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Frame construction

The self-spacing Hoffman Frame or Victorian Pattern is one of the most commonly used with the Langstroth hive. It is a self spacing frame - when all the frames are hanging side by side, the correct 'bee spacing' is left between the faces of the combs. The bee spacing allows the frames to remain movable, restricts the amount of 'brace comb' (extraneous comb the bees build), and helps reduce the number of bees crushed during frame manipulation.

The Hoffman Frame, or Victorian Pattern

these consist of two end bars, and, a top and bottom bar:

The top bar is 483mm (19in) long, 25mm (1in) wide and 16mm (5/8in) thick. Both the top bar ends are reduced to 9mm (3/8in) thick for the last 29mm (1 1/8in) of each end. The underside of the top bar is grooved 3mm (1/8in) to take the top edge of the foundation sheet.

The Bottom bar is 448mm (175/8in)in length, 22mm (7/8in) wide, and 9mm (3/8in) thick. You can add the 3mm (1/8in) groove to this also to hold the foundation sheet of wax.

The end bars are 232mm (91/8in)long, 35mm (13/8in) wide and 9mm (3/8in) thick. The width of both end bars is reduced to 28mm (11/8in) 89mm (31/2in) from the top. End bars are rebated top and bottom to take the ends of the top and bottom bars.

A full frame of honey can weigh up to about 3kg, and during it's working life can have all sorts of dubious treatment, so special care should be taken with assembly.

Frames can be commercially bought, in flat (some assembly required), from apiary suppliers. I recommend this.


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