The dummy frame is also called a dummy board and is very often confused with a division board, it is simply a blanked off frame that will fill the space of a normal frame in a bee hive. The dummy board is inert and merely replaces a frame to maintain proper spacing within a hive.
Construction is simple, There are six parts, several of which are detailed on these related pages:-
|1||T1 type top bar|
|2||S1 or S4 frame sides|
|1||22 mm solid bottom bar|
|2||panels 356 mm wide 140 mm or 216 mm tall 3 mm or 4 mm ply or hardboard|
I have made hundreds of such dummies, most of which have cheeks made of hardboard (masonite) or some are faced with thin plywood. I treat them with linseed oil and they have proved totally durable.
I add small slips of plastic
that have been cut from Hoffman adaptors to help maintain correct spacing.
I add these to one side only, because there are similar pieces attached to the inside faces of the brood box or super sides. Any number of dummies may be used as the blank side of the first one goes towards the outside and subsequent ones have their blank faces butted up to the spacers on the previous dummy. The spacers, on the frame that meets up with 'proper' frames, maintain a correct 'back to back' working space on the outer face of the last 'real' comb.
I have used such dummies in deep and shallow sizes as many of my Amm type colonies have required less space than hybridised colonies. If I am short of prepared frames, I will place only nine frames in the box and fill the outer two spaces with dummies. I can then replace the dummies with frames of foundation on my next visit without the chance of the bees drawing wild comb.