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British Standard Frame & Frame Part Designations

This list covers most possibilities. The 14" x 12" 'Extra deep' or 'Deep Standard' as opposed to 'Standard Deep' (215 mm or 216 mm) type of frame does not fit with this classification. However the top bars and bottom bars from the chart below will fit. The sidebars are 254  mm long and some manufacturers make the Hoffman wings deeper on this size of frame than on the 'S2' type of sidebar.

PatternTop barSidebarsBottom barsNotes
DN/1T1S1B1Not self spacing
DN/2T2S1B1Not self spacing
DN/2aT2S1aB2Equal width all round
DN/3T3S1B1Not self spacing, Suffers badly from wax moth attack
DN/4T1S2B1Attracts brace comb
DN/5T2S2B1Recommended for brood use
DN/6T3S2B1Not self spacing, Suffers badly from wax moth attack
SN/1T1S3B1Not self spacing, recommended for honey storage using castellated spacers
SN/2T2S3B1Not self spacing
SN/2aT2S3aB2Equal width all round, Results in less brace comb
SN/3T3S3B1Not self spacing, Suffers badly from wax moth attack
SN/4T1S4B1Recommended for honey storage
SN/5T2S4B1Makes supers heavier for lifting
SN/6T3S4B1Not self spacing, Suffers badly from wax moth attack
SN/7T2S5B2Tendency for heavy propolisation on edges

T14322218Wedge construction
T24322818Recommended for brood use, Wedge construction
T3432229Not recommended
S1216229Seems cheaper, but requires spacers
S1a216289Results in less brace comb
S2216*9* 35, 36.5 or 38 mm widths, Hoffman style
S3140229Seems cheaper, but requires spacers
S3a140289As above, but less brace comb
S4140*9* 35, 36.5 or 38 mm widths, Hoffman style
S5140429Manley type
B135686Recommended for honey frames
B2356812.5Recommended for brood use

All Dimensions in mm, lower portions of Hoffman frame sides 28 mm width. (Some old production will be found to be 22 mm width.)

All sidebars centrally grooved 3 mm wide x 3 mm deep to accept foundation.

Type SN/7 is also known as 'Manley type'.

My personal preference... for brood T2, S2(35), B2... for super either SN/1 (with castellated spacers) or SN/4(35) self spacing (which will still fit 11's castellations if required). I also use SN5(38) (not because of any particular benefit, but due to availability of parts). Also some of my SN/1 frames have 28 mm wide S1a sides.
For drone production I use T2, S2(38), B2.

I used to manufacture (at APEX Enterprises) A top bar similar to T3 type, but 28 mm wide, grooved hardwood (this was designated type T2B in APEX lists) it did not suffer from waxmoth attack and is a good alternative to the T3 type giving maximum brood area. I have used this type of bar (without other frame parts) for cut comb production using supers (ekes) of only 75 mm height.

APEX Type 2B Topbar compatible with B.S. frames

I also used to manufacture various types to special order...One that was made in large quantities was similar to the T1 top bar, but 15 mm depth with a 3 mm x 3 mm central groove instead of "wedge" construction. These were used, by many other beekeepers, for cut comb production using starter strips of foundation fixed into the groove by melted beeswax.

More information on type T2A and T2B top bars.

PLEASE NOTE ! Not all manufacturers use all of the above part designations. The designations themselves were generated by the beekeeping equipment trade and are not part of the British Standard itself.