Romanov frames with sections for comb honey production

  I designed my own frames with sections for comb honey production because I was not completely satisfied with the options that were available on the market.

I set several main objectives:
1. The design must be very simple, so that any beekeeper could replicate it at home;
2. The cost of frames with sections must be lower than that of the existing products;
3. Materials used in production must be bee-friendly and affordable (inexpensive pine, spruce, fir );
4. Sections should fit into one of the comb honey containers, therefore offering to the customers a more attractive alternative.

  Advantage #1:
5 3/8" X 19"(18") X 1 3/8" wooden frame - fits standard 5 5/8" or 5 11/16" Shallow Supers without any modifications of Shallow Supers!

  Advantage #2:The frames are very strong and reusable.
Advantage #3:There is no need to use any additional dividers.

  Modified standard 5 3/8" X 19"(17 3/4") X 1 3/8" frame.

Just three dividers were added.

One disadvantage of such approach - hard to find the right-size containers.

  My pine section (top) versus basswood section

1. The height of side bars should be equal to the height of your future section.
2. Comb honey containers differ in types and inner size. Therefore, you should check the actual internal measurements of the container from your supplier before you start to make sections and frames.
Also, I would advise that you test the size of your sections by constructing a sample out of carton for one of the real comb honey containers. This additional small step will guarantee that your sections will definitely fit the chosen container.

  Advantage #4:
The design of my sections is very simple: only a table saw is needed to make them.
(RYOBI 10" table saw with stand - $99.00).

The thickness of the wooden strips ranges from 1/16" to 1/8".

  As you prepare to bend the wooden strip in order to form the section, you can use a file to score lines, where the bends are.
You also have to immerse the strips in a water tank for 25 to 30 minutes, before you start to fold them.

Then you have to bend the strips around a wooden square block slowly to avoid breaking the strips.
It is possible that some types of wood fibers could break unevenly during the bending process resulting in rough outer corners of the strip. Therefore, you can try to use the different types of wood. The best results may be achieved with basswood, but I prefer to use any softwood from coniferous trees: pine, fir, spruce and so on.

  Starter strip installation: just slip the strip into a narrow cut,

  You have to bend the starter strip slowly to avoid breaking the strip.
The room temperature should be at least 70 degrees of Fahrenheit.

  4 1/8" X 4 1/8" X 1" wooden unassembled section with a starter strip for my frame (4 1/16" X 4 3/16" X 1" for modified standard frame).
As an alternative to wooden sections, a solid square form made of plastic can be used.

  4 1/8" X 4 1/8" X 1" assembled section with a starter strip

  Frame with sections

Advantage #5: Low cost.

  New frames with a new Super are ready to install in the hive.

  These sections were installed on May 12, 2008.

Here you can see bees' work in progress on May 14, 2008.

  Progress on May 17, 2008.

  Advantage #6:
Instead of a starter strip you can use a wax "guide line". This wax line can be "drawn" with a small paint brush.

  I prefer to use fresh wax from natural combs to paint the "guide line". My bees begin building new combs and filling them with honey sometimes sooner in comparison to a starter strip made from old wax foundation.

September 10, 2008

  Advantage #7: Bees prefer wooden frames over plastic frames/systems (Ross Round Sections, Bee-O-Pack System, Hogg Cassettes).

Advantage #8:
There is no need to use a comb cutter

Advantage #9:
In traditional cut comb production, all portions of cut combs should stand on a grid to let the honey drain from the outside cut cells. This process is messy and takes time. With my sections there is no need to do this.

No mess and waste anymore!

  Advantage #10:
It's pretty easy to remove filled sections from the frame with a 3-inch scraper/spackle knife. Slide the knife between the frame and each section. It takes less than a minute to remove a section.

  Advantage #11:
When using other types of comb honey equipment, where multiple sections are attached together, you may see some waste. Sometimes bees do not fill all sections and the beekeeper is forced to throw out unused sections. With my comb honey production system I have no waste. You can leave an unfinished section in the frame and add new sections or combine all unfinished sections into one frame.

  Advantage #12:
I think that my sections look more attractive than cut combs.

Advantage #13:
My sections fit a
4 1/8" X 4 1/8" or 4 1/4" X 4 1/4"
comb honey container

Advantage #14:
One Shallow Super contains 40 lbs. of market-ready honey in 40 sections! This is its maximum potential yield.

  The thickness of my sections with comb honey is similar to the thickness of cut comb honey.

To avoid any damages of comb sections I do not use clamshell boxes.

  Advantage #15:
Two-piece, clear plastic comb boxes/containers are ruggedly constructed and fully stackable.

NOTE: As always, you need a strong hive and good honey flow to get comb honey.

Link to related info - Comb honey production cost comparison

Boris Romanov,   March 10, 2005
Last Modified: January 21, 2011


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