How many frames?

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House Bee
Dec 31, 2008
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Shropshire, uk
Hive Type
Number of Hives
My first colony I received with hive. After a slow start it has expanded well and now has been producing lots of queen cells etc hence I have attempted an artifical swarm and introduced subsequent new frames to give more space. I have done as advised but when I swopped the frames I had to "squeeze" in the final replacement frame.

The origional hive (told it was a national??) has 12 frames in the brood box where as my new National has 11. It does seems a very tight fit (there are spacers) with the new frames and initally I was going to leave out a frame but assumed that this will leave even less space for this expanding colony. I hope this makes sense! My question is: am I right to have kept 12 frames in the old hive as before despite the tightness of fit?! (I am concerned they are going to glue everything and I'll never get them out!).

I don't want to fiddle (under strict instructions!) but want to get in right for these bees...!

Sorry about the ramble!

You can get 12 Hoffman frames in a national at the start but once the bees add a bit of propolis you are better with 11 and a spacer board. Add supers if you need to give the bees more room.
Tx Jon. This hive already has two supers and they are started to cap the top one. Should I add another and should I remove the new 12th frame I replaced the old 12th frame on my next inspection?

Many thanks.

If you can get in 12 frames keep it going, not all frames are precisely the same nor are all brood boxes and some will take 12 and some won't.

If your super is being capped add another over the brood box.

Thanks polyhive. Should I add the extra super only if both of the existing supers are being capped and should I do that now or wait until my next due inspection?

Much appreciated! Floss