What is the Advantage of 8 Frame Hives?
When you are shopping for beehives, you will notice that there are 2 configurations for Langstroth hives. Langstroth beehives come with either 8 frames or 10 frames. The box will have dimensions specifically for the corresponding number of frames.
10 frames means more room for bees, and more room for honey, so what is the advantage of 8 frame hives?
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About 8 Frame Hives
Langstroth hives are composed of three different sections. The bottom portion consists of the hive stand, bottom board, and entrance reducer. Next is the brood box and supers. And last, the top section consists of the inner and telescoping covers.
The brood box and supers are where the bees raise their brood and store pollen, nectar, and honey. They do so on frames within the box on which they build their comb on. In a Langstroth hive, the brood box and supers can have either 8 or 10 frames.
Advantage of 8 Frame Hives
The biggest advantage of 8 frame hives is the weight. That is because 8 frame hives are lighter than 10 frame hives. A full box of honey is surprisingly heavy. Add to that the fact that you will be lifting multiple boxes from up high, you must really think about how much weight you really can handle.
A full 10 frame box will weigh 8 – 16 pounds more than a 8 frame box, depending on the size of the box. There are 3 different box sizes that can be used for honey supers. However, deep boxes are mostly used for brood, while medium and shallow boxes are used for honey supers.
See the chart below for a comparison of the weight of an 8 and 10 frame box when full of honey.
Approximate weight of a box when full of honey:
|8 Frame||10 Frame|
|Shallow||32 lbs||40 lbs|
|Medium||40 lbs||50 lbs|
|Deep||64 lbs||80 lbs|
8 frame boxes are cheaper than 10 frame boxes. 8 frame boxes usually cost about $3 less than 10 frame boxes. At first you may not think that $3 is a lot, but when you think about how many boxes are in each hive in a bee yard, it really adds up.
Narrow Hive Body
A narrow hive body is more natural to bees. In nature, bees build upwards, opposed to side to side. That’s why they tend to build nests in hollowed out trees. An 8 frame hive body is more narrow than a 10 frame, and therefore more similar to a nest bees would build in the wild.
Another advantage of 8 frame hives is that they are optimal for winter survival rates. During the winter, the bee colony will form a cluster for warmth. The size of that cluster is usually 8 frames in diameter. Having a hive that is the size of the winter cluster eliminates the need for the bees to move horizontally. Instead, they can move upwards as a group and focus their energy on staying warm.
Cons of 8 Frame Hives
Boxes Fill Up Faster
Because there are 2 less frames in a box of an 8 frame hive, the boxes will fill up faster. That means that you will have to buy more supers and frames as they fill up.
Chance of Tipping Over
8 frame hives may have more boxes than 10 frame hives. That’s just because each box will hold less frames. An 8 frame hive with multiple boxes does have an increased risk of tipping over in windy or rainy weather.
A disadvantage of 8 frame hives is that you may have a harder time finding equipment. 8 frame hives are not as common as 10 frame hives, so certain supplies, such as pollen traps or top feeders may be more difficult to find.
Recommended 8 Frame Hive
The Hoover Hives 8 Frame Beehive Kit includes everything you need to get started in beekeeping. You get 2 deeps for brood and 1 medium super for honey. Also included are all of the frames and foundation.
I like this 8 frame beehive kit because of it’s high quality. First of all, the wood Hoover Hives uses is quality fir, with a tight knit grain flow. Fir is durable and unlikely to warp from the rain. On top of that, Hoover Hives coats all of their wood in 100% natural beeswax for added protection from the elements.
No paint is necessary for these hives, as the wax coating naturally protects the wood. Furthermore, wax coated hives are really attractive, as the wax highlights the natural beauty of the wood.
Hoover Hives 8 Frame Beehive Kit includes the following:
- Beeswax Coated Telescoping Top Cover (16-1/4″ x 22″ x 2-7/8″)
- Beeswax Coated Inner Cover (14″ x 19-7/8″ x 3/4″)
- Plastic Queen Excluder (14″ x 19-7/8″ x 1/8″)
- 2 Deep Brood Boxes Double Dipped in Beeswax (14″ x 19-7/8″ x 9-5/8″)
- 16 Deep Brood Langstroth Wood Frames (9-1/8″ x 19″ x 1-3/8″)
- 16 Beeswax Coated Plastic Deep Foundations (8-1/2″ x 16-3/4″ x 3/16″)
- 1 Medium Super Box Double Dipped in Beeswax (14″ x 19-7/8″ x 6-5/8″)
- 8 Medium Super Langstroth Wood Frames (6-1/4″ x 19″ x 1-3/8″)
- 8 Beeswax Coated Plastic Medium Foundations (5-5/8″ x 16-3/4″ x 3/16″)
- Beeswax Coated Solid Bottom Board (14″ x 22″ x 2-9/16″)
- Detailed Assembly Instructions
Hoover Hives 8 Frame Hive Kit is available on the Galena Farms website. The best part is that it ships for free and you can get an additional 5% off by using the code COMPLETEBEEHIVES at check out.
In a Langstroth beehive, there will be either 8 or 10 frames. The biggest advantage of 8 frame hives is the weight. When full of honey, a box with 8 frames will weigh less than a box with 10 frames. This is helpful for beekeepers who may struggle with heavy lifting.