1 1/4 frames

Foundationless, Small Cell (4.9 mm) and Regression.
Grappling Coach
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1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Wed May 17, 2017 12:29 am

I am getting ready to make a bunch of frames. I know its a lot of work, when I can get frames for $1.50 each, but I am going through a lot of frames right now. Besides, I like to tinker and take great satisfaction in using things I make instead of buy. I already build all of the other hive components, so why not be self sufficient, and I have made them before. So enough of my justifying, now my question. I have been reading about 1 1/4 comb, and was wondering about the dimensions of the frame. Are the side pieces 1 1/4 inches wide at the widest point and everything else is the same, or are there a few more adjustments? Or, is the comb supposed to be 1 1/4 and then have bee space in between, making the frames wider?

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Wed May 17, 2017 1:11 am

Grappling Coach wrote:Are the side pieces 1 1/4 inches wide at the widest point and everything else is the same, or are there a few more adjustments?


Yes to this.

Now, the question is what is widest point of your frame?
For me the widest parts are the top bars and a portion of (or entire) side bars.
This is because my top bars lock tight (similar to TBH or Layens hives).

Classic Lang/Dadant will be different in that their top bars do not lock.
The widest parts of those will be self-spacing parts of the side bars.
Those will touch and those you want to be 1 1/4 inch if this is what you do.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby moebees » Wed May 17, 2017 4:49 am

The ends are 1 1/4 inches wide. People that cut down the standard 1 3/8 ends to 1 1/4 sometimes leave the top bar 1 inch wide but that narrows the opening between them. So when I cut them down I also rip the top bars to 7/8 wide. If I was building them from scratch I would certainly make narrower top bars. Those are the two main dimensions that change but the narrow portions of the ends should also be adjusted to allow enough space for travel between the frames.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Wed May 17, 2017 2:30 pm

About:
If I was building them from scratch I would certainly make narrower top bars.


I keep thinking about this one.
What is a true reason for narrow top bars anyway?
Beekeeper's convenience for quick hive checking?
Entrenched convention where no one is asking - why?

Prior to my re-entry into the keeping last year, I spent much studying this and decided to go for locking top bars as more natural (the TB ideas).
In fact, the next batch of wooden frames I do will have locking end/side bars as well (by choice).
Locking end bars are less convenient for the beekeeper somewhat; oh well.

Added: I know of cases when the top bar is, in fact, replaced by a metal rod; this makes for a very thin top bar; in those cases, however, the bees kept under heavy duty plastic laid over the frame; this prevents excessive ventilation and still maintains bee control over the micro-climate. Very conveniently, one can see through plastic for quick observations.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Nordak » Wed May 17, 2017 2:43 pm

Image

Greg, your mention of metal rods reminded me of Sam Comfort's warre hive. He utilizes barbecue skewers for top bars.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Wed May 17, 2017 2:58 pm

I will post a pic or two about metal rod top bars under the plastic film.
The hives in that case are vertical Ukranian on vertical, narrow frames (similar to Warre, by the volume organization).
I did like what I observed.

It is just the excessive presence of plastic is, kind of, concerning me.
Who really knows what kinds of junk are evaporating from the plastic and into the hive.
Good, old wood is more trustworthy - hence the locking TBs and done with it.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Wed May 17, 2017 3:21 pm

If I cut the side bars at 1 1/4 wide, then they should neck down to 7/8 on the lower portions to allow 3/16 on each side. 2 frames together would leave 3/8 for bee space. I will also cut the top bars down to give more wood on the side for support and nailing. Once everything is set up, it is pretty easy to mass produce the frame components.

I really appreciate this forum and the people on it. I am not on Facebook or any other social media, so this site is great for me.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby moebees » Wed May 17, 2017 4:16 pm

keep thinking about this one.
What is a true reason for narrow top bars anyway?
Beekeeper's convenience for quick hive checking?
Entrenched convention where no one is asking - why?


No it is so the bees have space to fit between them. If you take 1/8 of inch off the ends the and do nothing to the top bars you lose 1/8 of bee space between top bars.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Wed May 17, 2017 4:37 pm

moebees wrote:
keep thinking about this one.
What is a true reason for narrow top bars anyway?
Beekeeper's convenience for quick hive checking?
Entrenched convention where no one is asking - why?


No it is so the bees have space to fit between them. If you take 1/8 of inch off the ends the and do nothing to the top bars you lose 1/8 of bee space between top bars.


I was asking in general - why narrow top bars that let bees through up and up?
Well, obvious answer is - this is required for vertical, multi-box hives so to allow for the boxes to be shifted.
Good for industry.

Well, then, for sure I don't care about narrow, pass-through top bars.
Naturally, there must be a solid, not passable ceiling; which also allows for controllable hive micro-climate.
Works for me.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby moebees » Wed May 17, 2017 7:54 pm

I was asking in general - why narrow top bars that let bees through up and up?
Well, obvious answer is - this is required for vertical, multi-box hives so to allow for the boxes to be shifted.
Good for industry.

Well, then, for sure I don't care about narrow, pass-through top bars.
Naturally, there must be a solid, not passable ceiling; which also allows for controllable hive micro-climate.
Works for me.


Then apparently you are trying to hi-jack and troll the thread because the question asked by grappling coach, and the discussion taking place is about what dimensions change when going to narrow frames for Langstroth hives. That is a legitimate question and discussion.

So GregV, you have made it abundantly clear over and over again that you don't like Langstoth hives. That's fine, but take that discussion elsewhere and debate about it with whoever wants to debate about it. We don't need that debate brought to every thread discussing Langstroth hives. To do so is trolling and we have been blessed to not have that so far on the tf forum. Why don't we see if we can keep it that way?
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Wed May 17, 2017 8:41 pm

moebees wrote:Then apparently you are trying to hi-jack and troll the thread.......


If you call this trolling - this is fine, I will stop. :D
I do like asking questions and some people get upset with me.
I don't know why you are taking this personally on me. :D I don't pick personally on anyone here.

Some of my questions are coming from here:
http://beesource.com/resources/usda/str ... oney-bees/

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby SiWolKe » Thu May 18, 2017 4:17 am

We all have our different opinions.

I think we are adult enough to share this.

I had my clash with moebees too but I still hope he can see my point of view and hope he will forget and forgive and will answer to me once again.

Moe, I don´t think Greg wants to troll the threads, I believe he is just a talkative, passionate person ( like me ;) and maybe you? ) and is happy to share his experience.

To work with people is to accept them with all they are. Everybody here tries to contribute and does this in a wonderful way.
IMHO
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Michael Bush » Fri May 19, 2017 7:49 pm

"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby swflcpl » Sat May 20, 2017 8:15 pm

I have a pdf at home with all the dimensions altered from the original dadant frame sizes to account for all the beespace issues. I will try to remember to upload it when i get home.


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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Sat May 20, 2017 10:57 pm

swflcpl wrote:I have a pdf at home with all the dimensions altered from the original dadant frame sizes to account for all the beespace issues. I will try to remember to upload it when i get home.


That would be great. I am going to get started on them asap


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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby swflcpl » Sun May 21, 2017 2:43 am

Here you go. I use a table saw with a dado blade and a regular blade and a couple of sleds to make all my cuts
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby swflcpl » Sun May 21, 2017 3:04 am

Here's the original if you want to compare what was changed.
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Sun May 21, 2017 4:30 am

Thank you. I had the original, but the new one will help

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Sun May 21, 2017 12:28 pm

Thank you. I had the original, but the new one will help

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby swflcpl » Mon May 22, 2017 3:59 pm

Some of the info you can ignore as I was originally going to cut a wedge for comb guide but decided to just make a groove and use thin pieces of scrap wood as the starter guides on the top bar. That's the angle info you're seeing that can be ignored


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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Michael Bush » Tue May 23, 2017 3:10 pm

The end bars should be 1 1/4" wide at the widest (32mm) The top bar should be no wider than 1" and no less than 3/4" wide. The bottom bar needs to be less than 1" and probably 3/8" is a good plan, but 1/2" is fine as well.
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:36 am

I made enough parts for over 50 frames and put several of them together tonight. I will put a paint stick in the top for a guide, as they will be foundationless.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Nordak » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:56 am

Beautiful frames, coach. Great job!

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby SiWolKe » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:45 pm

Great job!
I´m jealous... :D
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Kwalt » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:25 pm

I like the way you made the lower portion of the end bars narrower. I hadn't thought about doing it that way. Easy and effective.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:58 am

I put a stop at the end of the table saw, so that I could run them through quickly and safely. It made it easy to trim down the sides. I will do a couple things different next time, like making the bottom bar narrower so that the side bars are thicker at the bottom to hold in the bottom bar.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby swflcpl » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:05 am

That's exactly what my sides look like with the circular cut where my stop was set as well


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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:12 pm

Finally looked into my hives again, something 2-3 weeks since the last time.
Just managed to look in few hives (got stuck correcting the messes they created).

One problem: with my foundation-less setups, I found them keeping the inter-mixed 1.25 inch blank frames exactly that - blank.
Instead, they chose to widen the existing combs up to 2-3 inches wide.
This way they filled the blank spaces by extending the adjacent combs sideways.

So I ended up pulling a bread knife and shaving all that junk combs back to the original spec.
Pulled out the blank frames being unused.
Then tightened the remaining frames.

Cross comb is all over too.
Ended up doing a full cut-out project in one hive (very unhappy bees).
Hopefully, the queen is OK, given what I put them through.

I don't even know that is going on in the rest of the hives yet (no time).
Probably more mess.

It feels as-if the 1.25 inch is too narrow for them if doing the TB-style setups (like I am trying to do).
Maybe 1.25 is OK for vertical, multi-body hives.
Maybe 1.5 inch IS the way go for horizontal TB-style.
What I observe so far - I do not like.
Don't know.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Nordak » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:46 pm

Greg,
Your experience sounds similar to my own when using 1.25" bars. For simplicity sake, I decided 1.5" was the way to go and haven't really noticed any negative change by using 1.5" bars throughout. I can see where 1.25" bars may be beneficial in some respects, and understand the small cell correlation, but from my experience 1.5" bars are much easier to work with.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Michael Bush » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:09 pm

>One problem: with my foundation-less setups, I found them keeping the inter-mixed 1.25 inch blank frames exactly that - blank.
Instead, they chose to widen the existing combs up to 2-3 inches wide.

This is a common problem in honey supers with or without foundation. Honey combs can vary a lot in thickness where brood combs cannot. At least they can't if you have 1 1/4" frames...
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:32 pm

This is a common problem in honey supers with or without foundation.


One nice thing about vertical hives - those supers are meant for honey combs (and mostly are exactly that).

With this TB-style hives that I do, my tall frames are trying to be both - honey and brood in one.
So while I am trying to keep 1.25 to one end for brood and 1.5 to the other end - this just does not work very well.
In my case, they just fill the hive with brood wall-to-wall anyway.
Pretty much this theory of brood sections vs. honey sections does not work very well as for me (especially, in the nuc hives).

My frames are about 17-18 inch in vertical space - just about double-deep Langs with single, deep frames.
By design these frames are meant to have lots of honey above the brood on the same frame.
Honey over the head is good for wintering up here and what I want (unlike in shallow TB horizontals - where honey tends to be to the side; not as good for the cold winter).

And so the 1.25 frame gets in a way when they are trying to store "honey over the head".
They really like to have fat honey storage it seems.
This is how I see it at the moment.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby GregV » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:40 pm

Nordak wrote:Greg,
Your experience sounds similar to my own when using 1.25" bars. For simplicity sake, I decided 1.5" was the way to go...

Yep, Jeff.
I recall you mentioned this.
So, in fact, at the moment, I ended up with the same mix of 1.25/1.5 bars all over.
It is pretty unpractical to keep them separate, especially, if you grow many nuc hives and keep shuffling bees and frames around.
Even last night I combined frames from three hives into one (trying to boost a nuc) - forget the frames separation stuff.
You just do what fits right now and here.
It is just some mess... :D

I can see maybe better separation of 1.25/1.5 sizes is possible with very wide hives.
But I have nucs and double-nucs all over the place trying to grow here.
So, yes.
Rethinking this 1.25 inch policy. :D

PS: Dr. Leo told me the same, in fact;
he runs his Layens hives 1.5 inch all across and done with it;
Bees just take care of the business for him.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby moebees » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:29 pm

One solution might be 1 1/4 bars with shims to widen the spacing for honey. Might give you more flexibility so different size frames aren't jumbled up.
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby lharder » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:04 am

My home made 1 1/4 frames have top bars of 3/4 inch. The bees fill out with comb and make the bee space they want.

In the brood nest they maintain the 1 1/4 spacing. I use plastic frames to keep things under control where they are storing honey.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Michael Bush » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:17 pm

I have about the best luck in honey supers at 1 1/2" spacing. I just space them by eye. Until Julius Hoffman invented the Hoffman frames we use today all frames in bee hives were spaced by eye...
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:40 am

Starting over this year, I was always short of equipment. I am very frugal (I have to be) and build all of my own equipment.i like the idea of 1 1/4 frames and have built some, by don't like having multiple sized ones. Building frame components is tedious enough as it is without having to set up twice. And, when I want a frame I just want to be able to grab one and not worry about what size it is. Kind of like having all the same size boxes. I plan on expanding as much as possible next year and need to make a lot of frames. I am not sure I want to worry about two sizes

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby lharder » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:27 pm

All my frames are 1 1/4 medium. I use the same frames in the honey supers but space them out so there is 7 in a 8 frame box etc. I can take an extracted honey frame and shove them together to reestablish the 1 1/4 spacing. The wax is soft and the bees can rework it to get their spacing back in a brood nest.

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:27 am

Are the cell sizes bigger in honey frames?

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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Michael Bush » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:53 pm

>Are the cell sizes bigger in honey frames?

Often, yes.
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Re: 1 1/4 frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:08 am

So then if I am trying to regress my bees, do frames need to stay separate? What is the "lazy" way of managing frames?


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