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Choosing Hive Boxes - 8 or 10 Frame Boxes

Choosing Hive Boxes - 8 or 10 Frame Boxes

Hive boxes typically hold either 8 or 10 frames. These hold the foundations on which the worker bees build their honeycomb. Some beekeepers prefer 8 frames over the 10 frames due to the weight when full. When the hive fills foundations with honey, it can weigh 60-120 lbs using a 10 frame medium or deep box. The 8 frame reduces this weight quite a bit down to 30- 100 lbs.

For people who have difficulty lifting, the 8 frame is a better choice as it allows the beekeeper to enjoy the hobby, and not have to worry about lifting over 100 lbs when it comes time to harvest the honey.

Using 8 Frames


  • Weigh less, easier to lift
  • Can fit in smaller places
  • Reduce risk when lifting or moving hives
  • Better in winter, because the colony has less space to work at keeping warm


  • More frames to handle
  • Fills up faster
  • More chances of tipping over
  • Have to buy irregular equipment, that most retailers don’t sell

Using 10 Frames


  • Takes longer to fill
  • Can fit more honey
  • Less height compared to the 8 frame
  • Bees have more room for brood
  • Fewer boxes to purchase
  • Less chance of tipping over


  • 10 frame boxes can weigh approximately 15 lbs more than a 8 frame box
  • Average beekeeper can’t lift a full 10 frame bee box by themselves
  • Bees can choose to move up instead of moving outside to create the honey on the two outside frames
  • The bee boxes can cause injuries to the knees, back, shoulders, or any part involved in lifting



Get all this information and more in our Free Beginner Beekeeping Guide!

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