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Extra Brood Box Space


#1

(Please forgive what’s probably a stupid question from a first-time beekeeper.)

I’ve been using my Flow Hive for about six weeks, and things seem to be going really well, but I just noticed something odd that I probably should have noticed at the start. In the brood box, even with all eight frames inside, there’s extra space at one end. (A ninth frame might fit, but I’m not sure.) At first, I assumed this was intentional, to make it easier to remove frames, and while things were getting started and the bees were drawing out comb on the frames, it didn’t matter.

Last week, I added the Flow Super, and that seems to be doing beautifully, but now that all the frames down in the brood box are drawn out, the bees are filling the empty space at the end of the brood box with comb. When I inspected things yesterday, it was tricky to remove the frame next to the empty space without breaking the comb and getting honey everywhere and drowning bees.

Based on the instructional manual, I think I have the right number of frames, so why is there extra space? Should I just leave it alone? Should I try to add another frame? I really appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks!


#2

Jcp,
I had the exact same issue and comments, posted here: Why so much dead space between my 8 frames in broodbox

Basically: just space out your frames evenly inside the box, 3mm between each frame and a little more on the outside frames and you’ll be fine


#3

Its important to ensure that all your brood frames are butted up tight, if you can fit a ninth frame in the end then I would advise you to put one in, even if you have to shave down the frame width a little to make it fit. You will have more brood and a more productive hive. I believe the extra space is due to the size of the Flow frames in the super.


#4

8 frame brood boxes are great for 8 frames (hence the name)
I wouldn’t worry too much about space at all, just keep a bit more on the outside and you’ll be fine


#5

Hi JC, this subject has been thrashed around quite a bit on this forum. The spacing of 8 frames in the super you purchased is exactly the same as the spacing I use when I use 9 frames in 10 frame supers. I’ve been doing this for 28 years now, very successfully.

If you do exactly what @jmayot said in his first post, you’ll be right. If you pay particular attention to the correct spacing at the start, it will be easy in the future because the bees put a propolis outline of the frame lugs on the ledge. That propolis outline gets bigger with time. I use that propolis outline all the time when replacing frames.


#6

Agree with you Jeff as I do the same in the supers, makes it so much easier to remove the cappings as the bees extend the honey comb out further the width of the top frame bar. However, this is the brood chamber and JCP has burr comb in the space that could be occupied by a ninth frame. My advice is not to space out your brood frames as this may induce more burr comb between your frames. Put a ninth frame in. :slight_smile: Bear in mind, you will get 3 different answers to one question and neither will be wrong, use your better judgement and the bees will win out in the end.


#7

Thanks Rodd, I answered the question after carefully reading it. I can only answer the question based on my own experience, the same as you can. Then it’s up to the person asking the question to decide for him/herself. I guess it all depends what climate he/she is in. What works for me in a sub-tropical climate may not work in a different climate. The climate I keep my bees in is clearly stated in my profile.

Very recently someone on the forum had an issue with using an extra frame in the brood. From memory Dawn advised him to remove one frame & I think all is well now.

We have to bear in mind that the full flow hives are sold on the basis that all you need to provide yourself are the bees.


#8

Personally, I put eight frames in an eight frame box. I make sure the bee space is correct by butting all frames tightly together and make sure they are centered in the brood box. There is a bit of an extra gap on both sides (not one side as they are centered in the box), which makes it easier to remove the end frame during a hive inspection and not rolling bees.


#9

Thank you all for the advice – I really apreciate it!