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Dummy Frame, for British Bee Hives

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.

B.S. Sized Dummy Bee Hive Frame

Construction is simple, There are six parts, several of which are detailed on these related pages:-

B.S. Frame Designations   B.S. Frame Sides   B.S. Top Bars   B.S. Bottom bars

1T1 type top bar
2S1 or S4 frame sides
122 mm solid bottom bar
2panels 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.

Plastic Hoffman adaptor parts in use on a dummy bee hive frame

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 in the gap.

Dave Cushman.

Page created pre-2011

Page updated 05/12/2022