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Srdjan Todorovski - Tosho

Belgrade / Banatsko Plandiste stodorovski@open.telekom.rs

part 2

A Novel Beehive Frame

part 1


Recent beekeeping uses so called movable comb, i.e. beehive frames in which bees build comb. As there are a large number of hive types, there are many kinds of frames. There are several frame constructions, as well.

What all frame constructions have in common are: a top bar, thickness of which is about 20 mm, a bottom bar, thickness of which is about 10 mm, and two side bars. When frames in honey supers are put one over another, a 40 mm gap without comb appears between two adjacent vertical frames (size of the top bar, bottom bar and empty constructive space between them). This is so called death space. It obstructs bees and bee queen motions during active period. During winter it is insuperable obstacle for movement of bee cluster towards the honey storage in upper supers. This could cause the disaster of a bee colony.


Fig. 1. Tosho’s bee frame in one of possible realizations, where crossing of top bar and side bar is 20 mm with 8 mm. Position 1 is the essence of the new bee frame, where top and bottom frames are built so that their halves are displaced.



Fig. 2. Tosho’s bee frames with inlaid comb foundations in position one over another, as they are in a hive. On position 1 you can notice the vertical distance between frames. On position 2 we can see the way of laying comb foundations into the frame by pressuring top and bottom edges of comb foundation onto the corresponding frame bars.






Fig. 3. Toshos' bee frame with built comb partially filled with honey. Comb which is built from the top of the upper bar to the bottom of the lower bar is presented on the position 1.




In practice, the problem is solved in several ways: using deeper frames, thicker bars, bars with triangular or round cross, notching a top bar, applying apitechnical measures, etc. However, none of the solutions is completely satisfactory.

Tosho’s beehive frame which eliminates vertical gap between adjacent vertical frames is a solution that satisfies all requirements of contemporary beekeeping.

The essence of Tosho’s beehive frame is to enable the bees to build honey comb from the bottom edge of the bottom bar to the top edge of the top bar of a comb frame. This provides that the distance between combs in two vertically adjacent frames becomes equal to the vertical distance between frames. By construction this distance is 10 mm, and it corresponds to the width of bee passage which is twice shorter than a bee length.

Tosho’s beehive frame consists of two standard side bars, and innovated bottom and top bars shown on Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. Such construction of the frame enables embedding the comb foundation in such a way that enables the bees to build honey comb from the bottom edge of the bottom bar to the top edge of the top bar on at least one half of one side of the comb frame. In this way vertical gap is reduced to only a narrow lane that represents passage for bees, as on Fig. 3. Such bee frame is symmetrical with respect to vertical axis. So, after rotating for 180 degrees in reference to a vertical axis, the frames are in the same relation. The proposed bee frame provides unobstructed vertical movement of bees on one side of vertical space between two frames (bee street) all the way through the honey comb in the hive composed of an arbitrary number of supers.


Fig. 4


Fig. 5.


Fig. 6. Bees have built combs and brace combs in the right side of the LR half super, while the frames which are not built are on the left. The combs’ structure and shape are like in natural environment - narrow and high combs.




Pictures demonstrate that constructive elements of the frame have a great influence on bees’ behaviour in the hive with mobile combs. The differences between classical frames and Tosho’s frame are evident. They are in the way of combs’ building, in the position of the queen cell on the comb and in the way of expanding the bees’ brood.



part 2