Confusion about hive sizes (Langstroth standard - ninety sub species)

Hi all,

I’ve taken delivery and build my full Flow Hive Classic (after some extensive quality control issues, now resolved). I’ve joined my local BKA and one of the first suggestions was to increase space for the bees by getting additional supers.

Rather than having to keep shipping over from the states I thought I better start looking for box suppliers closer to home in the UK. Having gotten online is seems that there are many MANY sizes for the Langstroth standard. This page states and gives dimensions for over ninety sub species!

The closest to the Flow Hive I can see is the ‘8 Frame New Zealand Langstroth (New Metric Standard)’ with an outer width 505mm and outer length 353mm measurement.

Can anyone shed any light on whether this is correct Langstroth ‘standard’ and where to find a uk supplier for the boxes?

The Flow hive is an 8-Frame Langstroth and is 14 inches wide, 20 inches long and 9.5 inches deep. Eight frame Langs can be varying widths from 13.5 to 14 inches, depending on who makes them, but the bees don’t care even if the widths are a little different. It doesn’t even look too bad, you hardly tell most of the time. So I suggest you just order 8-Frame Langstroth boxes from your favorite supplier. I like Mann Lake quite a lot, and I know they sell Langs in the UK.

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Hi Dawn,

Thanks for the swift response! That’s great information, much obliged.

The Man Lake kits are definitely affordable but looks like pine. I’ll guess I’ll be on the hunt for some cedar with the info you supplied!


You think that’s complicated? Come to Germany, we have heaps of different sizes, that have NOTHING to do with langstroth. Deutsch Normal (German Standard) is most common and often used in Hinterbehandlungsbeuten (hives you access from the backside*). But there are so many sizes, each with a different name, often even varied by someone and named after him, often incompatible, and they often only vary by a few mm. And everyone thinks, the size he uses is the holy grail of beekeeping… Sometimes people start fighting about that…

  • Someone in my club has a “hybrid hive”. He has taken off the lid of his backside access hive and put a honey super on it. That way, he can access his brood without lifting the super. I think that’s a great idea! I might try it next year.

Rear handling boxes.
I love how Germans mash multiple words into one big one.

One way street is a common example.

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Me too :grin:
Einbahnstraße :laughing: It sounds so complicated to me when in other languages people have whole sentences for something.

One of my favourites was always übergabeeinschreiben for a simple signed delivery.

If bees get loose during transport, mind the erlaubte Höchstgeschwindigkeit.

Ja, dass ist nicht ausgezeichnet! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Right, back on topic . . . the extent of my German vocab has been far exceeded!

Frame sizes.
The Brood and Super are the same size and so the frames required in both (when not using flowframes in the super) are what please?

Are these referred to as Langstroth Deep super frames?

A Langstroth hive should be 19 7/8" long (outside dimensions) with a 19" long top bar. Depths vary a bit. The original spec was 9 5/8" but most companies have been cheating this gradually over the years until it’s typically 9 1/2".