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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    170

    Default Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    Woud appreciate some help with this. The bees are building nice straight comb, but are building it on both sides of the starter strip. (The bars are 1 inch and 3/8 wide.) Instead of using the starter strip they build on both sides of it. Consequently they have begun to attach the bars together. I just lost everything off of bar 10, which was full of new comb on one side and uncapped brood on the other. I'm thinking of adding a spacer between them to see if that helps. Comments and suggestions are welcome, please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    I think the spacer might make the problem worse. I have heard of this frequently with flat bars. Is that what you have? The flat bar space between the starter strip is a perfect place to build comb, because there is no starter strip in the way. The bees don't care if it is on two bars. I use bars with a triangular guide. The bees can't really get into the space between bars because the opposite bars come together in a trough. Cutting the triangular guides is easy with a table saw if you have one. You can also attach triangular molding to flat bars to achieve the same effect. This also has the advantage of giving the comb more area for attachment, reducing the danger of having it break off the bar when manipulated. I have never had a problem with crossed comb with these bars.

    Ted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    If the bars are flat, the space in-between them becomes "the guide." (Oops.) Popsicle sticks glued in a saw-kerf worked great for us; no wax.

    I also noticed that, where one bar was slightly not-pushed-down, the bees built a little comb right where the bars didn't quite meet. I guess they perceived that to be a guide, too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    Thanks for the info guys. I do have the flat bars so I'm going to have to make a change. Any suggestions as to the right materail to buy to attach a triangular guide?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    541

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    I use Chamfer molding which will pretty much fill up the bar forget the wax on it just let them build. I have also started using plumbers strapping to attach the comb it is working even with soft comb if you use 3 straps (2 facing one way and 1 facing the other way)
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...highlight=meow

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    You can use any chamfer molding of the appropriate size. If you have a table saw you could make your own using pine or some hardwood if you want. Just cut it at 45 degrees. I got some very light hardwood 3/4 inch Chamfer molding from a molding company, but it was relatively expensive. Some of my mentors recommend hardwood for a comb guide because it stands up to harvesting the honey better. I just use 2xs from the cull bin at Home Depot and rip them to the right size and then cut off the corners to create a triangle 3/4 inch deep. If you want hardwood, you could go to Home Depot or your favorite lumber store and get some 3/4 inch red oak then rip it at a 45 degree angle. Then glue, staple, screw, or nail it to your bars. Shouldn't bee too expensive. I built a jig to hold the molding and the bar in the correct positions and just screwed through the bar into the molding. In my blog, at http://wilcoxent.com/mzima/beekeeper...king-top-bars/ I have some illustrations of the profiles of my bars. My most recent post is also about the bars.

    rtoney, your plumbers strap is a pretty cool idea. Thanks!

    Ted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    Thank you for your help. I know another beekeeper with a table saw. I just need to get some wood. Only question I have - should the base of the triangle be as wide as the bar, or just be close to the same width?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redmond Oregon
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Trouble with top bar. Help needed.

    Got the Chamfer and will be fixing things up right. Thank you for the help. It is much appreciated!

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