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Dummy Frame

This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself



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:-

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

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.

I would seriously suggest that putting insulation inside the sheets greatly improves dummies.Many badly underestimate the importance of warmth to a colony.


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