What frames would you use?

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New Bee
Aug 19, 2009
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Central Scotland
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Hi members,
As a complete beginner I was wondering what frames you would suggest using in a mod national hive. Any information regards type, quantity and quality would be appreciated. Regards, Jigsaw. :)
As a newbie like myself I suppose I would suggest Hoffman. They are self spacing so you cant get it wrong.

I also assume you are not the 'Jigsaw' off the Saw films?!

Hi members,
As a complete beginner I was wondering what frames you would suggest using in a mod national hive. Any information regards type, quantity and quality would be appreciated. Regards, Jigsaw. :)

you will problaly start by buying a Nuc of bees of five or six frames on Hoffman brood frames to put in your new empty standard brood box ( you will then add perhaps with two dummy frames to make up space and two new fresh frames)

so in the first year you would only need to buy a pack of ten hoffman (called DN4s) brood frames to make the full eleven hoffmans in a brood box ( the full brood box will be 6 new plus five from the nuc,as the bees increase and you tremove the dummy frames), use the remaining 4 frames the next year to replace 30% of frames in spring, and so on 30% each year

you will also need ten sheets of brood foundation and enough super frames (sn1)and super size wax foundation to fill your supers

i expect you ( if any at all) will in the first year only need one super and ten SN1 frames and foundation but better better buy enough for two supers at least

what make of frame...does it matter, i think they are all about the same, what wax foundation, well in a brood box i prefer KBS of hastings wired foundation but other like thornes premium wired foundation

what to use in a super well whatever comes to hand. KBS is quicker to be drawn but i am not that organised to buy it in bulk

plastic frames and foundation...never tried it and its normally only made for langstroth hives

size: well most hive sold are standard brood, which means in the south and with carnie bees, you need a brood and ahalf ( ie brood +super) in the second year or double brood...

unless you are mad klike me and use 14x12 brood box and i want to also try small 4.9mm cells foundation (DEFINITLY MAD)... with 14X12 less bits avaiable such as frame feeder or nuc on 14x12)

hope that helps

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I have recently been asked if I use plastic frames (Chuckle, JC). I replied 'no'.

I might just try them if they were suitable to be recycled (as sterile, useable and etc.). Apart from that, I have always used wooden ones. they are, at least, a sustainable product.

Most books on the subject will tell how many frames, whether it be National, or other. One is always possibly needing spares (extras and replacements).

Quality depends on value for money really. Modus operandum is another factor. I use seconds because they are cheap. I can discard about twice as many as for the 'premium' quality at full price. The bees do not seem to be too fussy, and neither am I, as long as they are straight, square, easy to construct and not too knotty. I do boil mine in washing soda or caustic soda and recycle as appropriate.

If MM is mad, thus so am I . I actually agree with him (well, mostly!).

I started (as a beginner) with 4 colonies. So I had 44 brood frames and 42 super frames. I soon needed many more. Ymmv.

Regards, RAB
i would start with sn1 frames as they are easy to use and then as you progress maybe try others, sn1 are easy and simple to buy and build and to sell one afterwards so no risk

Don't get SN frames. They are shallow frames for use in a super.

DN = deep national

SN = shallow national

DN hoffmann are far superior to the rest as they are simple to use and foolproof. Make sure you assemble them all the same way as some don't have a groove for the wax sheet.
very good point lazybee i missed that bit out completly again another hedgerow muck up. jigsaw lazybee is right i was ment to say dn1 and sn1 frames. the reason why i said nothing about hoffman frames is most people buy thier bees loose in a box rather than on frames and as such i find some newbeeks have problems with the girls building some frames out of shape and brace comb becomes a problem to them, but if you have a good mentor and or instructor they should be guiding you with what they have avalible to him/her .

if like many you dont ask around on the forum to see if there is anyone avalible to visit or help, you can learn a lot from one simple visit, several people in this area have either visited the bee shed or i have gone to them to help out
If you buy a five frame nuc to start it is likely to come on national frames.

Some nuc suppliers "use up" their plastic ends/straight frames on these so you may find yourself with them. You will be so keen to obtain bees you won't bother too much what type of frame they are on.

If you've already bought Hofmann frames don't worry as you can buy a hofmann Converter" which you tack on to each side bar of the frame.
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iam under the impression that more and more suppliers are either converting to or lloking at the ideas behind the loose bee package which is quite a good business idea

Very true give the wide range of frame types, but I would say most are sold as "bees on frames"

But must currently are sold as "bees on frames". Lets see what 2010 brings with the "gold rush" to cash in on beekeeping!
Many thanks to all of you for your help, will get a order off for some frames (early xmas present).
Yes Pete would love to see your setup, maybe next year, (not too far off now).
Oh, dont worry Nick W no relation to the saw films, Jigsaw was my CB handle years and years and years ago, when it was just a useful wee tool for cutting wood etc
Given your location Jigsaw I would PM Gavin and ask his advice? He is far more local to you and has good contacts.


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