Why so much dead space between my 8 frames in broodbox

I can almost squeeze 9 frames In my brood box… But it’s an eight frame brood box and I don’t see why I should use more than 8…

Should I center the frames and leave almost 1/2 inch (1cm) on the outside? Or should I space all frames evenly?
Or maybe just don’t pay attention to this at all?

First of do you plan to do Package bees or a NUC? If NUC I’d do like I just did and have all 8 none and tight in the center. If you do a package you could shave them down and have 9 like @Michael_Bush talks about ( http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm).
I was recently advised to maybe get a Follower Board if needed to keep the outside frames building well. You could see my post on my NUC inspection.
Personally i plan to go 9 frames in the 2x mediums I’m putting on my Deep (only using a Deep because I got a NUC) for Brood.

Thanks Techieg33k for your answer
I got NUCs in there and kind of didn’t know what to do so frames are pretty much randomly put in there, nothing’s equal or calculated…

Wish there would’t be as much empty space once 8 frames are in…

Why did flow (or is it all manufacturers?) built their boxes so big for 8 frames? Or then why wouldn’t they provide a follower board with the complete flow? Why so much space really???

I’ve found the frames for the Flow Hive Complete are narrower than the frames for my Mediums I bought from BeeThinking, but even those I could fit 9, but they need shaved down or else your outside could risk rolling the bees as was described to me - My Inspections - A rolling update every time I crack the hive with new photos and as also discussed in that post you don’t always need a Follower Board as not ask bees will build goody (I think @Dawn_SD said 1 out every 4 hives will need a Follower for her).

P.S. I’m still learning so others may correct me still.

G’day Jmayot, I’d advise you to accurately space the frames out. Leave 3mm from each side & 3mm between each frame. That’s provided your using drawn frames or foundation. If you accurately space the frames, as I do, the bees will place propolis around the frame lugs. That makes it easy when replacing frames.

If you want the bees to build natural comb, you’ll need to jam the frames up tight against the nuc frames. You can leave 3mm between the nuc frames.

It’s kind of asking for trouble if you place the frames in randomly. If a gap is too big, the bees will build an extra comb in that gap which is less than ideal.

I’m very meticulous with my frame spacing, therefore I never encounter any trouble in that area.

PS. We’re all still learning:)

This is exactly how our hive has become- there is proplis on the lugs- adding a few mm between each frame and an ever so slightly larger gap on the outside edges- meaning that 8 frames are spaced well in the flow brood box. We took care replacing them all evenly spaced.

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I was able to fit 9 in mine with no modification @34mm spacing. We’ll see if I pay the price of difficult inspection later (first inspection had no issues). There is also another thread with various opinions shared here:


G’day TT, you will encounter problems by having frames tight. The problem being that it’s difficult to remove the first frame without killing bees. Especially if there’s a chunk of drone comb on that frame or if the comb has wondered a bit.


I left even space at either end in the box, after your measurements 1cm. That actually went ok with foundationless frames. I just had to remove some burr comb once on 1 end frame, since then it’s all nice and straight and left me with plenty of space to take a frame out for inspection and then move the others away from each other. I made up a follower board for my second nuc, no problem at all.
I just nailed a straight board to a top bar. That doesn’t have the side legs on, so doesn’t have the spacer bit. Fits like made for it. Never rolled a bee either.
I will never leave space between frames. Tried initially and got too much burr between. Seems to be too much space for my bees.
That’s my 2 hive experience.
Just realize I replied to something from 9 months ago. Ah well, I knew nothing about bees then.

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I posted another approach here

It would basically be a helper to JeffH’s method, which works fine for him and with a bit of observation of propolis markings is easy enough.
Not sure if the bees need such a wide space, or even want it if they are allowed to build their own comb with their own cell sizing.
I am dead set against using wax or plastic foundation, but that’s my own idea of keeping things pristine.
Is the size of the frames provided with the flow hive standard or is the spacing size according to an Anderson’s idea of natural and ‘bee wanted’?
@Faroe or someone at Flow.

I’m not sure I follow your idea of pristine with regards to plastic considering the construction of the Flow super, but each to their own! :grinning:

Frames are standard 35mm end bar width. The 8 frame super from Flow is 5mm wider internally at 315mm than a standard 8 frame Langstroth hive at 310mm.

The 8 frame Langstroth has its own spacing issues, adding 5mm doesn’t help. I wrote about it here:

@RBK. I get you, it’s everybody’s argument if there is ever an argument. I am not feeling guilty to use the flow frames in one of my supers, else I would be a hypocrite buying milk and cream in plastic bottles.
I use foundationless in brood and additional supers to let the bees build to their own desire to offset their depositing honey into my flow frames. They seem happy with the arrangement. As a beginner I am just observing and can only go by what I see and feel.
Do the bees actually build smaller sized cells if left to building their own comb? I don’t know, yet.
You guys have worked out a lot of things that I am just starting to become aware of, and I am trying to follow your ideas.
I am fortunate to be a fast reader and absorb and sift a lot of info, so am not likely to latch onto just one idea without critical thinking bypassing my own virgin ideas. I am a woman after all.
Thanks for your info on sizing. Much appreciated.