One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether or not you want a 8 Frame or 10 Frame Beehive. 8 frame beehive means there are 8 frames hanging inside each box and 10 frames means there are 10 frames hanging inside. According the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm 2016 Catalog: “The 10 frame hives do not build up as fast as the 8 frame hives because the bees don’t want to work the outside of the frames, requiring less manipulation of the hive. Every time you work your hive, you set the bees back a couple of days to a week. The bees like to move vertically so it may be difficult to get them working the outside frames.” The main advantage of 8 frames is that when full of honey it will be lighter and it’s easier to carry because your hands will be closer to your body because it is less wide than a 10 frame. The obvious disadvantage of 8 frame is that your hive will fill up faster and you will have to work it more and buy more supers (boxes that are superior to the hive body) and frames for those supers as they fill up.
So it really is a personal preference. Will you be able to lift a fully loaded 10 frame super or hive body? Fully loaded meaning with frames and foundations full of bees, honey, pollen and whatever else. If the answer is no, then 8 frame is your answer. I’m choosing 10 frame and the idea is that from here on out all the equipment I get will be for 10 frames so I won’t have to worry about coordinating supplies…everything will work for a 10 frame box.