Setting up brood box

can anyone tell me if I should set up the frames in an 8 frame brood box by evenly spacing them or by pushing them together and centralising them in the box such that the space is equal between the box and the outside frames.

Hi - the generally accepted method seems to be the latter.


Or tight up one side and each other with a removable dummy board at one end. This is how uk hives are run. Dummy board out gives you more room to look at frames.

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@Dee I really like this idea Dee because I have trouble with the crushing of bees with that last frame. Are hives generally 8 or 10 in the UK, or a mix perhaps, and does it matter as far as the dummy board is concerned? I can not buy a dummy board (also called a follower board I think?) in Tasmania and I don’t think in Australia either. Anyone else know? I might be wrong. I guess I could make them, but would rather not.

You can do it! I am a soft girlie, and even I can do it. It is even fun! Have you ever built a frame and sawed a piece of wood? Well if so, you can make a dummy board.

Tools required:
Confidence or persistence (both are good)
Shop-bought hive frame
Tape measure
Pencil or marker pen
Small sheet (approx 50x50cm) of 1/2" thickness (approx 12mm) plywood
Hand saw, hack saw, jigsaw or circular saw, depending on your experience and confidence (only need one of these choices)
Sander (optional)
Sand paper
PVA wood glue
Hive frame nails

Construct an empty frame
Sand down the “shoulders” as much as you want to get the frame to fit the “dummy space”. A couple of mm should be fine.
Trace the inner space of the frame (which would normally be full of comb or foundation) onto the plywood with the pencil or marker
Cut along the line with your chosen saw tool
Check the fit - if the plywood doesn’t quite fit, sand a little. If it is way too small, remeasure and cut again
Put a thin bead of glue along the thin edge of the ply
Put the ply into the frame and nail into the center of the frame, with at least one nail in the middle of each frame bar
Let it set for 48 hours

Congratulate yourself on making a dummy board. :blush:

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Thanks Dawn. :smiley: I imagined one to be thicker, but being only 12 mm thick, it will allow more queen crush avoidance space.

Yes we push all of them hard together towards the centre leaving a larger space on each side. This makes it easy for inspections as you can slide frames outwards to make space to remove them and not damage bees.
The bees may build deeper cells if the spacing is wider or fill it with crazy comb.