Keeping nine frames in a ten frame box

I found this clever tip on the site to keep nine frames easily spaced in a ten frame box. Using only nine frames causes the bees to build out the wax further, and surprisingly you will get more honey than if you used ten frames. Also as the wax extends out further, it’s easier to decap the honey with your decapping knife. The tip is to use drawing pins on the top edge of the frames. This increases the gap between frames by about four millimetres. I attached drawing pins (two per frame). For the frames by the sides of the box make a gap at both ends of the frames a finger width. Let’s see how this works out, still waiting for a period of no rain in Auckland to help the bees bring in some more nectar. I will report back on how the bees do with drawing pinned frames. Do you use nine frames in your hive boxes? How do you space them out? More photos of frames:-

One thought on “Keeping nine frames in a ten frame box

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    Bryan says:

    I’ve never used 10 frames in a box. It causes too much rolling and rubbing of bees when frames are lifted or replaced. Even when being careful, and it’s too slow for doing numbers of hives. The less time a hive is open then better.
    My grandfather and other commercial beekeeprs I learnt from, and my preferred frame numbers are: 9 for the brood boxes, 8 for the honey supers (sometimes even just 7). Yes the 8 and 7 frame options start with the frames closer together and they are moved apart as the bees draw the comb. You get very wide frames and more honey per frame (and per box) that are incredibly easy to uncap. The 9 frames per brood box allow the beekeeper to position the frames towards the centre of the box so the outside frames are away from the outer walls and also space to lever frames to the side so any frame can be lifted or inserted without rubbing or rolling any bees between the combs. It is far easier to lever apart propilised frames with just 9 instead of 10 frames in a box. That’s from a combined experience of over 100 years with langstroth beeware in NZ, both in hobby, semi-commercial and full commercial beekeeping situations.

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