Frame Building

langstroth-frames20160206_112759Langstroth frames for bee hives come in three basic sizes — deep, medium, and shallow — corresponding to deep hive bodies and medium or shallow honey supers. The method for cutting and assembling deep, medium, and shallow frames is identical. Regardless of its size, each Langstroth frame has four basic components: one top bar with a wedge, one bottom bar with a slit or groove running its length, and two side bars.

The only difference among the frame sizes is the vertical measurement of the side bars. Each frame holds foundation, which consists of a thin, rectangular sheet of wax embossed with a comb pattern; it encourages your bees to draw even and uniform honeycombs.

Langstroth frames

Frame Size: The measurements of the side bars vary depending on whether the frames are deep, 20160206_111121medium, or shallow. Deep frames are 19 inches x 1-1/16 inches x 9-1/8 inches; medium frames are 19 inches x 1-1/16 inches x 6-1/4 inches; and shallow frames are 19 inches x 1-1/16 inches x 5-3/8 inches.

20160206_140212Capacity: The bees build wax comb in the frames and use this comb to raise brood and store food. Generally speaking, the beekeeper uses either the medium or shallow frames for collecting and then harvesting honey. The deep frames are typically reserved for the bees’ use (for raising their brood and storing the food the colony uses).
Each deep frame can hold 6 pounds of extractable honey; each medium frame can hold 4 pounds of honey; and each shallow frame can hold 3 pounds of honey.

Difficulty: Easy, with minor tool requirement. IE: hammer, nailer, or stapler.

Cost: The materials, hardware, and fasteners to build ten frames will likely run around $15-$18


Excerpted from:  Vital Stats and Materials List for Langstroth Frames

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