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Space for one more frame


#1

It seems the brood box could fit one more frame. Should there be that much space on either side of 8 frames or could another frame be added without causing trouble in the hive ?


#2

They will fit nicely in the beginning but as the bees add their own wax and propolis you will find that extra frame will be a horrendously tight fit. You will roll bees removing and replacing it…one of them might be the queen.
Better to have a dummy or follower board which is a thin frame shaped board which you can slide next to the last frame. When you inspect you can remove this easily and you have lots of space to take out that first/last frame


#3

I totally agree with @Dee. The fit might look loose to start with, but you need that space to manipulate the frames without killing bees (roll = kill = like a fatal car accident for bees). Just put the frames up against each other, but centered in the middle of the brood box, then all of the spacing should work out fine. When you inspect, you just move an edge frame a bit closer to the wall, or lift it onto a frame rest outside the hive like this one for extra safety. Your bees will thank you for not cramping them, unless you are an expert in your own bees and their preferences! :wink:


#4

I’m looking to have natural comb and am worried with all that space in the beginning, I’ll get “wonky” comb. Yes, No ?


#5

For sure you will! :smiling_imp:

You can’t do anything to prevent it. Sure, you can minimize the chances, but bees will do what bees do. Leave the space, straighten up bent comb if you need to. You can cut new comb and if it is fresh and soft, you can straighten it in line with the frame and secure in place with a rubber band stretched from the top bar of the frame to the bottom bar (elastic band, lacky) if you feel it would help. Bees don’t care about the bands - they eventually chew them up and throw them out of the hive. They are construction experts, but they work to their own set of plans!! :smile: You might want to clean up bridge comb attached to the side walls, but leave (nicely lined up with frames) vertical up and down bridge comb - they will just build more and waste energy if you remove it. If you can live with it, the bees can too.


#6

There is a good way to circumvent this. Alternate your empty frames with foundation (this gives the bees a good guide) and work the frames drawn on this foundation out the following year.