What’s the correct way to order/move/manipulate frames in a beehive?

Is there a specific pattern or order when you’re moving frames around in a hive or up to the second brood box? ( I.e.-adding new frames/splitting hives)

I assume every beekeeper has their own way of doing things, but I’m still learning/new and you guys seem to know your stuff.

I got “Beekeeping For Dummies” but it’s one topic not covered in the book.

Hey Clayton! That’s a good question & the info is important to know. I always start by removing the first frame next to the side of the brood box. The frames next to the walls are usually all honey comb so I don’t bother to shake the bees off of it to look at it, I just rest it carefully against the hive without crushing them. You can get a fancy frame rest if you want for this purpose. This creates space to slide the remaining frames over (one at a time) and more easily lift them out to examine them. Left to right or right to left - doesn’t matter, as long as you are keeping track of what you saw on what frame and replacing them in their original order.

When splitting, I have a new box ready and will usually remove several of the brood frames (one at a time) so I can get an idea of what ones to take for the split vs leave in the parent hive. This new box sits on an overturned lid rather than on the grass, so in the off-chance I didn’t spot the queen and she falls off of a frame I put in there, she won’t get lost.

When adding another brood box, given that this would be a strong colony that’s ready to grow during a good nectar flow, AND the temps are not too cold at night, it’s safe to checkerboard in the first box ie alternate new frames (foundationless, foundation, or drawn comb) with brood frames, and place the brood frames you remove upstairs. In the new top box I would tend to place the removed frames next to each other, flanked by drawn comb if possible as opposed to checkerboarding.


Eva thank you soooo much!!! That’s a great explanation of frames!!!

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