Best number of frames in brood box

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Big ears 

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Hi,
Getting ready for first season. I have decided to go with wooden national hives and making up some DN4 frames.
looks like I can fit 12 frames in the brood box. Am I better to run 11 and a dummy or stick to 12?

cheers

BE
 
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Hi,
Getting ready for first season. I have decided to go with wooden national hives and making up some DN4 frames.
looks like I can fit 12 frames in the brood box. Am I better to run 11 and a dummy or stick to 12?

cheers

BE
11 and dummy

12 might fit in when they are new and pristine, but believe me, as soon as they get some propolis and comb on them, you'll have a hell of a job, and you'll end up crushing and rolling bees getting the last frame in and out.
 

Do224 

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11 and dummy

12 might fit in when they are new and pristine, but believe me, as soon as they get some propolis and comb on them, you'll have a hell of a job, and you'll end up crushing and rolling bees getting the last frame in and out.
I made the mistake of using 12. It was fine until the bb was full and then became difficult. As a beginner I think 11 and a dummy board makes life much easier
 

Beebe 

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The dummy board which came with my first hive setup is narrower than the top bar of any frame. Consequently, when you use it to replace that 12th possible frame, there's still a bit of wiggle room, which helps.. A 12th frame still occupies the space of a frame, even if you have no foundation in it and designate it as a dummy.

My Abelos, when installed with 11 Hoffman frames, have just about the right free space after the last frame to allow the initial frame to be removed with minimum disturbance.....no dummy needed.
 

rolande 

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The national was designed to take 11 frames spaced at 1.5 inch. The 12th frame appears to be feasible because all the major domestic suppliers have narrowed their BS Hoffman sidebars. I think Pete Little was the last UK producer making 1.5 inch BS hoffman's - maybe the family still do so, I'm not sure.
 

Beebe 

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The national was designed to take 11 frames spaced at 1.5 inch. The 12th frame appears to be feasible because all the major domestic suppliers have narrowed their BS Hoffman sidebars. I think Pete Little was the last UK producer making 1.5 inch BS hoffman's - maybe the family still do so, I'm not sure.
That might just answer another query I just put up about frame spacing for drone production.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
looks like I can fit 12 frames in the brood box. Am I better to run 11 and a dummy or stick to 12
11 and a dummy every time, you'll be glad of that extra bit of spare space by the middle of the season
 

hemo 

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Wiggle room is easier on the bees and prevents rubbing then up the wrong way.
 

JamezF 

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I tried 12 frames and it became a nightmare once things had been propolised up. I stick with 11 frames and a dummy board now.

James
 

Beebe 

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I can’t get 11 comfortably into the old style Abelo so run those with ten
What sort of frames is that? I've got 5mm excess space using 11 frames. That is shown in the image with a spacer to check the gap. Admittedly, those frames are new, but I haven't yet needed to reduce the numbers in active hives.

I assume you need to use a dummy-frame to fill the increased gap in the box?

20220121_183832.jpg20220121_183838.jpg
 

Erichalfbee 

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14x12 and a thin flat dummy.
Trying to wiggle a 14x12 frame out of a tight box is tricky. They are poly boxes and quite often in the height of summer the queen is on that first frame
 

Beebe 

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14x12 and a thin flat dummy.
Trying to wiggle out a 14x12 frame out if a tight box is tricky. They are poly boxes and quite often in the height of summer the queen is on that first frame
I haven't used such deep frames. Now you describe it, I can understand the awkward geometry of 14 x 12. The dummy will give you a nice amount of wiggle, but a shame to lose a bit of the benefit of the larger frame.

Still, Abelos are so wonderful in every way that it must be worth that disadvantage. :)
 

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