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Can somebody please explain the different frame types. I know that the hoffman are self spacing but whats all this dn1, dn4, sn1, sn4?
 

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lots viewing this thread but no answers so i cant be the only one that doesnt know lol
 

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Have a look on the Dave cushman site.

This is a good start(Click here)
 

Poly Hive 

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Different thickness of bar is the concise answer.

Personally I use Hoffman in the brood box. I have a few I use in the supers to help the bees draw out the Manley frames, but once drawn I use only Manley above the excluder.

Frankly any other type is a problem. Spacers are a total pain. Castellated is another pain as you cannot slide combs.

The curse of British beekeeping is the plethora of hive types and I too as a beginner was bamboozled by the frames.

PH
 

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just pinched this from a web site

Which frames will fit my hive?
Let?s start with the easiest ones.

The Langstroth hive. In the brood body, you have two options, depending on the depth of your brood body. For the standard brood body, 9 7/16? deep, it will be the Langstroth deep frame. For the jumbo brood body, 11 ?? deep, it?s the Langstroth Jumbo frame.

In the super, you also have two options. One is the Langstroth shallow frame. All of the three types mentioned are the Hoffman pattern. This means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top and so is self spacing. The second option for the super is the Langstroth Manley frame. These have sidebars, which are wide all the way down, and uncapping is perhaps easier.

The Dadant Hive In the brood body, you use the Dadant Deep Frame.
In the super, you have two options. One is the Dadant shallow frame. Both of these types are the Hoffman pattern. This means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top and so is self-spacing. The second option for the super is the Dadant Manley frame. These have sidebars, which are wide all the way down, and uncapping is perhaps easier.

Commercial Hive In the Brood Body you use the Commercial Deep frame, also called 16? x 10?.
In the super, you have two options. One is the Commercial shallow frame, also called 16? x 6?. Both of these types are the Hoffman pattern. This means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top and so is self-spacing. The second option for the super is the Commercial Manley frame, also called 16? x 6? Manley. These have side bars, which are wide all the way down, and uncapping is perhaps easier.

A tad more complicated are the other three hive designs.

Smith Hive. In the brood body, you have five options, depending on the depth of your brood body and your preferred method of spacing. For the standard brood body, 8 7/8?? deep, it will usually be the DN4 Smith frame. Alternatively you could use the DN5 Smith Frame ? these are the same as DN4 but with a slightly wider and stronger top bar. For the 14? x 12? brood body, 12.5? deep, it?s the 14? x 12? Smith frame. . All of these three types are the Hoffman pattern. This means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top and so is self-spacing. If you like to space your frames using either metal or plastic ends or castellated spacers, you can use the DN1 Smith frame or the DN2 Smith frame which have the wider and stronger top bar. The side bars on the last two are narrow all the way down.

In the super, you have five options. Firstly there is the SN4 Smith frame. Alternatively there is the SN5 Smith with the slightly wider and stronger top bars. These two are both the Hoffman type as explained above. Another option for the super is the Smith Manley frame. These have side bars, which are wide all the way down, and uncapping is perhaps easier. Then there is the SN1 Smith frame or the SN2 frame. Both are the same as the DN1 or DN2 but have the shorter side bar.

The option of the wider top bars cuts down on brace comb.
We would recommend either the Hoffman or Manley type of frames for the Smith hive. The lugs are quite short and therefore it is not easy to use spacers.

National Hive In the brood body, you have five options, depending on the depth of your brood body and your preferred method of spacing.
For the standard brood body, 8 7/8?? deep, it will usually be the DN1 frame. Alternatively you could use the DN2 Frame ? these are the same as DN1 but with a slightly wider and stronger top bar. These two types have narrow side bars all the way down so require spacers, either plastic or metal ends or castellated spacers. Alternatively, there are two self-spacing versions, the DN4 and the DN5. Both have the Hoffman side bars, which means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top. The DN5 has a wider and stronger top bar than the DN4.

For the 14? x 12? brood body, 12.5? deep, it?s the 14? x 12? frame.
In the super, you have five options. It will usually be the SN1 frame. Alternatively you could use the SN2 Frame ? these are the same as SN1 but with a slightly wider and stronger top bar. These two types have narrow side bars all the way down so require spacers, either plastic or metal ends or castellated spacers. Alternatively, there are two self-spacing versions, the SN4 and the SN5. Both have the Hoffman side bars, which means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top. The SN5 has a wider and stronger top bar than the SN4. Another option for the super is the BS Manley frame. These have side bars, which are wide all the way down, and uncapping is perhaps easier.

WBC Hive In the brood body, you have five options, depending on the depth of your brood body and your preferred method of spacing. For the standard brood body, 8 7/8?? deep, it will usually be the DN1 frame. Alternatively you could use the DN2 Frame ? these are the same as DN1 but with a slightly wider and stronger top bar. These two types have narrow side bars all the way down so require spacers, either plastic or metal ends or castellated spacers.
Alternatively, there are two self-spacing versions, the DN4 and the DN5. Both have the Hoffman side bars, which means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top. The DN5 has a wider and stronger top bar than the DN4.

For the 14? x 12? brood body, 12.5? deep, it?s the 14? x 12? frame.
In the super, you have five options. It will usually be the SN1 frame. Alternatively you could use the SN2 Frame ? these are the same as SN1 but with a slightly wider and stronger top bar. These two types have narrow side bars all the way down so require spacers, either plastic or metal ends or castellated spacers. Alternatively, there are two self-spacing versions, the SN4 and the SN5. Both have the Hoffman side bars, which means that the side bar is narrow at the bottom, has a shoulder in the centre so that it is wider at the top. The SN5 has a wider and stronger top bar than the SN4. Another option for the super is the BS Manley frame. These have side bars which are wide all the way down and uncapping is perhaps easier.
 

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When I used Manley frames I found they had one serious drawback..If you have a tangential extractor the face of the comb does not come into contact with the mesh of the extractor because the side bars act as a spacer. The result is the comb collapses against the mesh. If you use a radial extractor then Manley frames cannot be bettered
 

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Doh! Am still not getting it and the Thornes Sale starts today. ( I'll try not to get into a rush about it)

I want to buy self spacing Langstroth super frames. Are they all self spacing? which shall i get?
 

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Hi Polyanwood,
Your Langstroth supers will take both Hoffman and Manley frame side bars
BOTH are self spacing. The only difference is that the self spacing bit of the Hoffman only goes half way down the side bar while the Manley is all the way to the bottom and some say makes uncapping easier. Hope this helps - good luck at the sales.
Mike
 

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Extracting Manleys.

the combs will NOT collapse in Tangential if the operator is careful.
 

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extracting Manleys

Because the face of the comb in a Manley frame is not in contact with the cage of the extractor there must be an increased risk of the comb collapsing, especially in newly drawn frames. It's certainly a consideration when weighing up the pros and cons of different types of frames.
 

Poly Hive 

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"Because the face of the comb in a Manley frame is not in contact with the cage of the extractor there must be an increased risk of the comb collapsing, especially in newly drawn frames. It's certainly a consideration when weighing up the pros and cons of different types of frames."

This depends on how deep the uncapping goes. There are actually several factors here to consider.

Working from memory there are 8 Manley frames in a National super and 11 Hoffmans. One consideration.

There is effectively a 2nd wall in wooden hives which creates two warmer sides, another consideration.

Cut comb is better produced in Manley frames. Yet another consideration.

I personally used a swing basket extractor and cut the Manleys back to the top and bottom bars. Yes I lost the odd new comb with out exception on each extraction session but no more than if I was using Hoffmans. So no plus or minus point there and bear in mind I was extracting fifty plus supers at a time. So there was a reasonable sample.

PH
 

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Good points polyhive. Perhaps I should add that my tangential extractor was slightly off true on the top bearing which resulted in a permanent wobble. Gentle extraction was not easy.
 

Poly Hive 

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Off balance? snorts with laughter.

Very honest of you to say so.

PH
 

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Frame sizes

I found the 'DN' and 'SN' letter combinations confusing until I found this on the Thorne website.

"DN stands for Deep National and will fit standard size National and WBC brood bodies. SN stands for Shallow National and will fit standard National and WBC supers."

Suddenly it made sense!

(and 14 x 12 is just 14 x 12)

Thorne's go on: "DN1, DN2, SN1 and SN2 have straight side bars so these frames will have to be spaced. DN4, DN5, SN4 and SN5 have Hoffman side bars so are self spacing. DN2, DN5, SN2 and SN5 have slightly wider top bars. "
 
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itma 

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I found the 'DN' and 'SN' letter combinations confusing until I found this on the Thorne website.

"DN stands for Deep National and will fit standard size National and WBC brood bodies. SN stands for Shallow National and will fit standard National and WBC supers."

Suddenly it made sense!

(and 14 x 12 is just 14 x 12 { - sometimes "Jumbo National"}

Thorne's go on: "DN1, DN2, SN1 and SN2 have straight side bars so these frames will have to be spaced. DN4, DN5, SN4 and SN5 have Hoffman side bars so are self spacing. DN2, DN5, SN2 and SN5 have slightly wider top bars. "
For the best explanation and illustration(s) see the Thorne catalogue - rather than the website.
There are various alternative versions of top, side and bottom bars.
The SN and DN numbers refer to standard combinations of those options.

Because I use 14x12, and those brood frames get the fatter top bar, and mostly Manleys (SN7s?) in the supers (also using the fatter top bar), the few shallow hoffmans that I have are SN5s rather than the more common SN4s, in order to share the same (fatter) top bar.
I only have one type of top bar. No muddle.
 

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