Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3864196 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 4, 1975
Filing dateApr 10, 1972
Priority dateApr 17, 1971
Also published asCA974817A, CA974817A1, DE2118676A1, DE2118676B2, DE2118676C3
Publication numberUS 3864196 A, US 3864196A, US-A-3864196, US3864196 A, US3864196A
InventorsMatthias Schmidt
Original AssigneeMatthias Schmidt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Honeycomb structure for use in bee breeding
US 3864196 A
Abstract
The invention relates to honeycombs made of synthetic plastic material which are especially suitable to provide the breeding chambers for bees, also to a die mold for producing such honeycombs. The honeycomb member comprises a center wall and a plurality of walls extending on both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cell portion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center than adjacent said plurality of walls, and said plurality of walls having a greater thickness adjacent the center wall than at their outer edges.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Schmidt [4 1 Feb.4, 1975 HONEYCOMB STRUCTURE FOR USE IN BEE BREEDING 211 Appl. No.: 242,354

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Aprv 17,1971 Germany 2118676 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1918 Sechrist 161/68 UX 5/1963 Covington 6/10 3,231,452 1/1966 Thomas 161/68 3,231,907 2/1966 Covington 1 o/ll) 3,579,676 5/1971 Pierce 6/2 A Primary Examiner-Philip Dier Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michael P. Breston [57] ABSTRACT The invention relates to honeycombs made of synthetic plastic material which are especially suitable to provide the breeding chambers for bees, also to a die mold for producing such honeycombs. The honeycomb member comprises a center wall and a plurality of walls extending on both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cell portion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center than adjacent said plurality of walls, and said plurality of walls having a greater thickness adjacent the center wall than at their outer edges.

4 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 41975 3,864,196

sum 1. OF 2 L \j m 93 HONEYCOMB STRUCTURE FOR USE IN BEE BREEDING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The main disadvantages occurring with wax honeycombs are that the wax honeycombs all have to be renewed after being in use for about 3 or 4 years, that the supply of honeycombs is considerably impaired during the summer by wax moths, that the honeycombs frequently break when the swarms of bees move and also on other occasions, for example, when the honey is extracted, and that the wax honeycombs are relatively limited in number which presents a great problem, for example, when bee-keeping is being set up on a large scale.

Honeycombs made of wax or artificial material similar to wax have already been developed to avoid these disadvantages. The wall height of these honeycombs is only partially made artificially so that the bees themselves build these partial walls to their full extent. These honeycombs, which are intended only for the honey chamber have the disadvantage of being made of a material which, as in the case of natural honeycombs, is very fragile, so that attempts have also already been made to increase the firmness of such honeycombs by reinforcing or strengthening them with some other material. But, as before, there is still the disadvantage that these honeycombs are of only limited use in practice as the skins which are left behind when the bees hatch out gradually narrow the cell chamber so that eventually the honeycombs become useless and have to be replaced.

ln addition honeycombs made of sheet metal are known which are produced with a reduced wall extent, (somewhat more than half the full extent), so that the bees build the wall up to its full extent with their own wax. However, practice has shown that such honeycombs are unsuitable and that they have not been adopted. One reason for this may have been that the production of such honeycombs is very complicated and extremely expensive, but the main reason is that the bees reject this material.

Artificial honeycombs made of synthetic resin are also known, the cells of which have a depth of about 1 1 mm in the normal honeycombs intended for breeding purposes and a depth of -25 mm in the honeycombs intended for the honey chamber. In such honeycombs the bees are not intended to build the cell wall up to its full height with their own wax.

Finally there are honeycombs in which, instead of there being a center wall with double-sided cells, there are cells provided only on one wall. Such honeycombs can be produced from plastic, light metal, pressed material or similar. Such honeycombs in which the full extent of the cell walls is made of artificial material are intended solely for making honey in, and can only be used as such. Plastic honeycombs with full cell wall extent basically have the disadvantage that the skins left behind by the bees, when they hatch out, gradually narrow the cell chamber. The removal of these skins is extremely difficult, and in practice, cannot be carried out. Therefore, these honeycombs eventually become useless and have to be replaced. A further difficulty occurs in such honeycombs because the bees cannot dispose of their surplus wax.

A further problem arises in the artificial honeycombs known up to the present, a problem which has not yet been recognized or at any rate yet been paid attention to, the cell floor of such known honeycombs is made flat and the feeding juice produced by the bees runs down to some spot on the flat floor which in many cases is not the spot at which the young maggots are just hatching out. Extensive experiments have shown that when such flat cell floors are used, as they have been exclusively up to now, about half of the hatched maggots starve because the maggots do not reach the feeding juice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Honeycombs made of plastic material with cells arranged on both sides of a center wall are provided in which the cell wall height is one-third to one-half of the full height of the cell wall in order to make the bees build up the honeycombs to the full height of the cell wall with their wax. The honeycomb is molded from plastic material and the floor of the cell is provided with a depression, which increases radially inwardly. This invention also provides a mold form for producing such honeycombs, in which the fixed mold part and also the movable mold part for each individual cell is provided with a separate mold head which operates independent of the other mold heads and is loosely mounted. The fixed mold part comprises an ejection device which is connected to part of the mold heads on the fixed mold part.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION According to the invention there is provided a honeycomb member of synthetic plastic material, for use in producing a honeycomb, which comprises a center wall and a plurality of walls extending on both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cell portion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center than adjacent said plurality of walls, and said plurality of walls having a greater thickness adjacent the center wall than at their outer edges.

In the case of synthetic plastic honeycombs, which are intended especially for the breeding chamber, and which are provided with cell portions arranged on both sides of a center wall, it is suggested according to the present invention that the extent of the plurality of walls be reduced (preferably about one-third to onehalf of the full cell wall extent 12.5 mm), that the cells be injected of plastic, that the cell walls taper, and that the surface of the center wall for each cell portion have a depression increasing from the plurality of walls to the middle. The depression in the cell is preferably arcuate, for example, shaped hemispherically. However, it can also be formed in such a way that, in crosssection, it is shaped like a channel, whereby the side walls are inclined at an angle of approximately 45. The angle should be between 30 and 60 and the floor is parallel to the center wall.

In such plastic honeycombs, the difference in extent between the cell walls provided and the normal extent of the cell walls is made up by the bees with their own wax so that the problems connected with the disposal of the bees wax, which otherwise occur with plastic honeycombs, do not arise. On the other hand, a certain depth of the plastic cells is necessary so that the queen can lay her eggs into the cells without the bees having built onto them beforehand. As soon as the maggots develop from the eggs, the bees are forced to build up the cells to their full extent with wax, this prevents a delay in breeding which occurs during periods of bad weather. The delay has a deletorious effect on the yield of honey.

As a result of the depression in the cell suggested according to the present invention, the bees send their feeding juice or their milk into the center of the depression if it has a deeper depression in the middle..Thus, the hatched maggots are able to find food in their immediate vicinity.

Further, the plastic honeycomb which is provided with a reduced wall extent, according to this invention. has the advantage that the cell walls, built up with wax by the bees to the normal extend, can be freed very easily from the skins when the cell chamber has been narrowed by these skins in course of time. The skins and the cell walls consisting partly of plastic, partly of wax are heated to the extent that the wax melts and the skins are exposed. The latter can then very easily be removed mechanically, e.g., by means of a brush, so that afterwards the original honeycomb can be used again to its full capacity. The tapering form of the cell walls simplifies the removal of such skins and this is decisive for the use of the plastic honeycomb in the breeding chamber.

In addition to the fact that there is a saving of material when the extent of the cell walls is reduced, there is also the important advantage that when molding such plastic honeycombs, the injection mold can be made more simply. If one takes into consideration the fact that the injection mold needed to produce such plastic honeycombs is extremely complicated and expensive, this advantage is a very important one. Apart from this, the plastic honeycombs are also lighter in weight.

A mold for producing the honeycombs may consist of two detachable mold parts which are movable in relation to each other. The two mold parts are constructed with the sides facing each other in such a way that they form the center wall with depressions and the cell walls of reduced extent. The one mold part which is rigidly connected to the machine receives the elements which form the single cells, and preferably consists ofa row ofledges each of the width ofa cell. Bolts for displaced cells are inserted into bores in these ledges so that when a large number of ledges are placed in a row, the honeycomb structure of the mold part is obtained. The bolts, which are inserted, are fixed to the ledges, and the head of the bolt, which determines the cell form, has a ring-shaped stop at the point of transition to its shaft, so that when the ledges are shifted these bolts are also shifted with them. The mold elements which form a unit with the ledges or are otherwise directly connected with the ledges have ejection members which are used together to eject the ready molded product. In so doing, all the ejection members of the fixed mold part are moved together against the molded product and also together raise it from the fixed mold part.

The counter mold part is likewise constructed of single elements or bolts whose heads have a form which corresponds to the formof the cell. Here the lateral walls of the cell-forming walls of the bolt heads are formed somewhat more tapered than on the fixed mold part, so that the molded product can be separated more easily from the movable mold part. The individual elements or bolts are here screwed singlyonto the frame part of the movable mold part.

A considerable saving in weight of the honeycomb according to the invention can be achieved because the frame of the honeycomb itself is omitted with such plastic models and, instead of it, a spacing and suspension device may be used, which also preferably consists of plastic. Such a spacing device guarantees a constant distance from the next honeycomb, so that the path between two adjacent honeycombs is kept free for the bees.

According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the spacing device consists of two parts separated from each other, one part being prescribed for one side of the honeycomb and the other part for the other side of the honeycomb. The suspension device preferably forms a unit with the spacing device; the former is likewise divided so that the combination of spacing device and suspension device consists of two symmetrical parts for each honeycomb, which are arranged on both sides of the honeycomb with each being symmetrical to the center wall. This arrangement is selected so that there is the advantage that a member is prescribed for each side of the honeycomb which comprises, for example, projections which can be inserted into corresponding honeycomb cells for support. Instead of this, the arrangement can also be selected so that these two members are screwed together through the honeycomb or connected with each other by means of rods or something similar. The actual spacing elements are here formed in the shape of spacer members which extend from the honeycomb and operate in conjunction with corresponding spacer members belonging to the spacing device of the adjacent honeycomb. In this way there is the guarantee that the spacing device can easily be put together and also easily taken apart again.

The suspension device is molded as a projecting nose in the case of a special embodiment onto the corresponding members of the spacing device, whereby the nose projects from side edges of the honeycomb so that the suspension of the honeycomb on projections in the hive provided for that purpose is guaranteed. Both of the parts of the suspension device which are provided for one honeycomb, one on each face thereof, are connected with each other when in use, whereby the two parts of the suspension device are prevented from moving away from each other.

The foregoing and further features of the invention may be more readily understood from the following description of some preferred embodiments thereof, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a cross-section of a part of a honeycomb;

FIG. 2 is a cross-section of part of an alternate form of honeycomb;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a part of the arrangement of the honeycomb according to FIG. I.;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a suspension for a honeycomb according to the invention;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the suspension according to FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a further embodiment of a suspension similar to the one in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the arrangement shown in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a diagram of a cross-sectional view of a mold for producing honeycombs according to the invention, and

FIG. 9 is a plan view of one of the ledges of the fixed mold part.

FIGS. 1 and 3 show a honeycomb comprising a center wall I. On both sides of the center wall 1, a plurality of cell walls 2, 2 are formed which taper away from the center wall 1. The inner surfaces 3 of walls 2, 2' are preferably formed hexagonally, but they can also have a circular cross-section. The walls 2, 2' of the cells are made of lesser extent than normal (=l 2.5 mm) natural honeycombs and, in fact, the wall extent of the plastic cells according to the invention is about one-third to one-half of the extent of natural bee cells, that is, approximately 4 to 6 mm.

These plastic walls 2, 2 are then built up with wax by the bees to their full extent of 12.5 mm. The surfaces of center wall 1 are, in a hexagonal arrangement of the cells, provided with a depression, whereby there are preferably provided planar center parts 4 and inclined surfaces 5, which run from the center part 4 to the point where they are met by side wall surfaces 3. These surfaces are inclined at an angle between 30 and 60, preferably about 45 to the center parts 4.

In FIG. 2 the surfaces 4' of the center wall are formed hemispherically, whereby the cells themselves can either be circular or hexagonal. Decisive for the form of the surfaces of center wall 1' is the fact that the surfaces each contain a relatively deep depression in which the bees deposit the feeding juice so that there is the guarantee that the young maggots are certain to find their food.

Referring particularly to FIG. 3, there is shown a iew of the arrangement of the cells according to FIG. 1, whereby the cell form is hexagonal. The exterior limit 6 ofthe molded synthetic plastic honeycomb is, as the honeycomb is rigid in itself, made without a frame. Three sides ofthe exterior side beneath, can be formed here so that the incomplete cells are open outwards, whereas the upper side 7 is, for practical purposes, formed so that the incomplete cells, as shown at 8, are sealed at the end of the molding process. However, it is also possible to keep the incomplete cells of the side 7 of the honeycomb open. A spacing and suspension device is shown as a whole at 9 in FIGS. 4 and 5 and consists of members 10, 11, 14 and 12, 13, 15. The members 10, 11 and 14 are provided on one of the narrow sides, and the members l2, l3 and 15 on the other narrow side. In FIGS. 4 and 5 the spacing and suspension device is shown on reduced scale. This arrangement shows one of the narrow sides of the honeycomb. The members 10 and 11 are formed for example as plastic ledges which are connected with spacer fingers 16 and 17 which are resilient and cooperate with corresponding opposite members 18 and 19 on the next honeycomb. One member 11, corresponding to the member 10, comprises corresponding spacer fingers 18 and 19. On the sides of the members 10 and 11 facing the honeycomb, projections 20 are formed which snugly fit within a cell and which are arranged at such a distance from each other that they correspond to a multiple of the distance between honeycomb cells. Hence the members 10 and 11 can be inserted into the cells and 6 jections can in addition comprise further arrangements of some kind which guarantee a hold in the cells. e.g., a connection with the floor of the cell which is represented by the center wall 21.

The members 10, 11 include extensions l4, 15 for example at their upper ends and preferably running flush with the upper edge. These extensions 14, 15, extend from the side edge of the honeycomb. Thus noses are formed on which the honeycomb can be hung up on the interior of the hive. To connect projections 14 and 15 and at the same time the members 10 and 11 with each other, a device 22 can be provided which connects the two adjacent projections 14 and 15 with each other. The device 22 is likewise preferably a plastic member. which can snap into place by means of projections in recesses on the upper side of the projections 14 and 15. Alternatively, a tongue and groove joint or some other known type of fixture can be selected.

In FIGS. 6 and 7 there is shown a simplified embodiment of a spacing and suspension device 23. The members 24 and 25 are here connected to each other by means of screw connections 26 and hold the honeycomb 27 between them. At the upper end, handles 28 are provided in this embodiment which are intended to simplify insertion into a hive. Otherwise the structure of this spacing and suspension device 23 is similar to the one described in connection with FIGS. 4 and 5.

In FIG. 8, in diagram and in cross-section, the mold for injection-molding the plastic honeycomb according to the invention is shown. This mold consists of a mold part 30 firmly fixed to the machine and a mold part 31 which is movably connected with the machine and which can be removed. The mold part 30, which is firmly fixed to the machine part, consists of a framelike formation 32, on which mold heads 33, aligned with each other and arranged at a distance from one another, are provided (FIG. 9); furthermore, the fixed mold part 30 comprises bores 34 and an ejection device 35 to which the ejection members 36 for the mold heads 33 are mounted by means of screw connections. In the bores 34 are arranged shafts 38 carrying mold heads 39 aligned with each other and arranged in the manner shown in FIG. 9. Here the shafts 38 are fixed to the part 32 by means of screw connections 40.

The movable mold part 31 similarly comprises a frame part 41 formed with bores 42. In these bores, shafts 43 are received by bolts 44 which, at their front end have mold heads 45 for forming the cells of the plastic honeycomb. The shafts 43 with the bolts 44 are fixed to the mold part by means of screw connections. The taper of the side walls 47, 48 of the mold heads 45 is made somewhat greater than the taper of the side walls 49 and 50 of the mold heads 39, so that a removal of the molded product 51 from the mold is simplified.

What I claim is:

l. A honeycomb member for use in bee breeding, which comprises:

a center wall and a plurality of reduced walls extending outwardly from both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cell portion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center thereof than the depth of its adjacent walls,

the height of said plurality of reduced walls being about one-third to one-half of the full size of the cell walls, and

said surface of the center wall in each cell portion being'of arcuate form.

2. A honeycomb member for use in bee breeding,

which comprises:

a center wall and a plurality of reduced walls extending outwardly from both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cellportion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center thereof than the depth of its adjacent walls,

the height of said plurality of reduced walls being about one-third to one-half of the full size of the cell walls, and

said surface of the center wall in each cell portion being hemispherical.

3. A honeycomb member for use in bee breeding,

which comprises:

a center wall and a plurality of reduced walls extending outwardly from both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cell portion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center thereof than the depth of its adjacent walls,

the height of said plurality of reduced walls being about one-third to one-half of the full size of the cell walls, and

said surface of the center wall in each cell comprising a planar, generally central portion with surrounding portions each of which is planar and each extending between said central portion and a separate one of said plurality of walls for each cell portion, each of said surrounding portions being inclined at between 30 and to said planar central portion.

4. A honeycomb structure having a plurality of honeycomb members, each honeycomb member being for use in bee breeding and each comprising:

a center wall and a plurality of reduced walls extending outwardly from both sides of the center wall to provide cell portions on both sides of the center wall, the surface of the center wall in each cell portion being formed with a depression of greater depth in the center thereof than the depth of its adjacent walls,

the height of said plurality of reduced walls being about one-third to one-half of the full size of the cell walls,

spacer means positioned between adjacent honeycombs, said spacer means forming a support means for the honeycomb structure, and

a plurality of resilient fingers extending from each side of said center wall to cooperate with similar resilient fingers of said honeycomb members thereby spacing the members apart when assembled together to form said honeycomb structure.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1282645 *May 24, 1918Oct 22, 1918Edward L SechristSeptum or base for honeycombs.
US3088135 *Aug 10, 1961May 7, 1963Covington William ZFrame and plastic comb foundation for beehives
US3231452 *Dec 12, 1961Jan 25, 1966Thomas Richard VHoneycomb coreboard and method for making same
US3231907 *Jul 20, 1964Feb 1, 1966Covington William ZComb support frame for beehives
US3579676 *Apr 16, 1969May 25, 1971Pierce Paul WBeehive
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4332045 *Sep 3, 1980Jun 1, 1982Imka Forschungsgesellschaft Fur Bienenzucht MbhMethod and apparatus for economically maintaining and breeding bees in a bee compound unit
US4756943 *Jul 28, 1987Jul 12, 1988Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm GmbhSandwich structural part
US4992073 *Nov 30, 1988Feb 12, 1991B-Horizon LimitedAccessories for use in apiculture
US6530819 *Oct 2, 2000Mar 11, 2003Giuseppe RoveraArtificial honeycomb for beehives
US6585557Dec 21, 1999Jul 1, 2003Universiteit GentBeeswax mimetic substances and methods of operating beehives
US7998389 *Jul 17, 2009Aug 16, 2011Spirit Aerosystems, Inc.Method for septumizing injection molded thermoplastic core
US9408373 *Mar 15, 2011Aug 9, 2016Kunimune Co., Ltd.Artificial honeycomb
US20110012290 *Jul 17, 2009Jan 20, 2011Spirit Aerosystems, Inc.Method for septumizing injection molded thermoplastic core
US20130017759 *Mar 15, 2011Jan 17, 2013Kunimune Co., Ltd.Artificial honeycomb
WO2015013774A1Jul 29, 2014Feb 5, 2015Ivan MilićevićHybrid honeycomb for bees
Classifications
U.S. Classification449/44, 428/118, 449/60
International ClassificationA01K47/04, B29C33/30, B29C45/26, B29D99/00
Cooperative ClassificationA01K47/04, B29C45/26, B29D99/0089, B29C33/30
European ClassificationB29D99/00R, B29C33/30, B29C45/26, A01K47/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 17, 1980AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: IMKA FORSCHUNGSGESELLSCHAFT FUR BIENENZUCHT MHB, F
Effective date: 19801110
Owner name: SCHMIDT, MATTHIAS