Bailey Frame Change

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

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Bailey Frame Change

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‘Bailey’ Frame Change

Best time is Mid March to April

Many thanks to Yvonne Davidson, at Tarland, as much information was gained about the Bailey Frame Change.  Here are notes and diagrams to replicate the hive that Yvonne used to demonstrate how to do this task.

Why BFC? - There are many reasons why you may want to do a BFC, e.g. Disease, frames distorted, Nosema, etc.

When? Mid March-April when the Queen is active.  Bees must be fed (thin syrup through a rapid feeder) during the whole process. Start the BFC when warm enough, e.g. 14oC+.

Week 1

Place a new brood box (with new frames) directly over the old brood box (see diagram below). The temperature should be 14oC+ to ensure  bees keep warm as a large space is generated when the two brood boxes are placed together.

  1. Add a crown board on top of the new box with a feeder (feeding thin syrup through a rapid feeder).

* An Eke is a small super, ideal for using with smaller feeders.

  1. Before moving on to Week 2, check for evidence that the Queen is laying in the upper layer. (At Day 4 it may be difficult to see as the larvae is transluscent but soon, they start to become more visible.)

Week 2….

Note: Warm the foundation on the new frames in the sun (or a hairdryer) as it is more tempting for bees so that they move upward and start manipulating the wax.

Feed thin syrup through rapid feeder

Old brood box with old frames

New brood box with new frames


Crown board

Super or Eke*


Warning: The BFC should not be entered into lightly, as there are risks (e.g. damage to colony) associated with it.