Frame Spacing and 9 frames in 8 frame box

@Michael_Bush says that bees, given the choice, like to have 1 1/4" frames spacing (center to center) for rearing brood and 1 1/2" frame spacing for storing honey.

At 1 1/4" spacing you end up with enough room for 9 frames. But, the frames are snug, (EDIT: Actually it is impossible to achieve 1 1/4" spacing with frames that are 1 3/8" wide) which I imagine would make them difficult to remove once they are shellacked with propolis.

Anyway, @Michael_Bush also recommends taking the standard frame (which has a width of 1 3/8") and using a table saw or bandsaw to trim them down to a 1 1/4" width. Once all of the frames have been slimmed down, I think 9 frames will fit nicely in my 8 frame brood box and maybe I will have less errant comb and happier bees.

I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on this.

And… @Michael_Bush, forgive me and correct me if I incorrectly stated your opinions.

1 Like

I have modified my outside two frames to allow the box to take 9 frames. I did this because I had severe bridging comb everywhere with 8 frames spread as evenly as I could get them.

My frames out of the shop have a spacing of 34mm (1 3/8"). I placed 7 of these in the box butted up against each other with approx equal spacing on the outside. I then sanded back the outer two frames till they fitted, just butting the frames inside and the wall.

Worked out that the outer two frames were reduced to 25mm (1") for 9 frames to fit.
Have prominently marked the downsized (don’t you love that word) frames so they can’t be mixed,

I have found this successful with almost no bridging comb at all


Thanks, that totally boosts my confidence in my decision to slim up my frames.

Well there is. I found it difficult to space the frames and as a consequence had heaps of bridging comb.
Tried the leave the space at the end walls but somehow it never worked. I then read the 9 frames in an 8 frame box
and now with 9 frames I am not getting any bridging comb, other than the odd bit and that’s on top…
May not work for everyone but I’ve done it and it works…like I said for me. No more squished bees.

1 Like

@busso should have tried a dummy board, makes life easier

Where’s the fun in that. I can’t pretend to be a gun carpenter, doing all that stuff which messes with Dawns head if I had just plonked one or two end boards in could I? :smirk:
And think of the extra space. The bees don’t mind at all the two end ones were only 25mm wide, they filled them up quick smart.


I guess after 53 years of bee keeping you know everything and you should stop learning .

1 Like

Well, in my well grounded world, there are many ways to skin a cat and not 1 right way. Why do you feel like you have everything figured out even though others with 53+ years experience disagree with you? Don’t be a close minded old person that drives people nuts.

@Dawn_SD - you will just have to cope better LOL

Some of the older beekeepers think theirs is the only way - hence you ask 2 beeks a question and 5 answers come back.

Some will not let go of antiquated ideas because they were told what to do and they do it without question.

I belong to the generation that always asks Why?

Sometimes I have to do what’s in my head


1 Like

When I build my boxes I can allow 5mm at each end. I had no control over the exact dimensions of frames and boxes purchased consequently I had 25 mm left over, not the 10mm you have. The solution most used its to put in dummy boards. I chose to put in another frame and it has worked for me. I’m not saying that is what anyone else has to do. I think the term is “what ever floats your boats” Not right not wrong but my choice.


Jape sounds remarkably like Finman on the Beekeepers forum! If so…he has lots of good advice but is rather opinionated at times.

1 Like

C’mon…confess…Finny…we know you want to.
I didn’t know you were interested in the Flow hive. Mind you with the huge crops of honey you get it would save you a lot of work.
We are hearing from more and more beekeepers about their successes with the Flow frames this winter.
I am sure your valuable experience in beekeeping will help us all enormously…although beekeeping in Finland is probably a bit different to Australia as the season is so short in comparison.