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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Top Bars...attach or not

    I just built our first Warre. There is a picture of it on our website under the "News" tab. I'm making top bars today and want to know if they should be attached or not. I've read that some people do and some don't. I was thinking of cutting a slit in each end of the bar that would sit down on a small finishing nail driven at the correct spacing in the rabbet. Or is this necessary? I know the bees will glue them down pretty fast. Advice? How about it, Cacklewack?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Top Bars...attach or not

    I attach mine but its illegal. I tried the slotting them, then creating individual rabbet, etc, but it was just so much quicker/easier to nail them down that I gave up. I've found that rasping the bottom side of the top bar into a rough wedge is the easiest way to shape the bottom and that the bees normally follow the bars. I think they may prefer the roughness of the rasped surface more than the smoothness of the other finished surfaces. (not that it matters at all where they build their comb)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Top Bars...attach or not

    I decided not to wait for an answer. I put a narrow blade on my table saw and cut a notch in the end of each top bar. I marked up my rabbet and drove a small finishing nail in for each bar. The bars slid right on and are all held in place, but can be removed. Worked perfectly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Top Bars...attach or not

    I was going to suggest something like that. You could even simply drill a hole into the top bar if that's easier.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Top Bars...attach or not

    Being able to pull them out will be handy when you install a package.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Top Bars...attach or not

    If it was me, I'd put one nail on opposite ends facing opposite directions that spaces the frames. In other words if you look at the top bar from the top the far end is to the right and the near end, the nail is to the left.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Top Bars...attach or not

    The bars we make and sell for our Warres have notches as you've described. This allows the customer to decide whether they want to attach or not. Personally, I don't attach. I simply lay the bars in and let the bees propolize them down. This works fine for me. Others, especially those with only one hive (or a lot of time), often use brads or small nails and cut the heads off to keep the bars perfectly spaced.

    The nice part about attaching the bars is that it makes it a lot easier to remove the box above without the bars below (which are almost certainly propolized from above and below) coming up with it. I just look in as I'm lifting the box above and push down the bars that are sneaking upward.

    Matt

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