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Author Topic: Making sense of Langstroth frame size names  (Read 2168 times)
ugcheleuce
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« on: February 03, 2014, 01:21:38 PM »

Hello everyone

I know that there are many different "Langstroth" sizes, but my question relates to the following five frame sizes:

* 1/2 frame (137 mm high)
* 2/3 frame (159 mm high)
* 3/4 frame (185 mm high)
* deep frame (232 mm high)
* jumbo frame (288 mm high)

In particular, I wonder if anyone could shed light on why the first three frames are called 1/2, 2/3 and 3/4, since they are not half, two thirds or three quarters of the deep frame height.  What is the "1/2" frame a half of?  What is the 2/3 frame and the 3/4 frame a 66% and 75% of?

The closest magic that I can weave fits 1/2, 3/4 and 1/1, but not 2/3: the base is 16 mm (that's 1/12), and add 44 mm.

Time for a history lesson, methinks...

Thanks
Samuel

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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
6 hives in 3 locations (4 x Buckfast F2++, 2 x Ligustica F1+)
Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 03:00:19 PM »

I do not speak metric as I resisted this form being shoved down our throat by our government. The sizes commonly in Use in the United States in English demensions, are deep boxes 9 5/8" by 16 1/4 by 19 7/8".  They are stocked with 9 1/8" frames.  There is a 7 5/8" size finding usage mainly with commercial western Beekeepers with 7 1/8" frames.  The medium or Illinois box is 6 5/8 with 6 1/8" frames is in common use as storage for surplus honey but due to it's lighter weight when full it is coming into usage as on of several brood chamber boxes for a hive.  5 11/16 and 4 3/4" boxes have largely become archaic and fallen out of use.  Their is a deeper dadant box but I do not know the dimensions.  It is used only by some hard headed folks who do not have to move it very often!  I am sure they have very good reasons to justify its usage.  I think superior brood rearing is the main claim.  Another variant is a narrower box size designed to hold 8 frames.   An effort to make full equipment lighter and closer in proportion to natural tree cavities it is claimed.   

This is possibley not responsive to your questions, but it is what information I can supply you with while waiting for one of the many historians and experts to comment.
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 05:07:57 PM »

I do not speak metric...

That's okay -- my question is independent of metric or non-metric.  Here are the metric approximations of the frames you mentioned:

* 9 1/8" frames = 232 mm
* 7 1/8" frames = 181 mm
* medium/Illinois, 6 1/8" frames = 155 mm
* archaic 5 11/16 = 144 mm
* archaic 4 3/4" = 121 mm

So what you call the "Illinois" is what I know as the "2/3 frame", and what you call the "7 1/8" is what I know as the "3/4 frame".  And what you call the "9 1/8" is what I know as the "deep" (i.e. 1/1 frame).  I don't care who uses what (as you may have gathered).  My question is simply where the fraction names 1/2, 2/3 and 3/4 came from.  Thanks for your input.
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edward
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 07:21:40 PM »

In sweden its 1/2 dadant and 3/4 langstroth 50% 75% of the frames.


mvh Edward  tongue
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 06:46:42 AM »

We don't use those names, but my guess is the 1/2 is that they took a dadant box and cut it in half and put frames in it.  The frames end up less than 1/2 of a dadant frame because of the gap between the boxes and the saw kerf.

What we have (measurements are boxes):
Extra Shallow 4 3/4" (half of a Langstroth deep)
Shallow 5 3/4" (what used to be a one by six)
Medium or Illinois.  (Some people call this a Western but some people call the next size up a Western 6 5/8")
Western 7 5/8" (what used to be a one by eight)
Deep 9 5/8" (what used to be a one by ten)
Dadant deep 11 5/8" (what used to be a one by twelve)

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Michael Bush
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Simon
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 07:11:31 AM »

In Australia, there are some more permutations of super and frame sizes.  The main super sizes are as follows:
Full Depth - 9 1/2" or 241mm - frames about 232mm
Manley - 6 5/8" or 168mm - frames about 159mm
WSP - 7 1/2" or 190mm - frames about 181mm  (some suppliers WSP stuff is 195mm)
Ideal - 5 3/4" or 146mm - frames about 136mm (similar to US shallow supers I think)
Half size - 5" or 127mm - frames about 118mm (I have never seen any of these though)
The sizes vary a bit between manufacturers (+- a few mm) due to the amount bee space allowed etc.

The WSP supers (named after Wyn Pender, an Australian manufacturer of beekeeping gear) came about during WW2 as I understand as it became difficult to get boards 240mm or so wide, while there was a reasonable supply of 190mm wide timber.  The Manley and half height sizes are an English invention to try and make the weight of full supers a bit more manageable.  However, most Australian beekeepers seem to use mostly either full depth or ideals or some combination.  One of the bigger commercial apiary operations here have recently been cutting their WSP gear down to ideal size to get lighter and more standard, interchangeable gear.  We used to use full depth for the brood box and ideals for the honey supers (and occasionally full depth honey supers), now a lot of beekeepers are using all ideal sized gear.

If you want some information overload, check out David Cushman's comparison of Langstroth sizes - http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/lang.html
Everyone seems to have their own subtle take on Langstroth super and frame sizes.

Simon


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amun-ra
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 04:04:13 PM »

I use the 241 and 127 half height they are light to handle when full and you can fit 2 side by side in the extractor so saves time.

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