How many/spacing Hoffman frames in a super

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
615
Reaction score
558
Location
West London
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4
Can’t practically fit 12 drawn frames in a super an so how do people space out 11 fairly evenly or would it better to use 10 evenly spaced? Do you space by eye, place the super on gently and wait for the bees to ‘glue’ them down a bit.
Same for undrawn frames?
Thanks.
 
If you are using Hoffmans, they are self spacing, so you fit 11 in a super, if you want fewer but evenly spaced, fit castellated spacers and use SN1's
SN1's are a bit cheaper than the SN4 ( Hoffmann) . I run 10 SN1 on castellations. The combs are a bit deeper and there is a bit less uncapping to do. You obviously already have Hoffman but you could use 10 of these on castellations and get an even spacing. As JBM says Hoffman are designed to be self spacing
 
If you are using Hoffmans, they are self spacing, so you fit 11 in a super, if you want fewer but evenly spaced, fit castellated spacers and use SN1's
Trouble is that 11 Hoffmans leave a gap that my BKA bung up with a dummy board. Never understood why. I use 11 slot castellations anyway even though jenkinsbrynmair uses only 10 frames in his supers so as to get more honey for his money.
 
You can use Hoffman (SN4) frames in a castellated super, they don't have to be SN1's. Although SN1's are supposed to be slightly cheaper, that isn't always the case for beginners with just one or two hives. For instance, if you're not buying your super frames in bulk, or not from one of the big suppliers' sales, then it often works out cheaper (inc p&p) to use somewhere like Simon the Beekeeper, and they just sell Hoffmans for everything.

I have a mix of SN4 & SN1 frames, but use them both in 10 frame castellations.
 
fit 12 drawn frames in a super
Depends on your super, Stephen, and depends on your source of frame.

Older wood boxes vary between 11 and 12 and poly boxes take 11 or 10. For example, a Swienty poly will take 10 SN Hoffmans but leave 28 mm over at the end, 7 useless mm. short of the 35 needed to fit an 11th frame.

Abelo boxes were designed to take 11 Hoffmans nicely but not the Manleys I use, so I cut down a pair of side bars and slot in a narrower frame at the end.

National frames are supposed to be standard size but the reality is different. SNs from most producers have sharp Hoffmans and you know where you are, but Abelo frames have the pointy Hoffman planed flat. By the time 11 of those are in box you have another 22mm space in the box to play with.
 
If one really wants 12 in box and they are tight take one mm of all the Hoffman chamfers, otherwise use castellation's.
 
Thank you for the replies. I got a lot of SN4 frames at the Honey Show over a year ago and they’ll do me for this year at least. 12 new frames just fit in a brand new wooden national super but practically it’s 11 and a space that I filled with a dummy board last year. I’ll get some castellations to try in a few supers for this year.

Are any particular castellations better than others and also, do the bees draw out foundation ok if using 10 frame spacing?
 
any particular castellations better than others
Avoid Beehive Bits: they're way too thin and when you catch on an edge or pull a stuck frame they bend every way possible; four nail-holes don't help. Thorne castellations are solid and have five nail holes.

PS: SN4s on castellations are a waste of the money you paid for the Hoffmans.
 
Are any particular castellations better than others and also, do the bees draw out foundation ok if using 10 frame spacing?
I've found a bit of a difference in the quality of castellations - problem is I can't remember which came from which supplier! Some are a bit tighter to fit frames in or bend more.
I've had no problems with the bees drawing out foundation using 10 frame spacing
 
Avoid Beehive Bits: they're way too thin and when you catch on an edge or pull a stuck frame they bend every way possible; s.
:iagree: , they're also razor sharp. The most robust and better quality castellations are from Maisie's, Big T's or Simon the Beekeeper.
Simon the Beekeeper is by far the cheapest.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top