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Author Topic: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame  (Read 4600 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« on: May 15, 2023, 09:15:05 pm »
I have used 8 frame mediums since I started beekeeping, but this year, as I have mentioned before, I got a 10 frame poly hive to try out.  I would have gotten it in 8 frame, but the company I decided on didn't offer it.  I have noticed that the spacing is much tighter in the 10 frame boxes.  I can easily get my index finger beside the end frames in my 8 frame boxes when the frames are pushed together, but I can barely get the end frames in and out of the 10 frame hive.  Is the frame spacing tighter in all 10 frame boxes?  Or is it just something with this poly hive? 
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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2023, 09:34:36 pm »
Reagan my wood boxes have the little extra space. Though home built they are the same measurement as a commercial box.. 

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Offline Occam

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2023, 09:54:00 pm »
My 10 frame box fit slightly loosely,  maybe 3/8ths of an inch when pressed together. Well...they did until either I didn't have them tightened in properly last year or the bees pushed them apart with propolis  (I'm guessing my error) and now the box with those frames is quite tight since the made the comb deeper.

Those were my initial brood frames in my nuc box so they'll be phased out after this harvest season. I moved them above the queen excluder, they'll be used in traps after this
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2023, 07:36:44 am »
The eight frame hives have about 1-1/4" inches extra when you put eight standard frames in them.  The ten frame hives have about 3/4" extra.  ALWAYS put all the frames tight to the middle until they are drawn, at least and keep them that way unless there is some reason not to.  The most common reason not to is that you are violating the rule of putting all frames back where they came from and a bulge makes it inadvisable.  Two bulges together where the bees can't get between them often leads to small hive beetle larvae.  I shave mine down  to 1-1/4" (from 1-3/8") and put 9 frames in the eight frame boxes and when I had ten frames, 11 frames in a ten frame box.  There was about 1/2" of extra space then.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2023, 08:12:41 am »
Short answer yes.  I don't know the reasoning.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2023, 12:38:48 pm »
Hm, strange.  I wonder why it's different.  It's certainly not a problem, but it is noticeable, so I was just curious.  Thanks guys. 
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2023, 03:34:56 pm »
Back in the early days of L.L. Langstroth's new hive, there were 8, 10 and 12 frame boxes.  There isn't an exact standard for 8 frame.  They are sometimes an outside width of 14", 13-3/4", 13-1/2" or 13-1/4".  I'm not sure why.  Today you find them mostly in either 14" or 13-3/4".  If you buy them from Western Bee Supply (owned by Dadant but they sell equipment separately as well) they will ask you what size eight frame you want and they will make them any size from 13-1/4" to 14".  If I did that I would probably order them 14" only because I like to put 9 frames in and with the 14" you can just cram 9 frames in with standard frames and with narrow frames (like I use) I would have a little to spare.  But if I were trying to make them universal (mix and match) 13-7/8" would be half way between the two common sizes so that would make sense as a compromise.  If you expect to buy all of your boxes from Western Bee Supply, and you really want to run 8 frames, you could order them 13" wide.  That's (8 frames x 1.375" per hoffman frame) + (0.25 x 2 for the beespace between the outside frames and the wall) + (2 x .75 for the outside wall thicknesses) = 13"
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2023, 07:24:28 pm »
In the Paradise 8 frame polystyrene you can fit 9 frames with only about 1/4" space. We put 9 new frames in a super to make sure they are drawn straight but go back to 8 once drawn.
You can run 9 in the brood box but to me there is not enough space to work the frames. So we go back to 8 frames in the brood and they are a delight to work. They have about 1 1/2" space but you don't roll bees and once the sides of the frames gather a bit of wax/propolys they are quite stable.
I would just run 9 frames as it is ample space for the queen to lay, and makes life easier.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2023, 05:01:14 am »
Reagan,

We have the same issue here in Australia. There is more wriggle room in 8 frame boxes than in ten framers. Somewhere in the past, there may have been a slight mathematical design error or perhaps there is a reason for this. Would love to know the answer. When I first started out in beekeeping, I looked up dimensions of a box on the net and set about to make 12 full depth dovetailed supers. Later on down the track I found that the dimensions that I used made a box that was 14mm wider than the standard dimension. I must admit, they are a delight to work with and can still be used with the rest of my boxes. I do however, try to keep them together.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2023, 06:05:14 am »
I agree that some "wiggle room" on the outside edges is nice. Of course, if there is too much they will try to build a comb in there...  But if you space the frames further apart you get fat comb at the top (with honey) and skinny comb where the brood is which makes for uneven combs.  Especially if they decide to build on one side of the gap an extra fat one and on the other side even with the brood.  That frame can't go anywhere else...  I found that if I spaced the frames further apart the problem got bigger.  When I shaved them down to 1-1/4" (32mm) from the usual 1-3/8" (35 mm) combs were straighter and not s uneven.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2023, 08:40:35 am »
In honey boxes I spaced the frames further apart when I had frames that were harvested the year before.  fatter frames makes it easier to cut the caps off.  You must always leave enough honey for the bees so there was never a problem of brood in the honey frames.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2023, 05:58:10 pm »
I did some rearranging in the Beemax poly hive today; since the bees weren't really using the bottom box, I moved it to the top of the hive so they had more room for the sourwood flow.  After doing this, I'm convinced that the spacing between the boxes of this equipment is not correct.  I noticed when I bought this hive that when I set a box on the floor, the frames popped up slightly, because they actually hang below the level of the box.  As a result, the bees had stuck some of the frames in the bottom box to the bottom board.  On top of that, every single time I open this hive, the bees have built comb between the inner cover and the top bars of the top box.  It's really frustrating.  I'm definitely not buying any more of this equipment.  I don't like the frame spacing on the rests or between the boxes, it's nearly impossible not to gouge into the poly with my hive tool when I crack the boxes, and the 10 frame supers are borderline too heavy for me to lift.
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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2023, 06:25:25 pm »
It sounds like a little shaving of frames as per Michael Bush would solve side clearance

and the addition of a spacer in the rabbet that the frames rest on may solve the problems of sticking and top comb building.

I looked up the hive.. it's polystyrene. If it were full density solid, it would be very heavy, so it must be hollow or a very high density foam similar to PVC board .. can you tell which ?
(this might be a very easy fix)

and measurement of the depth of the rabbet ? and/or actual height of the box ?

just found a good picture .. it looked like a medium-low density polystyrene foam ... like a "tough" version of a styrofoam ice chest ... like those made for shipping ... is that right?
If this is the case, it would need to have a piece on top of the rabbet to protect the foam from the frames... it may have a piece missing
« Last Edit: July 09, 2023, 06:43:23 pm by animal »
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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2023, 07:32:43 pm »
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2023, 12:04:30 am »
does it have this piece in it?
https://www.betterbee.com/hardware/pfr1-plastic-frame-rest.asp
Yes, the boxes all contain the plastic frame rests.

It sounds like a little shaving of frames as per Michael Bush would solve side clearance
I could do that, but I don't want to mess up the correct spacing in all my other boxes, and I want to be able to freely interchange my frames, so I'll just have to live with the horizontal spacing issue.

and the addition of a spacer in the rabbet that the frames rest on may solve the problems of sticking and top comb building.

I looked up the hive.. it's polystyrene. If it were full density solid, it would be very heavy, so it must be hollow or a very high density foam similar to PVC board .. can you tell which ?
(this might be a very easy fix)

and measurement of the depth of the rabbet ? and/or actual height of the box ?

just found a good picture .. it looked like a medium-low density polystyrene foam ... like a "tough" version of a styrofoam ice chest ... like those made for shipping ... is that right?
If this is the case, it would need to have a piece on top of the rabbet to protect the foam from the frames... it may have a piece missing
Yes, it's higher density polystyrene bead foam.  I can get you the measurements tomorrow.  It's possible that some additional height on the frame rest would solve the problem. 
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2023, 06:39:00 am »
I have an assortment of widths.  I can put any frame anywhere except I can't fill that 1-1/4" gap if they are all wide frames, and then I can only get 8 frames in.  Usually I have 9.
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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2023, 10:16:06 am »
Betterbee says same as their other boxes, wood box says 9-1/2
Dadant says it is 9-5/8

My homemade ones (supposedly "standard" but I'm thinking there's more than one standard now) are 9-5/8 with 9-1/8 frames. with frames installed, top of box to top of frame is 3/8 .. bottom of frame to bottom of box 1/8
top of box to top of support rail 11/16
if this isn't standard, I hope someone will correct me before I build the next box

So.. if yours are 9-1/2, have the same top spacing and frame height as mine, you would have zero bottom clearance for frames on a flat surface. Any warpage or even slight oversizing (or even not completely vertical) of the frames would cause them to pop up when you set it on the floor.

If all it needs is jacking up the frames, the easy way to do it depends on how the plastic frame rest is made .. just guessing by the photo, suspect it has cross section that looks like an "F" (installed like an "upside down" F) ... with the frame resting on the bottom of the F , the top of the F pressed into a channel cut in the styrofoam , and the middle tail on top of the rabbet ... would also suspect that it has barbs to catch in the channel and on top of the rabbet that you can't see after it is installed.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2023, 10:38:35 am »
Width of standard frame (regardless of depth) is 1-3/8".  I shave mine to 1-1/4"
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2023, 11:58:51 am »
If all it needs is jacking up the frames, the easy way to do it depends on how the plastic frame rest is made .. just guessing by the photo, suspect it has cross section that looks like an "F" (installed like an "upside down" F) ... with the frame resting on the bottom of the F , the top of the F pressed into a channel cut in the styrofoam , and the middle tail on top of the rabbet ... would also suspect that it has barbs to catch in the channel and on top of the rabbet that you can't see after it is installed.
The frame rest isn't shaped like a F, it's shaped like an L.  I just turned it upside down and laid it on the frame rest cut into the poly.  It would have been nicer the way you described it, because then I wouldn't have had to worry about the little plastic pieces falling out and getting lost before I had the equipment in use and the bees stuck them down. 

Betterbee says same as their other boxes, wood box says 9-1/2
Dadant says it is 9-5/8

My homemade ones (supposedly "standard" but I'm thinking there's more than one standard now) are 9-5/8 with 9-1/8 frames. with frames installed, top of box to top of frame is 3/8 .. bottom of frame to bottom of box 1/8
top of box to top of support rail 11/16
if this isn't standard, I hope someone will correct me before I build the next box

So.. if yours are 9-1/2, have the same top spacing and frame height as mine, you would have zero bottom clearance for frames on a flat surface. Any warpage or even slight oversizing (or even not completely vertical) of the frames would cause them to pop up when you set it on the floor.

I use all mediums, which are "supposed" to be 6 5/8 in.  I just measured mine from several different companies and all of them, including the boxes from Betterbee, are more like 6 11/16.  The depth of the frame rest from the top of the box is 11/16, and the frames are 6 1/4 in. deep or a hair bigger, depending on the brand.  The poly boxes are 6 1/2 in., for some dumb reason.  :angry:  The crucial question, I suppose, is how deep is the frame rest in the poly boxes, but I have all of them in use at the moment, so I'll get that measurement the next time I'm in the apiary (which will probably be next weekend).       
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Re: Frame Spacing: 8 Frame v. 10 Frame
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2023, 12:35:53 pm »
  The crucial question, I suppose, is how deep is the frame rest in the poly boxes, but I have all of them in use at the moment, so I'll get that measurement the next time I'm in the apiary (which will probably be next weekend).       

How deep the rabbet is , also width and length would be nice.
and how thick the plastic frame rest is

The rabbet is going to be deeper than on the wood boxes. The frame rest is also going to be thicker than the thin sheet metal ones.
ironically, the Betterbee catalog states that you can use their metal frame rests in the poly boxes, but it'll screw up the frame height :cheesy: Well, they didn't say "screw up" but that was the gist :wink:
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