My self centering top bars
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Davis, California
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    33

    Default My self centering top bars

    Hi All,
    I am repairing a neglected top bar hive for a "bee sanctuary" we have in Davis. It is basically a community apiary that has mostly been abandoned due to high ant pressure. Now that we have solved the ant problem it is starting to get more people involved, but had some old equipment that needed repair. This hive has been neglected a few years so I cleaned it up, repaired the screened bottom, and put some ant proof legs on it to survive the hoards of ants in this location (Metal cans half filled with concrete to anchor the legs and a second can higher up the legs hanging down. Fill the bottom cans with vegetable oil and the upper cans with a layer of grease).

    I decided to add a set of my special self centering top bars to this hive. The original design has the top bars overhanging the edge of the hive. While I like that for ease of prying the bars, it can be a pain to center the bars. I have previously solved this problem on my own top bar hive by making self centering bars. The dimensions of that hive are slightly different and I took the time to cut the angle at the top on my own hive, but a similar top bar design worked for this hive too.

    The self centering bars take an extra two cuts (per side) to make, but make life Sooooo much easier when working the hive.

    Essentially, the bars have double stepped ends so there is a notch that sits just inside the lip of the hive with a long tongue that extends beyond the hive that you can pry on. Inside of the notch that meets the side wall is a bee space which keeps them from connecting the comb to the wall.

    Will add pictures so you all can see the bars. I hope that someone else likes the bar design and uses it too.

    -Adam

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Davis, California
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    33

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Here are images of one top bar by itself, and in the hive to show how the centering notches work.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #3
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    May 2016
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    Davis, California
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    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Two more images showing a closer up detail of one of the ends, and a view down the length of the bar.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,600

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    And you already applied for a patent before you made this design public right? Hate to think that in a few years you could have been rich beyond your wildest dreams.

    Let's see. Langstroth hive, Cloake board, Immerie shim, McCoy top bar. Has a nice ring to it, no?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,520

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    I have lots of patents in my head.
    Not worth the hassle, pretty sure.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,817

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I have lots of patents in my head.
    Not worth the hassle, pretty sure.
    My thoughts exactly ...

    If something can be easily copied by 'Joe Doe', then there's very little point in patenting it. I expressed that view a while back, but a guy on here promptly shouted me down. Yet the best example of this 'valuable Patent' fallacy must surely be that of Lorenzo Langstroth who patented what was to become the most influential beekeeping idea EVER - and yet he died in relative poverty after spending a small fortune defending it (and making several lawyers rich during the process), leaving not enough cash in the bank to provide a headstone for his own grave.

    Still, this appears to be an original idea - not sure how valuable it is though - still needs to be subjected to 'the bee test'. (that's where most of my ideas come unstuck ...)

    But - good luck - do let us know how it works out in practice.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    C'mon guys, it was a joke. Good idea for the bar but a patent? Sheesh.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    You may have been joking, but I reckon that McCoy's Top Bar idea is more innovative than any of the ideas within this Patent Application:
    https://patentimages.storage.googlea...30273807A1.pdf

    It's amazing what some people will try to patent - but - why do they waste their time and money doing this ? Even if this guy was successful - how's he going to make any money from it ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #9
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    C'mon guys, it was a joke. Good idea for the bar but a patent? Sheesh.

    Never know.
    Some people are actually too serious and will follow through.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,241

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    You may have been joking, but I reckon that McCoy's Top Bar idea is more innovative than any of the ideas within this Patent Application:
    https://patentimages.storage.googlea...30273807A1.pdf

    It's amazing what some people will try to patent - but - why do they waste their time and money doing this ? Even if this guy was successful - how's he going to make any money from it ?
    LJ
    He will make money from it by suing me for using his patented ideas in my apiary. Although, I should sue him for stealing my ideas.

  12. #11
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    He will make money from it by suing me for using his patented ideas in my apiary. Although, I should sue him for stealing my ideas.
    Well, BEFORE you make any money, you will spend the money (likely a lot of money.... and then some).
    The same in reverse.


    PS: maybe one of my kids should become a patent lawyer, so he does my patents for free.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    woodland, wa usa
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Certainly, what you call "self centering", is advisable for whatever the "fit" between the top edge of the trough and the notch of some sort on the bottom ends of the top bars.
    Some top bars have a large triangle of wood on their bottom, and this triangle is held short from the end of the bars, kinda allowing for that "self centering".
    Some trough sides, like the TBH I built out of 2X4's, merely have an angled 90 degree point along the length of the trough edge for the top bars rest on. But the slat inserts forming the center line of the saw kerfs underneath my top bars, these slat end positions dictate that "self centering" you seem to require.
    But it takes extreme little time using two hands (one at each end of the topbars) to position topbars in relation to the trough sides, and near exactly each topbar centered over the trough, if one wants near centered perfection.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Provo, UT
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    19

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    That is an interesting concept, adammccoy. I also have a top bar hive. Can you elaborate on how / why the extra bee space discourages bees from building bridge comb to the wall? And also, do you find that without the bridge comb, the heavier honey combs get too heavy, and might risk falling to the floor of the hive, or they stay attached just as well?

    Thanks.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Davis, California
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    I figured sharing my ideas back here for free is a small price to pay for the advice I have picked up.

    I do like the ring of McCoy top bar. I already use Real McCoy Honey on my labels. I usually end up giving away most of my honey to neighbors, relatives, and co-workers at my day job that I do until the top bar patent pays off.

    FYI, I have several actual patents granted (in areas relevant to molecular biology). None of them have made me rich although a few have been beneficial to the companies I used to work for when I invented them.

  16. #15
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    May 2016
    Location
    Davis, California
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: My self centering top bars

    Quote Originally Posted by sylvia View Post
    That is an interesting concept, adammccoy. I also have a top bar hive. Can you elaborate on how / why the extra bee space discourages bees from building bridge comb to the wall? And also, do you find that without the bridge comb, the heavier honey combs get too heavy, and might risk falling to the floor of the hive, or they stay attached just as well?

    Thanks.
    I have never had top bars that didn't have bee space along the ends. The bees attach the comb to these top bars the same as the regular ones. I haven't had combs fall to the floor of the hive.

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