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The Langstroth Hive

Langstroth equipment accounts for about 75% of worldwide beekeeping kit, within that term 'Langstroth standard' there are about ninety sub species, some of which are totally incompatible with each other.

Some of the Imperial dimensions for the height of a brood box that I have found, have given 9 7/16" (1930 Hooper & Morse), Wedmore stated 9 1/2" in 1932, and yet others at 9 9/16" (New Zealand 1990). The 9 5/8" measure must be recent due to the use of timber that is still 'green'. The older the information the shorter the box which suggests that the timber was progressively better seasoned the further we go back in time. Or perhaps the bees of yesteryear required a smaller bee space???

Some of the information for the following table has come from a Nick Wallingford's website. Values rounded to nearest integer.

Outer
Length
Inner
Length
Outer
Width
Inner
Width
Brood
Depth
Brood
Frame
Super
Depth
Super
Frame
Top
Bar
Bottom
Bar
American Langstroth (from imperial measurements)
508464416372241232168159483448
Californian Langstroth (from imperial measurements)
508470413375245232168159483448
Australian Langstroth (from imperial measurements)
508464406362241232168159483448
British Langstroth (APEX Enterprises Metricated dimensions)
508464413370242232146137483448
9 Frame British Langstroth (APEX Enterprises Metricated dimensions)
508464376*333*242232146137483448
11 Frame British Langstroth (APEX Enterprises Metricated dimensions)
508464468*434*242232146137483448
New Zealand Langstroth (from imperial measurements)
508464406362241232184175481452
New Zealand Langstroth (New Metric Standard)
505465405365238230185177482450
8 Frame New Zealand Langstroth (New Metric Standard)
505465353310-313238230185177482450
French Langstroth (Metric from inception)
506452506452258228??????436
Danish 10 frame Langstroth (Swienty styropor)
508465??373243234184175480448
Danish 13 frame Langstroth (Rea-dan Skinned polyurethane foam)
508465508465243234????480448
Greek Langstroth (Metric from inception)
507465417375244230????480450
Mexican Langstroth (Metric from inception)
515477405367????150141495450
12 frame type used by Erik Osterlund
508464508464 approx.145137145137483448

Notes... Hoffman spacing is 35 mm except Greece which is 36 mm and New Zealand which is 33 mm (older NZ was 33.4 mm) and Mexico was/is 33 mm. Some deep frames made by APEX were 37 mm wide and some shallow frames made by APEX were 38 mm wide.

?? = Unknown at present. Should you know any of these dimensions please use the Email facility at the bottom of the page so that I can update this table.
* = requires confirmation from original data when found.

There is some variation in the depth of seating of the frames in different standards, But I only know the APEX details which were 9 mm above the lug, 9 mm lug, 6 mm under the lug, giving a 1 mm clearance under the frames.

Jumbo versions

Links to other sites that give specific details of particular Langstroth variants

There is another issue here as well... In the UK we work to fine tolerances of 0.1 mm (0.004") using well seasoned, selected timber. In USA the timber is not seasoned so much and will thus 'move' a little in service, also the manufacturing tolerance used in USA can be as high as 1/16" (1.5875 mm) and this means that 3/8" bee space, or larger, will be commonly used by manufacturers simply to accommodate these discrepancies.

Additional Danish information from... Thor Bue Hansen.

more to come when time permits

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Written... summer 2000, Revised... 26 August 2001
Revised... 18 May 2002