Running 1 or 2 less frames in the honey supers

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I've read that many folks will run 8 or 9 frames in a 10 frame honey super or 7 in an 8 frame box.

    If I want to try this do I do it with fully drawn frames?
    I have lots of drawn mediums for the upcoming season.
    Do I need a frame spacer gadget or can I just eyeball it until all the frames seem equal distance apart?

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  2. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    You may want to keep the outside frames the regular space from the hive sides if they start to bridge over to the wall. We just eyeball and divide up the space amongst the other combs. We tuck some undrawn combs between capped frames to get them drawn quickly and you may space them a little closer for the first drawing. The combs dont get drawn all the same so a fixed mechanical spacer may not be so useful.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Always 10 frames of foundation. Then 9 frames of drawn if desired.
     
  5. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    I run 9 frames in a 10 frame super. Make sure you use drawn comb or you will have a mess on your hands. 9 frames make for easier uncapping. I just eyeball them an even amount of space.:thumbsup:
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    You only have to space them the first time you you pull the tenth frame out and space the frames after that the bees propolis the frames and with the extra [FONT=&quot]propolis [/FONT]the frames are back to being self spacing. Thicker comb makes it eraser to extract. One less bee space means more area for honey.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    always drawn comb. reducing the number of frames also adds a bit of ventilation capacity up thru the stack. I really notices this more in those boxes with 10 frames and the tendency of the outer frame or so to melt down.
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    Cool.
    That will save me some frames as well so I can make up more 7-9 frame supers
     
  9. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Another advantage of having one less comb is it allows the frames to be pried over more leaving more space to remove the first frame so you are not gouging the comb with the bur-comb or rolling the bees.
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I went down to 9 frames on all boxes for winter, deep and medium super, to allow more cluster room for the bees. I kept the outer frames up against the walls normal distance. And yes, this was mainly drawn comb, although in September each box had one empty foundation or empty frame.
     
  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Gypsi it most likely wont effect you in you shorter milder climate, but if I did that up here with how tightly the bees have to cluster to maintain heat and the length of time the bees must remain in the clusters I would suffer 100% die out. You are increasing the bee space that the bees will have a harder time using their body's to seal against the cold. These frames being in the brood area, the comb cell depth is the length of a worker bee. and the space between frames should be close enough so a bee can reach from one frame to the next. Using only 9 frames in the brood chamber the bees can't extend the cells in length so they build burr comb to bridge the extra space.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Spacing out 9 built frames by eye measurement is great--in a good honey flow. Going down to 8 has generally been disadvantageous in my experience. Aside from the invitation for the building of unframed combs between the frames, filled combs from an 8 framed super are generally too heavy for their own good: they crack, they break and when extracting, too much has to be cut off to get them into the extractor comfortably (that comment doesn't apply for the squeeze and mash method).
     
  13. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    Fingers are great. I find that 9 frames fit nicely with one finger-width spacing.

    That's been my experience as well. Difficult to balance the load in the extractor: practically had to sit on top of it to keep it from wobbling across the floor.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Apis snip...
    Gypsi it most likely wont effect you in you shorter milder climate

    tecumseh..
    in the winter months I almost always (and using my hive tool as a pry bar) shove the 9 frames together with the alternate ends bars shoved up against opposite sides of the box (leaving two small wedge sized open spaces towards the outsides of each box). Ideally on a stack of boxes I prefer to have the tops and bottom bars to approximately still line up.
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Tec, ok, so I have a wider gap at the outsides? And thank you Apis, I thought I was helping them. I was also avoiding rolling bees as the boxes were quite full in September when I did this.

    And supers plus deeps 9 frame, or just one or the other?
     
  16. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I slide the hive tool between the end bars of frames 2 and 3 and pry the end bars leaving a space of 1/2 an inch and do it to the other end. The propolis will compress leaving the space then I pry frame 2 toward the space and set it of to the side after checking for brood and the queen. Then I will remove the outside frame if need be. Go thru the hive puling the frames towards me and lifting them out When done and all the combs but # 2 is back in the hive spread the space between the first comb and the rest ot the width of the frame remove any bur comb from the side of frame 2 amd slid it down in to the open space. Using this technique I roll very few bees and the bees don't have the extra space that they need to draw bridge comb. I like 10 frames in the brood boxes to maximize the area available for the queen to lay brood.
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Apis snip...
    I like 10 frames in the brood boxes to maximize the area available for the queen to lay brood.

    tecumseh...
    although I use 9 frames per box almost as a rule I don't think the point above made by ApisBees should be minimized. most especially if you are using an excluder to restrict the brood rearing area for a queen. I should say that some of the things I do here have been established by habits formed in working with commercial beekeepers but I don't think 'that' kind of thinking would or should be considered gospel or the 'one and only' way to rear bees. I am one of those folks who constantly reconsiders why I do ANY manipulation with the bees and for this location and due to the limitation in labor (no hired labor input) 9 frames per box is a working solution for me.