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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 4541 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2007, 12:38:32 AM »

Some of the 10 frame boxes that I bought have "8 frame spacers" in them. I believe the reason this guy used them like this was because it was easier to handle (lighter). I assume that I should take them out if I want to run the unlimited brood chamber method.

Scott
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« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2007, 06:40:52 AM »

>"8 frame spacers" in them. I believe the reason this guy used them like this was because it was easier to handle (lighter).

But they won't be any lighter.  A ten frame super with 10 or 9 or 8 frames weighs about the same full.  The bees just make the combs thicker in the supers.
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2007, 06:21:51 AM »

And using 8 frames in a 10 frame hive invites lots of cross comb.  Like with burr comb maintainence on such a configuration is a chore.
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2007, 09:02:18 PM »

When I started buying new woodenware I knew the bees would respect a 3/8" space. I failed to realize that they will not necessairly build the space to suit me or where I think it should be. Today I know the value of consistant spacing whether running 8, 9, or 10 frames. Consistant spacing has been a benefit to me. My frames are not always drawn out perfectly but usually it is me who has been careless while installing a frame.
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2007, 01:20:43 AM »

The question has been addressed in other discussions within the forum. 
The fewer frames in a box the more likely you are to have problems with cross and burr comb.  Irregular comb also becomes an issue.  Frames will develop a trait of having 1/4 inch deep comb to having over 1 1/2 inches of comb on the same side.  They will look like waves when puller from the hives and viewed from the top.  Such comb irregularities will inhibit the queens ability to maintain a cohesive brood nest.  the irregularities also seem to cause a certain amount of stress which shows up in disease susceptable bees.
Any person who puts in less than the number of frames for which the box is designed for is asking for problems.  I strongly argue against such ideas.  But you're welcome to try it and find out for yourself.
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2007, 06:01:33 AM »

And using 8 frames in a 10 frame hive invites lots of cross comb.  Like with burr comb maintainence on such a configuration is a chore.

I use 9 frames in 10 frame super.  I use in brood deeps 10/10.  8/10 frames spoil combs so much that I do not se any fun in it. When I exctract, combs are badly crushed in 8/10 box. It is not merely burr.

In brood are 9/10 system makes, that honey part is very thick and brood are somewhere there. No idea in that.

When you give foundation,they must be first 10/10.

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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2007, 08:47:07 AM »

Good information.  Great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2007, 07:56:40 PM »

Looks like the vast majority are running 10 frame equipment.
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« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2007, 01:20:03 AM »

Looks like the vast majority are running 10 frame equipment.

I think that old standard prefared 9 frames and now 10 frames in Langstroth.  Old standard means 50 years ago?
That is why I have two size. I think that Finland use American Langstroth and medium standards.

First stryfoam deeps arrived from Denmark to Finland 20 years ago and they were for 10 frames.
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« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2007, 05:53:50 AM »

Scott, I worked for a commercial beekeeper this summer, and some of the hives were eight deep frames in a ten frame deep super.  Some of the hives had a plastic feeder frame left in eight or nine deep frames.  Heavy as hell.  Add that to being fully protected from bees or ventilation in a new beekeeping suit and a sunny day in the middle of acres of blueberry fields and anything that makes the lifting easier the better.  Too much room and there is the chance for weird burr comb, or frames that have extra deep combs, (wait, is that a bad thing...).  As far as I can gather bees don't really care how many frames, as long as the nest as a whole is keeps an appropriate beespace between combs?  Weight is the biggest inconvenience I can see with using deeps.  I bought ten frame deeps and my hives don't move. I extracted frames exactly like cindi did, and found it to bee relaxing and fun.  Running commercial hives on pollinating contracts means mostly working as fast as possible with not all that much time for each hive, using a air blower to clean bees off of frames, forklifting pallets of supers.  I enjoyed working for a commercial beekeeper, but I can see how labour intensive it is working deeps for eight hours a day... :shock:If you don't want to move your hives or stack them too high, then, deeps are great.  I had crazy brood explosion early spring, and had ten frame deep boxes six high.  Not something I ever want to try again.  I had to get a step ladder to remove the top super.  I will be making splits till the cows come home from now on.  I didn't have bear proof space to take frames and make splits this year, and so I kept the nest going till it was three deeps big.   :mrgreen:Rambling, rambling, my two bits...
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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2007, 08:30:30 AM »

Steve, what else did you do when you worked for that commerical beekeeper?  Did you do any queen grafting or that kind of stuff or what it field work?  Curious.

I am taking the Beemasters Short Course at SFU come the end of February.  It is one week long, for a full day each day.  A beemasters certificate is offered at the end of the course if you take the exam and pass.  I am going to take the exam just for fun.  Just to see if I can bring back the ability to bring knowledge taught actually write an exam.  Should be fun.  I know that you have a deep interest in the bee.  Too bad you couldn't go to it too.  You would benefit from this course, as I know that I will too, seeing that you have had experience with bees for a season.

Ron actually taught some classes at this course when it was offered some years ago.  He recommends it to individuals that have had some hands on experience with the bees.

This year I am thinking about getting some shallow supers for honey harvest.  Only a trial.  Like you said Steve, it was very enjoyable and relaxing to use the method that we used for removing the frames of honey from the hives.  I find when I work with the bees, I don't want to hurry, time stands still when I am in the apiary.  And that is not one little bit of an exageration.  I cannot believe how much time I spend in their in the real world, when I think that I have only been present in their for a few minutes.  Great day.  Cindi
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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2007, 05:36:41 PM »

Eight frame equipment was the standard prior to the 10 frame size in USA and was especially used in the production of section comb honey. 10-frame size eventually became most popular as it gave more room for the brood nest (thought to lessen swarming) and was less apt to tip over when supered up; also, section honey became less popular and the major trend was toward extracting.

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