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Hive swap from wbc to British National


Hi all, I know the forum is generally for flow hives but my question is if WBC and NBC frames are interchangeable is it as simple as just taking all my brood frames out of my WBC and putting them into my empty NBC to swap my hive for maintenance then just put the National back where my WBC was?


Dave, wait for Dee or Valli to come up with an answer for you. They deal with those more all the time. I’m strictly a Langstroth over here near Seattle in the U.S. Good luck … Gerald


Hi Dave,

We used to run 4 or 5 WBC hives when we lived in the UK 20 years ago. WBC frames are actually BS (British Standard) and fit the British National hive perfectly. I have tried to find out what an NBC hive is, but I can’t find any information on it. If you meant British National, the answer is yes, it should work just fine.

Dave Cushman (well-known beekeeper in the UK) has some info on his web site here:



Sorry my mistake Dawn it is a National aka British National so you’ve answered my question thank you. The bees won’t mind being moved no into a different home no?


Depends on what you mean by “won’t mind”! :smile: They will appreciate it about as much as a hive inspection, and they will sigh as they realize that they now have a new box to wax and seal up with propolis. However, I don’t think you will make them swarm or abscond. They will find their way around the new entrance and structure just fine, so don’t worry.

The only other consideration is to make sure that the National boxes you are using are the same depth as the WBC ones you are transferring from, before you start the transfer. Should be pretty obvious, but putting deeper frames in a shallow box is messy immediately, and putting shorter frames in a deep box gets messy over time when they build burr comb on the bottom. Once you get the lifts off your WBC hive, you will see right away whether the depths match.