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Inspection Frame Holder


I had some difficulty when I inspected my frames for the first time last Thursday. I seemed to be all thumbs and not dexterous enough to do anything but a casual glance. So I knocked this up today to try and overcome the difficulties.

The frame holder is height adjustable with its legs sliding up and down inside fixed pipes on either side

of the hive

I remove it all except the fixed pipes on the side

The frame just slides into a tapered slot formed by the wood and some aluminium angle.

The frame is balanced off centre so that the open end will be upright and the frame can just be slipped in. My original intention was to rotate the frame in the holder but now just intend to take the frame out and rotate it.
Saves on latching the frame when rotating. I will have a brake system so I can hold it at any angle if needed.

Well its in concept stage now and will have more to say when I use it at my next hive opening.

Looking ahead, because the frame is up above and across the box, I will have to make sure queeny doesn’t drop off the edges outside the box wall, I am planning a more robust pole to which the frame holder will attach at one end only and swivel across the hive finishing in alignment with the frames so anything dropping off will go straight into the box.

12 Frames Crossway in an 8 Frame Lang Box

I like your ingenuity :slight_smile: I’m not a professional bee keeper, so not sure if it’s “suitable”, but it looks good to me :smiley:


Oh Busso you’re hooked on this beekeeping thing aren’t you :wink:
From what I understand with foundationless frames they should be rotated parallel to the frame not axially to keep the combs integrity.
I may be wrong, I frequently am…


You got me there I hadn’t heard that.
I could easily do that (not quite sure how just now :slightly_smiling:) if I have a problem. :wink:


Your frames are wired so they will be quite robust. I find if I need to look closely at a frame I lay it across the top of the open hive. It’s perfectly OK there. Quite a few beekeepers I know use that tactic to keep the bees down while inspecting the rest of the frames (instead of covering the colony with an inspection cloth or such.
As your confidence grows you’ll ditch those cumbersome gloves and use something thinner, Marigolds or even nitriles.


Wow Busso, this must be the creative n engineering side of you ! Awesome n great pix’s too. Thankz for sharing. Hoping my old shakes hands can hold the frames securely. Sometimes sucks getting MATUTE/OLD ! :smiley::ok_hand:


Ahh The thing about photos is you see things that are there everyday and don’t see them.
Looking at the photos in the post I see an old chook house door which should been disposed of 3 years ago, I see chook house walls made from sheets of iron rescued from a refuse dump and never finished off and rubbish which should have been picked up.
Crickey it’s enough to stop taking photos. LOL


Hi Busso, you have gone to a lot of work there and should be congratulated, its very sturdy looking. A suggestion would be to make the holder that the frame slides into a bit thinner as you are at risk of squashing bees and scraping off brood or drone comb when sliding the frame in. If you are looking for eggs or larva then you’ll need to tilt your frame into the light or use an LED torch to see into the cells. Good sense to have it over the box for any bees or queen that drops off then falls back in to where they came and not onto the ground. I use these frame holders on either side, they can hold 3 x frames each and saves having to put the frames on the ground after inspecting.


Thanks. Great suggestion and should be no trouble thinning them down by about half and still not affect the holders strength that much. I thought at the time 50X30 mm angle would be ideal, I needed the 50 mm on the side to get the width at the top for the widest part of the frame.[quote=“Rodderick, post:8, topic:5025”]
If you are looking for eggs or larva then you’ll need to tilt your frame into the light
This is another reason for the frame holder. I have one eye 20/20 the other eye 0/0 so distance at short range is difficult to judge with out perspective and to, hold the frame, look at the frame and take photo is difficult. Wife took the last frame photos but she is absolutely petrified of bees (loves honey) even with 100% protection so I am happier to just potter around and do things in my time.
Now I will be able to put the frame at any angle get my camera take piccies with a torch if needed, all with the frame hands free.

Edit: PS:
Yes I like those side holder for the first frame out. I see many beekeepers just rest it on the ground beside the hive.


Thanks Dee, I actually looked at doing that but there always seemed to be a big mob of bees all over the top. I suppose down the track I will be able to do it safely but for now , for me, I think my holder is the way to go.[quote=“Dee, post:5, topic:5025”]
you’ll ditch those cumbersome gloves
Yes I think I’ll just ditch them altogether. My bees are just so quiet. I worked all round the hive yesterday fiddling driving in tek screws all in shorts and T shirt. They just took no notice. Anyway a sting or two on the hands will be gone next day. I must have built up a high tolerance for bee poison as kid. Paddocks with lots of dandelions and bare feet meant lots of stings.


I am sure that the talented Mr Busso could make one of those, but just to clarify, you can buy them too! Just in case you want to save some time to sit on your observation perch… :slightly_smiling:

In case you ever decide to go wireless in your frames, you might want a gimbaled frame holder. Yes, complex to fabricate. Yes likely expensive to make. But if you don’t want to break the comb, these are the maneuvers you need to make with the frame:

I know you can do it, I just want to see the end result! :smile:


Good evening Dawn,

Well maybe not. Thinking on the mounting of a ships /boats compass…yes mounting a frame inside that sort arrangement but lets not get to complex.
I alluded to using a single pole with a frame holder attached to an arm.This would allow a lot more freedom to move the frame in three dimensions. I’m thinking the joints like CV joints in front wheel drive cars would have most of what I want and cheap from the car wreckers.
Again I digress.
Talk about laugh. I think I was just about crying trying to execute those manoeuvres in turning the frame. Its all in the wrists, its all in the wrists, and they were much heavier than I expected. Goodness (or words to that effect) it was nearly all in the ground. LOL

They say you always remember your first time, well I still remember it quite vividly. I don’t cope well things on the run (mind you in my youth everything was 100 miles an hour full on). So I make things to slow things down, give time to think, time to execute. Enjoy the moment.

Already sorted the materials from my junk heap.:smirk:
Thanks for your thoughts


Can’t eat Garlic, wow that must be really hard. My favourite flavouring veg.


I can eat garlic flavoured oil - it is the water soluble components that my gut can’t absorb. Thank goodness for Monash in Australia - their work on IBS has saved my quality of life!



I forever miss read or don’t read things carefully enough. When you said “want to go wireless”. I’m thinking wireless?? WiFi, blue tooth Ah control it all with blue tooth, stepper motors yeah that needs more thought, then I read on and started to laugh


ROFLOL :smile: Nice one, keep the smiles coming, please!



Hi Busso,

I am just a bit better eye wise than you. I am
50/20. I lost the retina in my left one n that was my best eye. The doctors reattached but it is fuzzy n out of focus it seems even with glasses. At times my depth of field sucks in lower light or sunrise/sunset or headlights at night. I’ll have to use a flashlight/torch you call them plus a magnifier.

What the heck ! We do the best we can. Bees are waking up now n today really out flying. It was 63.5 dgs F (16 or 17 dgs C) n sunny. Our first pollen/nectar crop is our native Indian Plum. Still needs a week for the species to get in full gear.


I was out at my buddies place n checked out his one hive near his store. He lets me work with them if their warm enough n otherwise I
just watch n observe.

Well, it’s 23:00 our time so better head for the sack. Take care. Gerald.


With reference to the picture…
1 to 2 = rotate around Z axis +90
2 to 3 = rotate around Y axis +180
3 to 4 = rotate around Z axis -90

From an engineering perspective it occurs to me as being far simpler to…
1 to 4 = rotate around Y axis +180
with the advantage that the frame remains in the “right way up” orientation.
(but even that as a solution would be over-engineering for the purpose)

The most practical method, and safest for a soft, heavy or insecure comb, for turning a frame around to view the other side is to put it on a traditional hanger
(or do what I do and just hold it resting upright on the top edge of the hive),
and pick it up by crossing your wrists, holding the right lug with the left hand, and the left lug with the right hand.
As you pick it up keep it hanging vertically, separate your wrists to the natural position and the frame will naturally rotate to the other side.
It takes far longer to explain it than to do it - try it !


We do. There is not much I can’t do. I don’t like driving at night as there are not enough distance references. Soldering is a of a laugh, You need to work quickly and accurately else you fry components. I get the solder on the join… go for a quick dab…Woops just fried that diode next door. Don’t even try on intricate stuff any more. Don’t fix friends and rellies TV or radios so gives time to do plenty of other stuff.


Yeah that worked out well. I took it to bits and narrowed both sides by 25mm.

Maybe could have gone a bit more but would be difficult to use it with other frames. The Flowhive brood frames are slightly bigger other lang frames so may not reach across. I am going away for 3 months in May and will be putting another brood box on for that period. I have the box but the frames cheaper to buy than make, so I’ve ordered them and should have them soon to check how they go.


I thank you for your suggestion and I see how you do it but I’ve just made a device where I can pop the frame into a holder leave it , walk around it, take photos, turn it over, set it at any angle and all with out turning my thumbs and forefingers inside out.
Mind you I haven’ trialled it yet and if its a fail then might go have go into weight training and get the muscle back in these not so young fingers. LOL
Thanks again