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Smaller frames For a Langstroth hive


I have been mulling over smaller frames. For example making frames to fit across a Lang box instead long ways. If you forget the economics of extracting the most amount of honey from a hive and looking at convenience for amateur beekeepers and age challenged ones it makes sense, The original Langstroth hive
from this picture seems to have very small frames in sets of three.
Another alternative would be to have a runner down the middle of a Lang longwise and have small frames on either side
. Rough calculations on this would require two rows of 11 frames about 196 mm(7 3/4") wide perhaps a full or 2 X1/2 depth boxs.
I saw similar to this in the Utah Hive site. The eco Utah Hive also an alternative.

I looking at keeping the external size of an 8 frame Lang so the flowFlow box fits.

Any comments or suggestion welcome. Building it from scratch in wood would not pose a problem.


Check out the beekeepers workshop YouTube channel. He just build a mini nuc


People use those here for cut comb


They are called sections. Your illustrations have them all together in one super and it’s called a section rack. They come square or round (called Ross rounds)
It’s quite difficult to get the bees to fill them from corner to corner unless there is a very very good flow.


Thanks @Dee, @Valli @bigB


Before I get down to it . I came across this great little program for Windows users. Called imageresizer. Its free.

Normally I open my photos in PhotoShop Elements and resize it to an uploadable file size. This chops a few steps out by left clicking the file a menue drops down with “resize picture” choose size and “OK” its done ready to be uploaded to the forum.

I just knocked up some frames comparing the different ways to put frames in an 8 frame Langs.

The 3 frames are all the same depth the camera angle make the nearer ones much longer. If you look close you will see that the frame sides don’t have the langs spacer or “hip” but I allowed for this in when calulating the frame numbers.

To me the 13 frames cross wise is looking attractive. My preference would be something in between the small and medium but that would also mean a modified box.

In the mean time I will continue mulling.


What are the measurements of your 13 frames crosswise?
They look not too dissimilar in proportion to my 14 x 12 frames, which is what I run


They are 308mm wide to fit the 310mm internal width of the Langs
Normal full depth 232mm


Ah…much shorter…


Hi Busso, if I’m reading you correctly, you only have a 2mm difference between the frame & the box. I’d be inclined to have around an 8mm gap each end for air flow.

Will you have the entrance in the same place as usual or will you have it at right angles to the frames?

My wife & I like those short frames. We came across those when dealing with a couple of warre hive customers.


It would be interesting to see this set up on 3 relatively equal strength hives and see how they react to the different frame sizes. @busso do you intend to try all three configurations?


Thanks Jeff I had not considered that and will shorten them for bigger gap at sides.
From a very newbee’s perspective, I can’t see problem with bees entering at right angles or parallel to the frames.[quote=“JeffH, post:10, topic:5553”]
I like those short frames
[/quote] I got a real shock when I first took out a full frame of brood and honey. It was heavy, it didn’t have much to hang onto, was unbalanced and hard to manipulate and there were bees packed all over it. Hence my sort of obsession with a frame holder.
The discussion on the 21 14X12 hive put me on the track of smaller frames. I want to future proof. At 74 I only have 10 or 15 years before I start getting old and not as strong as I am today and I’m sure I will want to still be raising bees after I become really age challenged.:relaxed:


.[quote=“adagna, post:11, topic:5553”]
do you intend to try all three

Not in the short term. I want to get my Flowhive up to full strength first then look at a split this coming Spring/Summer , maybe November


Thank you Busso, I think you can safely leave the entrance where it normally is. I’ve seen discussions on this forum about warm ways or cool ways. I’m not sure which is warm or cool, I’ve only had my frames at right angles to the entrance.

I saw a video of a bloke who used to be on this forum. He has 1 or more Rose hives. He will stack a super one way & the next super the other way. Which puts the frames in a super at right angles to the one below or above it. I guess the bees didn’t mind, that’s the main thing:)

I’m facing those same challenges myself. I guess we have to be smarter at what we do & not try to act like we’re 30 again.


Yes the trick is to get the balance right. Above all be active…don’t think you have any problems there :relaxed:.


I will be 30 till I die, Jeff. :wink: and so will you, I suspect.


Thank you Dee:) I got a little bit smarter the other day. I stepped foot on a university campus for the first time in my life, to take a jelly bush sample to be tested. I came out a bit smarter & wiser with one lesson: Don’t leave your car parked outside of the paid parking lot, it’ll cost you $88.00. I’m just lucky the test on my sample was free, otherwise it would have been an expensive day.

The academic/professor didn’t mention any of that when he said to bring it down.

Anyway I’m selling a bit of that honey for $30 a kilo. There’s a bit of interest from the Chinese customers. One blokes going back to China in a month, he wants to grab some to take back with him. The Chinese are renowned for haggling. He didn’t haggle over my price.


That’s a bummer. Good job it wasn’t towed away. Good result with the honey though :slight_smile:


Better raise it!

; -)