8-frame versus 10-frame hives

barberberryfarm(8A)February 16, 2013

This has been the toughest decision for me to make when it comes to preparing to buy our first 4 italian honey bee hives, expanding to 8 hives next year. The gentleman I'm buying the bees from keeps them in 8-frame hives and swears by them. A good friend of mine has 25 hives and he keeps his in 10-frame hives and reduces the honey supers to 9-frames. The difference between the two is one raises bees to sell and while my friend raises them mainly for the honey. My main goal is for the bees to pollinate my berries, fruit trees and vegetables and sell any excess honey at our fruit stand.

I've been reading various pros and cons on the subject and most of the contributors are ones that have moved trom 10-frame hives to 8-frames. Personally, I'm leaning that way too as the frame box weight is considerably lighter than a fully-loaded 10 frame box and at 60 I'm not getting any younger.

Have any of you run into this dilema and, if so, which way did you choose and are you glad you made that decision?

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Last year was my first year trying to raise bees, I went with the 10 frame hives with all frames 8 inches deep. The supplier of bees sold the nucs on 10 inch deep frames and the only way I could put them in my hives was to leave the bottom boxes half empty so the extra 2 inches of frame had space. Like you I bought bees for pollination, I didn't worry about harvesting honey so weight didn't seem to be an issue. Unfortunately my bees didn't make enough honey to last the winter and they all starved. This year I may try feeding them starting in July. Has anyone else faced this problem, and your solution?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:52AM
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nerissar(Zone 7 NC)

My husband and I are newbie beekeepers. Expecting our first bees this spring. In thinking about the equipment we needed to buy, we decided to go with 8 frame mediums. We're in our 50's and looking forward to raising bees for a long time so it seemed prudent to go with 8 frame boxes so it was easier to manage as we grow older. Our plan is to have three mediums for each hive and we can add additional mediums as supers as needed.

we plan to raise bees for pollination and for honey.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:26AM
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For me since my local supplier makes his "small cell honey bee" nukes with deep 9 1/8" frames, I think I'm going to go with two deep 8-frame boxes like he does for the brood chamber, so they are interchangeable, and then stick with mediums for the honey supers.

However, I haven't quite determined yet whether or not I'm going to use a bee excluder. My supplier doesn't use one because he says he doesn't want to inhibit the queen's movement, but he also mentioned that she rarely goes higher than the confines of the two deep brood boxes. My friend, on the other hand, uses the excluder because he doesn't want larva in the honey. I'm leaning towards not using one because I want as many bees as possible and since I'm not going to be selling honeycomb, I'm sure the honey extraction process will catch any non-honey parts (eg, eggs, larva, beeswax, etc).

One thing is for sure, there are many theories on raising bees and avoiding mites and disease at the same time. The fun is finding one that works for you. Thank goodness for the internet and the multitude of information one can find on raising bees.

BTW, here is a link to a great source for beekeeping info. There is also a Beesource Beekeeping Forum that's pretty cool too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bush Farms - Beekeeping Naturally

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 12:18PM
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