Should I Start With 8 Or 10 Frame Equipment?

Should I Start With 8 Or 10 Frame Equipment?

Choosing the right beekeeping equipment for you is important. What works for another beekeeper, may not work for you. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of buying beesbeekeeping equipment, or educating yourself. And there are many things that are important to know, but many of those things can be changed later.  For example, you can use a queen excluder on all of your hives, then when you decide you don’t want to anymore, you can simply take it off. 

There are some decisions you make in beekeeping that are not easy to change and are more permanent. One of those is deciding if you want to use 10 frame equipment or 8 frame equipment. 

The most common bee equipment in the US is the Langstroth hive is a combination of deep boxes and medium boxes. Beekeepers will also use shallow boxes as well, but not as commonly as in the past. 8-frame hive options have become more popular recently, for good reason.

Choosing the right beekeeping equipment for you is important. What works for another beekeeper, may not work for you. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of buying beesbeekeeping equipment, or educating yourself. And there are many things that are important to know, but many of those things can be changed later.  For example, you can use a queen excluder on all of your hives, then when you decide you don’t want to anymore, you can simply take it off. 

There are some decisions you make in beekeeping that are not easy to change and are more permanent. One of those is deciding if you want to use 10 frame equipment or 8 frame equipment. 

The most common bee equipment in the US is the Langstroth hive is a combination of deep boxes and medium boxes. Beekeepers will also use shallow boxes as well, but not as commonly as in the past. 8-frame hive options have become more popular recently, for good reason.

Master Guide – What Beekeeping Equipment Do I Need?

Figuring out beekeeping equipment is the most intimidating part of getting started in beekeeping. There are a lot of options, designs, and equipment configurations to

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Beekeeping Equipment - 10 Frame Or 8 Frame?

You should choose to use either 8 frame equipment or 10 frame equipment. It’s very difficult to combine 10 frame equipment with 8 frame equipment. This is because they are not compatible with each other. Even though 8 and 10 frame hives are both Langstroth hives, the boxes are not compatible. If you want compatibility, you have to significantly modify your equipment.

The way the Langstroth hive is designed is the beekeeper will add boxes as the bees need extra space, typically adding medium boxes. These medium boxes are also called honey boxes or honey supers, but a medium box can be used for any purpose the bees need. 

Check out our Master Guide to Beekeeping Equipment

10 Frame equipment is called 10 frame because each box fits 10 frames. This is the same for 8 frame boxes; they hold 8 frames.  There is another option called a 5-frame, but this is typically just for a small colony that will be moved into an 8 or 10-frame hive shortly.

Master Guide – What Beekeeping Equipment Do I Need?

Figuring out beekeeping equipment is the most intimidating part of getting started in beekeeping. There are a lot of options, designs, and equipment configurations to

Read More »

Beekeeping Equipment - 10 Frame Or 8 Frame?

You should choose to use either 8 frame equipment or 10 frame equipment. It’s very difficult to combine 10 frame equipment with 8 frame equipment. This is because they are not compatible with each other. Even though 8 and 10 frame hives are both Langstroth hives, the boxes are not compatible. If you want compatibility, you have to significantly modify your equipment.

The way the Langstroth hive is designed is the beekeeper will add boxes as the bees need extra space, typically adding medium boxes. These medium boxes are also called honey boxes or honey supers, but a medium box can be used for any purpose the bees need. 

Check out our Master Guide to Beekeeping Equipment

10 Frame equipment is called 10 frame because each box fits 10 frames. This is the same for 8 frame boxes; they hold 8 frames.  There is another option called a 5-frame, but this is typically just for a small colony that will be moved into an 8 or 10-frame hive shortly.

Using 10 Frame Equipment

Using 10 Frame Equipment

10 frame equipment has both advantages and disadvantages for beekeepers. With the10 frame beekeeping kits, a beekeeper will still use a combination of deep, medium, and possibly shallow boxes on their hive. Honey bees will live and work in all equipment sizes, so the differences are mostly up to beekeeper preference. 

10 frame equipment is the most popular size of Langstroth hive, but that is not necessarily because it is the best type. 10 frame hive boxes have been around for a long time, which is what most beekeepers use. This is why it is the most popular. But just because it is the most popular does not mean that it is the best option for you. 

Commercial beekeepers and backyard beekeepers both use 10 frame equipment. Because this size has been around the longest, most accessories to the hive always have a 10 frame option first and an 8 frame option second. 

10 frame equipment has both advantages and disadvantages for beekeepers. With the10 frame beekeeping kits, a beekeeper will still use a combination of deep, medium, and possibly shallow boxes on their hive. Honey bees will live and work in all equipment sizes, so the differences are mostly up to beekeeper preference. 

10 frame equipment is the most popular size of Langstroth hive, but that is not necessarily because it is the best type. 10 frame hive boxes have been around for a long time, which is what most beekeepers use. This is why it is the most popular. But just because it is the most popular does not mean that it is the best option for you. 

Commercial beekeepers and backyard beekeepers both use 10 frame equipment. Because this size has been around the longest, most accessories to the hive always have a 10 frame option first and an 8 frame option second. 

10-Frame All-Medium Box Hive Kit

$236.49 USD

10-Frame Double Deep Box Hive Kit

$199.49 USD

10-Frame Deep and Medium Box Hive Kit

$191.49 USD

10-Frame All-Medium Box Hive Kit

$236.49 USD

10-Frame Double Deep Box Hive Kit

$199.49 USD

10-Frame Deep and Medium Box Hive Kit

$191.49 USD

Advantages Of Using 10 Frame Equipment

Advantages Of Using 10 Frame Equipment

  • Total height of the stack is lower than that of an 8 frame hive with the same about of space
  • Bees have access to two more frames for honey / brood in each box
  • More beekeepers use it and are familiar with managing bees in them
  • Less boxes to purchase when considering the whole hive
  • Fewer boxes to work through when inspecting hive
  • Most size-specific hive accessories are made for 10 frame boxes.
  • Total height of the stack is lower than that of an 8 frame hive with the same about of space
  • Bees have access to two more frames for honey / brood in each box
  • More beekeepers use it and are familiar with managing bees in them
  • Less boxes to purchase when considering the whole hive
  • Fewer boxes to work through when inspecting hive
  • Most size-specific hive accessories are made for 10 frame boxes.

Disadvantages Of Using 10 Frame Equipment

Disadvantages Of Using 10 Frame Equipment

  • Full 10 frame medium boxes of honey are 15+lbs heavier than 8 frame box of honey
  • Bees often opt to move up before using 2 frames on the outside edges of the box
  • Full 10 frame deep boxes are nearly too heavy to move by the average person alone
  • Lifting one box that is too heavy can easily injure a knee or back
  • Full 10 frame medium boxes of honey are 15+lbs heavier than 8 frame box of honey
  • Bees often opt to move up before using 2 frames on the outside edges of the box
  • Full 10 frame deep boxes are nearly too heavy to move by the average person alone
  • Lifting one box that is too heavy can easily injure a knee or back
3 medium boxes stacked without frames, 10, 8 and 5 frame
3 medium boxes stacked without frames, 10, 8 and 5 frame
Foxhound Deep Cypress Assembled Painted 3-3

USING 8 FRAME EQUIPMENT

USING 8 FRAME EQUIPMENT

8 frame equipment also has advantages and disadvantages. We sell a lot of equipment to beginner beekeepers and the majority of the kits we sell are 10 frame. 8 frame hives are becoming more and more popular as a lighter alternative to the more common 10 frame hive. 

More new beekeepers are starting to see the benefit of lighter equipment and opting to start with that option instead of 10 frame hives. There are many benefits to using the eight frame equipment, especially for the older backyard beekeeper that only wants to keep a few hives and is buying beekeeping equipment for the first time.

If you have back issues, have poor knees, can’t comfortably lift 50 lbs or are older, an 8 frame beginner hive kit would be a good fit. In particular, 8-frame beehives are mostly purchased by older or female beekeepers. But being honest, if I started over, I would likely opt for an 8 frame hive instead of a 10 frame hive. Only because of the weight. But that is a personal preference and not everyone’s preference. 

 

8 frame equipment also has advantages and disadvantages. We sell a lot of equipment to beginner beekeepers and the majority of the kits we sell are 10 frame. 8 frame hives are becoming more and more popular as a lighter alternative to the more common 10 frame hive. 

More new beekeepers are starting to see the benefit of lighter equipment and opting to start with that option instead of 10 frame hives. There are many benefits to using the eight frame equipment, especially for the older backyard beekeeper that only wants to keep a few hives and is buying beekeeping equipment for the first time.

If you have back issues, have poor knees, can’t comfortably lift 50 lbs or are older, an 8 frame beginner hive kit would be a good fit. In particular, 8-frame beehives are mostly purchased by older or female beekeepers. But being honest, if I started over, I would likely opt for an 8 frame hive instead of a 10 frame hive. Only because of the weight. But that is a personal preference and not everyone’s preference. 

 

Advantage Of Using 8 Frame Equipment

Advantage Of Using 8 Frame Equipment

  • Reduces the total weight of each box, making each box easier to move
  • Can fit more hives in a smaller area
  • Reduced risk in causing injury to yourself while working hives
  • Bees tend to use frames in each box more efficiently
  • Honey is more compact inside the hive and more accessible to the winter bee clusters
  • Reduces the total weight of each box, making each box easier to move
  • Can fit more hives in a smaller area
  • Reduced risk in causing injury to yourself while working hives
  • Bees tend to use frames in each box more efficiently
  • Honey is more compact inside the hive and more accessible to the winter bee clusters

Disadvantages Of Using 8 Frame Equipment

Disadvantages Of Using 8 Frame Equipment

  • Hive stack can be so high, it can tip over in a storm
  • Need to purchase more boxes than 10 frame hive
  • Not all suppliers will have 8 frame equipment
  • Can be hard to find specialized equipment (ie: pollen traps, top feeders) to fit 8 frame boxes
  • More boxes to handle during honey removal
  • Hive stack can be so high, it can tip over in a storm
  • Need to purchase more boxes than 10 frame hive
  • Not all suppliers will have 8 frame equipment
  • Can be hard to find specialized equipment (ie: pollen traps, top feeders) to fit 8 frame boxes
  • More boxes to handle during honey removal

Should I Start With All Medium Or Deep Boxes?

As a beginner beekeeper, there is so much to learn prior to keeping bees. Starting to keep bees requires a lot of upfront decision-making. Some

Read More »

10 Frame Or 8 Frame - The Choice Is Yours

Whichever setup you choose to use, stick with it. It’s very hard to use both types of equipment in one apiary, causing compatibility problems if you mix and match. 8 frame or 10 frame equipment is one of those decisions a beekeeper should research early before getting bees so take some time to consider both options. 

Happy Beekeeping!

Should I Start With All Medium Or Deep Boxes?

As a beginner beekeeper, there is so much to learn prior to keeping bees. Starting to keep bees requires a lot of upfront decision-making. Some

Read More »

10 Frame Or 8 Frame - The Choice Is Yours

Whichever setup you choose to use, stick with it. It’s very hard to use both types of equipment in one apiary, causing compatibility problems if you mix and match. 8 frame or 10 frame equipment is one of those decisions a beekeeper should research early before getting bees so take some time to consider both options. 

Happy Beekeeping!

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