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Poll
Question: What primary configuration do you use for production hives?  (Voting closed: March 24, 2007, 12:04:30 AM)
10 fr body w/10 frames - 24 (57.1%)
10 fr body w/9 frames - 12 (28.6%)
8 fr body w/8 frames - 6 (14.3%)
8 fr body w/7 frames - 0 (0%)
Other - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 40


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Author Topic: Hive configuration  (Read 4560 times)
gottabee
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« on: December 23, 2006, 11:04:30 PM »

There seemed to be a big rush to convert 10 frame equipment to 8 frames. My area most beekeepers are running 10 frames. Was 8 frame equipment just a fad?
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Understudy
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 11:42:35 PM »

Eight frames wasn't a fad. It was never mainstream.
People like Mike use eight frames to cut down on the weight of a hive box.
Not everyone needs to do it that way so most people still run 9 and 10 frame hives.

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Brendhan
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2006, 04:21:11 AM »

I'm still in 10 frame deeps. My program has been that I extract, then next year the extracted comb becomes my brood chambers for my splits.  I've got enough drawn comb now that I can add fully drawn supers for production. Not sure if the rotation of the earth has changed the forces of gravity, but something is causeing the deeps to get much heavier.  It also seems to have affected time, and it has accelerated noticeably the last couple years.  I think I'll give myself a New Years present and pick up some mediums before I lose a wrestling match with another deep.
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2006, 06:30:26 AM »


It is most important that bodies have same stardard and fit together. - What ever they are in some area.
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tig
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2006, 08:49:28 AM »

i prefer to use the 10 framer with 9frames.  it cuts down on weight and you dont have to struggle too much removing a comb for insection...less chances of  crushing the bees or queen.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2006, 12:48:25 PM »

In the supers, 8 frame boxes with 7 frames.  In the brood nest 8 frame boxes with 9 frames (the end bars are shaved).  I don't see any differentiation in your survey between supers and brood chambers.  Some people run the same spacing in the brood and the supers.  Some people run less frames in the supers than the brood chambers.
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Michael Bush
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2006, 12:55:16 PM »

Eight frame hives have been around for more than a hundred years and are still here.  I wouldn't call that a fad.

Another issue is what depth boxes you use.  Some people run eight frame deeps for brood and eight frame shallows for supers.  Some people run ten frame deeps for brood and eight frame shallows or mediums for supers with a board to fill the gap like this:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TenFrameToEight.JPG

Some people, like me, run all eight frame mediums.  Here's a picture of a ten frame hive between to eights:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/EightTenEightHives.jpg

It's mostly a matter of weight, but I think they also winter better in the eight frame boxes (they stay warmer and leave less stores behind as they move up) and they winter better in the medium frames (they communicate better between frames and between boxes) and they winter better with only a top entrance (no dead bees clogging the entrance and no mice getting in the bottom).
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2006, 05:21:21 PM »


I suppose that Langstroth hive has very good formula to human work. For women its is too heavy but to manpower it is proper.

World is full of all kinds of hives.

I think that bee breeding too have forced to use Langstroth. In old hive type it is impossible to keep modern Italian colony.

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gottabee
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2006, 08:31:21 AM »

Micheal Bush,
Cool advise and pictures. I started converting from 10 frames to 8 but began to ask myself if it was worth the effort to convert. Weight seems to be the primary concern for most. Your observations about 8 frame equipment are things I will definately consider as I expand. thanks.
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2006, 06:56:47 PM »

Quote
I suppose that Langstroth hive has very good formula to human work. For women its is too heavy but to manpower it is proper

now don't be sexist!  smiley  i was lifting 10 frame deeps this year.  i do admit, as the hive got taller, i saw the advantage of lighter boxes!  even so, i didn't drop any.   grin
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2006, 07:35:31 PM »

I suppose that Langstroth hive has very good formula to human work. For women its is too heavy but to manpower it is proper.

Finsky, ha!!!  LOL.  I am a 54 year old, 5 foot 2 inches woman and I can lift a 10 frame deep Langstroth hive filled with bees.  I am powerful in the arms.  Now.  I cannot lift a 10 frame deep Langstroth super filled with honey.  That is indeed too much for this small body size.  But I don't lift the entire honey super anyways.  I have a method that works fabulously.

I have a big wheelbarrow that I bring in the apiary with me when I am removing honey frames.  The wheelbarrow  contains an empty super with a sheet covering it, the sheet is light as the wind and if I pick it up and drape it, it floats down onto the super and covers it entirely, no bee from outside the hive can have even the remotest chance of slipping in.  When I get the honey frames I pick up each frame, remove the bees and lift the sheet, put the frame in the empty super, put back on the sheet.  No bee gets in.  I do this for the entire honey super, replacing the honey frames with new frames of course. Now I am left with a super on top ready for the bees to fill again.  This works for me really well.

when I leave the apiary and bring the wheelbarrow up to my house, I lift this lightweight sheet and any bees that managed to sneak in on the frame fly home because they are full of honey and want to bring it home.  I lift the sheet a couple of times and by that time all the bees are full of honey, leave this  honey super and have returned home, happy as can be.  This is fun.  It may seem a little bit archaic, but this is the way that I do it and will probably carry on so.

I like to have the deeps for honey because then it does not matter what goes where, they are all the identical size.  Great day. Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2006, 07:55:35 PM »

>now don't be sexist!  smiley  i was lifting 10 frame deeps this year.  i do admit, as the hive got taller, i saw the advantage of lighter boxes!  even so, i didn't drop any.

I used to use all ten frame deeps.  I used to not think much of lifting a 90 pound box, but back then I bought all my chicken feed in hundred pound bags (to get the burlap) and I worked construction all day long.

Now if I lift ONE 90 pound deep, my back hurts for a week.   If I lift 60 pound mediums all day my back hurts for a week.  If I lift 48 pound mediums all day my back hurts for a couple of days.

It all depends on how much you want to lift and how much you want to hurt.

Richard Taylor in The Joys of Beekeeping says:
    "...no man's back is unbreakable and even beekeepers grow older. When full, a mere shallow super is heavy, weighing forty pounds or more. Deep supers, when filled, are ponderous beyond practical limit."

BTW eight frame hives have been around since L.L. Langstroth.  They were probably the most common hives in the 1880s and have made a resurgence in popularity from time to time, but have never gone away.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2006, 11:07:24 PM »

I use 8 frame medium exclusively.  As I often have to do my beekeeping from a wheelchair the size is handle-able.  Deeps are too deep to lift over the arm of the wheelchair, 10 frames are too wide as well as too heavy (even in medium). 
I have run 8, 10, & 12 frame hives at one time or another.  I now use 8's not only because of physical limitations but because of the things Michael Bush pointed out about how the bees seem to perform in an 8 frame hive.
My Greatgrandfather used 8 frame hives so I know they've been around for a long time.
Nearly 50 years of experience has proven to me that the 8 Frame hive appears to work better and have a higher survivability rate over winter than the 10 frame.  Can I prove it?  No, but my experience is what I act on when chosing between methods.
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Scott Derrick
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2006, 12:03:34 AM »

The question I have for you guys is this. Can you use a 10 frame deep and make it into an 8 frame deep? I just happen to have bought 30 deeps last week from a beekeeper that is switching to all 8 frame stuff. He is a pollinator and like the ease of use and stacking on pallets. I noticed that he did have some 8 frame separators in the hives.

Would it bee a problem for me to run 8 frames in a 10 frame deep? If yes then what sort of problems can I expect.

Scott
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2006, 12:32:36 AM »

Scott, good questions, I would like to hear the response too.  I have all 10 frame deeps, at this point in time they are manageable, but I may want to try a few 8 frame just for the fun of it.  great day. Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2006, 06:32:18 AM »

>The question I have for you guys is this. Can you use a 10 frame deep and make it into an 8 frame deep?

I have cut them down the same as cutting the mediums down like this:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm

> I noticed that he did have some 8 frame separators in the hives.

Separators?

>Would it bee a problem for me to run 8 frames in a 10 frame deep?

Yes.

> If yes then what sort of problems can I expect.

Very uneven comb and possibly a lot of cross comb.  There is nothing to be gained by putting less frames in the box unless you use follower boards.  If you put a follower board on each end you could put 9 frames in without any problems.  But a lot of the gain with an eight frame hive is that the weight is closer to your body.  Not only do you get rid of two frames of honey, but those two frames were the ones that were the most awkward.
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Michael Bush
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pembroke
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2006, 08:54:00 AM »

Scott & Cindi: It seem to me that there would be too much room left over and would cause bridging [may not be right definitions, new beekeeper]. I suppose that you could add sheets of styrofoam on edges to take up space. I'm sure Michael could tell us what to do. have a good one. Pembroke
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2006, 10:02:20 PM »

The boxes are designed to take a given number of frames for a reason.  When you start to stretch the spacing between frames by removing one or more you are asking for problems.  You are likely to have burr comb everywhere, frames at all angles (w/o spacers), and irregular comb; to name the three most common.  The only variation that works consistantly is putting in an extra frame.  It works because the spacing is closer causing shorter comb.  Great for brood chambers but hard on the uncapping knife user.
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« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2007, 09:54:56 AM »

I use standard mediums
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gottabee
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« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2007, 11:57:08 PM »

Scott, Cindi,
I got a chance to look at Micheal Bushes link about 8 frame vs 10 frame and how to cut them down. Excellent.
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