Here is another interesting design – which has the same frame size for both the brood chamber AND the supers – the Rose Hive OSB (one-size box). As well as having the same sized boxes for brood chamber and super, it also has no queen excluder! The other advantage is that the roof and floors are National sizes – so for those with existing hives, many parts can be reused in the Rose OSB system without having to buy new rooves, floors or stands.
I think this is a really neat idea. It means that the queen is free to roam the whole hive and brood comb is not constrained. And the problem of having not enough drawn comb for the brood chamber simply vanishes – because all drawn comb can be moved around depending on what the bees need – and there is no build-up of old black comb which can encourage varroa and wax moth.
The only downside seems to be that the supers are more heavy than the conventional National / Commercial bee hive – but I tend to use a wheelbarrow when it is harvest time – which takes a lot of the back pain away.
Thornes (in the UK) are apparently selling the Rose Hive. I am very interested in trying this new system – as well as having any comments that anyone has on how successful it has been for them – or any other observations they might have on it!