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Comparision of the 8 and 10 frame beginner beekeeping kits.


 8-Frame Kit10-Frame Kit
Standardization8-frame hives have been in use for over 100 years and are again increasing in popularity. Some components like the frames are interchangeable between 8- or 10-frame hives, but other parts like supers will fit one size hive or the other.10 Frame is the more common sized hive used in the US over the last several decades. This hive would be compatible with the majority of hives/hive components in use today.
Management flexibilityThe English Garden Hive consists of all medium (6-5/8”) height brood chambers and supers. Having all uniform size chambers means that any chamber can be used for any purpose (either as a brood chamber, as a feed “super”, or as a true super for surplus honey). It also means that frames can be moved between brood boxes and supers, which opens up several helpful management options.10-frame hives use one or more deep (9-1/8”) brood chamber(s) to which shallow- or medium-height honey supers are normally added. Having different sized chambers is a slightly more specialized way of doing things.
Decorative styleThe appearance of the English garden hive stands out chiefly because of the decorative A-frame top covered in solid copper. (The decorative copper top is also available for 10-frames hives, but is only standard on the English garden hive.)Our standard 10-frame hive comes with a flat, aluminum-covered telescoping top and looks very standard.
Heavy liftingA completely full English garden super can hold close to 30 lbs of honey or over 40 lbs total including the weight of the wood and all. The center of gravity is also closer to the body making it easier to lift and carry. In the case of the English garden hive, a brood chamber is the same size as a super.A completely full 10-frame medium super can hold over 35 lbs of honey or close to 50 lbs total including the weight of the wood and all. A deep 10-frame brood chamber can weigh close to 80 lbs total when full.
Smaller hive?Although the individual levels of 8-frame hives are smaller (by 2 frames) than 10-frame hives, that doesn’t make any real difference in the size of the colony. 8-frame hives simply expand upwards sooner than 10-frame hives which expand outwards further. Some beekeepers feel that the relative upward orientation of an 8-frame hive more closely meets instincts of bees that naturally build their nests in tree hollows.
Cypress vs. PineWe make our English garden supers from all cypress wood. Although paint or clear varnish is normally used to protect cypress woodenware, cypress also has some natural resistance to decay.We use pine lumber to manufacture our standard 10-frame hive as well as most of our hive bodies and supers. Paint is normally used to protect pine woodenware.