Help!!! Why reduce frames in a super?

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New Bee
Mar 21, 2009
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Hi All! I am new to the forum -and beekeeping- and would really appreciate your help. I got my first hive last summer and have definately got the bee-bug!!! I have national hives. I would very much like to understand why you reduce the 11 frames in the super down to 8 or 9. I have been told it is because you get more honey. What I don't understand is why you get more honey when you have less frames in the super. I know that they will draw the foundation out more with less frames in; but why, in theory, if they draw out the foundation less but there are more frames (i.e 11), do you not get the same amount of honey? Is it due to the bee space or capping?
Thank you very much for your help. Really look forward to your advice.
Best Wishes,
Not completely sure as im new to beekeeping as well, but i think you will find that its the same amount of honey but less frames to extract to reach that amount.

If you have 11 frames, it is better recude only one frame. I have used it 40 years. To reduce 2 frames, cells are too long and they will be broken when exctracting. I think that it is not easy to bees either to work in too long tubes.
Reducing the number of frames gives the bees more space to draw out deeper cells on the frames that are there. You need to use wide spacers to maintain the distance between frames. I don't do it and don't plan to try.
This assumes that you are using spacers and I DO HOPE you are not. A total bloody pain and if you move your bees you will shortly find them highly impractical .

Far better to use a mix of Hoffman and Manleys in the supers however that supposes you have or have access to an extractor that can accommodate Manley frames.

I prefer to use castelated spacing in supers,10 and 8, never use hoffman in supers as i never use 11 frames so they would be pointless,waste of money. But if you intend to allways use hoffman in supers,11 frames,and end up with a box of beeways and wood,less honey, and very annoying to uncap, skiny frames, with a very annoying side bar.
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I also detest Castellations. Another bloody pain though some beefarmers to my amazement use them. However if it works for you go for it.

I use the mix so as to get my Manleys drawn out.

I like Manley,ye ken, but i detest his frames,except for heather when they don't get gummed up with propolis.but love castellated.
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Dear Veg,

Imagine a bonny stack of supers, lets say 50. In each super are say 9 frames, and on each frame are two spacers. And you are about to extract them....

Take my point?

Can they not be extracted with the spacers on? As they tend to be quite well stuck on with propolis.
Just asking as I have yet to extract.
I cannot speak for all extractors but mine will not accept frames with spacers on. It is a 10 frame centrifugal extractor and I use national supers with only 10 frames so I don't have "one left over".
I agree with both posters spacers are a pain but castelations are inflexible, and I have BOTH:)
If you have your supers with the kerf cut, you can use any kind of spacing,as the castellated section simply lifts out.
Kerf kit??? Klingons meets the Beach Boys??? Don't understand.
KERF cut, not kit. Instead of the castellations being nailed to the side of the box, the top edge of the box is cut (slit) by a circular saw blade during manufacture (the kerf is the width of the cut made by the blade). The metal/plastic castellations sit in this slit and so can be swapped out for a different spacing. Best you take the frames out first though.:toetap05:

Hope the simplified diagram clarifies the method mentioned.
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