10 frame super because it's easier to uncap.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2013, 05:59:13 PM »

Even if the bees don't adjust the angle of the comb, but keep it the same angle, the fact that the comb is built at an angle will result in loss of volume overall if the cell lengths increase dramatically, don't you agree?  I mean, there will be less room on the frame for the top row of cells, and the bottom row of cells will protrude upwards and the space underneath them will go to waste, don't you agree?  Either way, the amount of wastage (if any) would be little (less than 0.1%, as per my previous post).


And know I do not agree with your theory.

IMHO
It really doesn't make any difference either way once a super gets 75% filled you will be put on the next Unfilled super.  

You do realize you need drawn comb to do this

I believe most guys/gals put ten frames in until they are drawn, THEN space them to 9.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 06:11:45 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2013, 06:33:49 PM »


Jim,
I think you make another great point that has been overlooked in this discussion.  Let's for the sake of discussion, concede the fact and say that a 7 frame will produce more honey than an 8 frame.

IMHO
The honey produced will be very close to same you probably leave more than a 5 gallon pail when you clean out in what the difference will be.

  If you like you may be able to get a hold of someone at Cornell University in New York so you can do a study on this. I doubt very much they will fund you but who knows.





                                 BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley                   
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2013, 08:42:44 PM »


  If you like you may be able to get a hold of someone at Cornell University in New York so you can do a study on this. I doubt very much they will fund you but who knows.

             

Jim,
Not sure how to read what your intentions were by this comment.  huh  Don't know if you're being serious or cute...Either way, I'm not concerned enough to request a study, I'm just kicking around ideas and thoughts on a bee forum.  Smiley

I think by taking only a portion on my quote, my point gets lost again.  Like you, I'm not convinced the difference in the amount of honey between the two options are significant.  However, there are those that obviously believe it is.  So, for the sake of discussion I was willing to accept their premise.  TO MAKE THE POINT, that their "extra honey" (real, imagined, or otherwise) has to be in the cappings...AND without an efficient and effective way to extra that honey from the cappings, their "more honey" might actually become "less honey". 
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2013, 09:21:53 AM »

  I'm very serious you may be able to get a grant for study from a land grant college. I do know in the county beekeeping club I belong to what a few beekeepers do have grant for all kinds of studies including plants ,large animals and yes even honeybees.  The club I belong to is about 15 miles north of the University of Massachusetts yes I am dead serious.  If you'd would like the PM me I do know head of the Agriculture department of the University of Massachusetts I do know he can point you in the right direction if you are interested at all.  Also I do know Director Programs Kenneth Warchol of
Worcester County Beekeepers Association which is in Massachusetts who has done lots of studies for the USDA bee research lab in Beltsville Maryland.   I took a challenge similar to this in 1983 and I'm glad I did it was for the Peace Corps and yes I was farm extension worker with a specialty in beekeeper in North Africa in (RCPV) Tunisia  1983-85.
So if your up for a challenge I will help as much as I can.  
Please don't tell me it cannot be done. You may not be able to do the study you want but you can deflate get involved in one.                        


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« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 04:33:24 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2014, 03:03:01 PM »

In supers with drawn comb, I would put 7 in an eight frame box.  In the brood nest, I would shave them down and put 9 in an eight frame box.  In the supers with foundation, I would put eight in an eight frame box...
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