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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Monday, September 29, 2008

GBA Talk - the History of 8 Frame Equipment

At GBA (Georgia Beekeepers' Association) in Rabun County this past weekend, I heard an entertaining talk by Steve Forest of Brushy Mountain Beekeeping. Steve pointed out that 8-frame equipment has been used and written about as long ago as 1894. He owns the entire year of Gleanings in Bee Culture from 1894 and there are, I believe he said, 24 articles on the advantages of using 8 frame equipment in that year!

He quoted a number of beekeepers who use 8 frame equipment, noting that bees tend to move up and not out. Often the frames on the outer edges of 10 frame equipment are not really used by the bees.

In 1915 Root moved to 10 frame equipment and began advertising it as advantageous. It's all about advertising, and beekeepers began moving to 10 frame equipment. By 1919 everyone believed that "bigger is better" and 10 frame equipment was all the rage.

I love using 8 frame equipment - it's so much lighter to move boxes during inspections. I didn't get to ask Steve what changes in measurements between 8 frame and 10 frame equipment.

My frames in my 10 frame equipment are snug in the box and fit tightly together. In my 8 frame equipment from Brushy Mountain, there is about 1/2 inch of wiggle room making the frames sit loosely in the box. So far that doesn't seem to be a problem, and maybe it works out the same as if I put 9 frames in a 10 frame box, which many beekeepers to do encourage really thick comb.

1 comment:

  1. Just leave the space on the outside edges or, better yet, build one follower board per hive and put it on the North or West side of the hive.

    ReplyDelete

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