View Full Version : how many bees are in a pound?

05-09-2006, 02:08 PM
anyone know? So with small cell, you get how many more bees?

05-09-2006, 02:34 PM
I've heard approx. 4500 bees make a pound. Not sure as I have never counted.

Mike Gillmore
05-09-2006, 03:44 PM
My beekeepers association said about 3000.

05-09-2006, 04:13 PM
Don't know about small cell bees but,,,

If a worker bee weighs 80 milligrams, providing no math mess ups, that would be apx 5670 bees per pound, me thinks.

But add the 90 milligrams of total cargo a bee can carry and it comes to 2670 bees per pound.

Not all bees carry a full load of cargo, so one might assume around 3,500 to 4,000 bees per pound would be accurate enough.

300 bees is equal to ½ cup, so maybe a swarm that would fill a gallon to 1/3 would be approximately 1 pound of bees, and that size
swarm would be equal to about 3,600 bees.

I'll go with 3,600 bees plus one for the queen per pound. 3,601 bees.

PA Pete
05-09-2006, 04:22 PM
A three pound package is reported to contain 10,000 to 12,000 bees, so I'll go with a pound containing between 3,333 and 4,000 bees, or 3,666 bees on average :D

05-09-2006, 04:25 PM
if you abbreviate pound as lb. then theres one.

Todd Zeiner
05-09-2006, 06:18 PM
The lady at the post office asked last year "How many bees are in there?" I quickly started pulling on the top board and said "I don't know, lets open it up and count them"

She quickly bolted from the room screaming.

power napper
05-09-2006, 06:20 PM
How much do drones weigh? Sometimes you get quite a few drones in a package. That may change the count. ;)

Jim Calhoun
05-09-2006, 06:35 PM
I lost count at 3, the little critters move around alot don't they!

Michael Bush
05-09-2006, 06:38 PM
I always weigh and count mine. Doesn't everyone? The last package I got was 3,789 bees to a pound. ;) I think they were hungry. If I fed them I think the number would change substantially. smile.gif

05-09-2006, 08:47 PM
OK, MB, haha. I realize the question was not the normal "how do I hive a package" , but every now and then an unusual beekeeper comes along smile.gif Surely in your world there is room for a different way of thinking.

[ May 09, 2006, 10:51 PM: Message edited by: FordGuy ]

05-10-2006, 03:22 AM
It depends on how many are in flight at the time. Flying bees do not count. :D

05-10-2006, 04:02 AM
well I will take a guess (supported by abc-xyz) of precisely 3500... no more, no less. that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

05-10-2006, 07:27 AM
John, you know for every action there is a reaction, blah blah, so if the bees were in flight would they not exert a downforce equivalent/greater than their weight?

05-10-2006, 08:02 AM
On a serious front - no. The bee in flight would create air pressure on the bottom side of its wings to support its weight. However, this air pressure would not be transmitted straight down to the 'floor' of your container - unless the container was air tight. This is the reason that for engineering problems, you have to "always define your system boundaries". In this case air pressure escaping out the sides changes the rules.

On your original question, for selling bees, do package suppliers actually work by weight or volume when making up their packages for shipment?

Michael Bush
05-10-2006, 08:21 AM
>would they not exert a downforce equivalent/greater than their weight?

Is the bottom of the cage solid or screen? ;)

Dave W
05-10-2006, 10:51 AM
How many bees are infected w/ how many mites? smile.gif

05-10-2006, 12:33 PM
"The lady at the post office asked last year "How many bees are in there?" I quickly started pulling on the top board and said "I don't know, lets open it up and count them"

She quickly bolted from the room screaming."

They actually brought yours inside? Mine always sat outside the back door. You need to refine your question. Are you asking about weight for hungry bees, or well fed bees?

Michael Bush
05-10-2006, 01:26 PM
>How many bees are infected w/ how many mites?

You are right. I forgot to count the mites... ;)

05-10-2006, 02:20 PM
>>>>You are right. I forgot to count the mites

Well let's start over. Oneeee. Twoooo.

07-15-2012, 01:52 PM
On a Medium Super plasticell foundation I have 27x78.5 x 2 sides = 4238 cells, of course they would all never be 100% brood to emerged bees. Likewise, with the bees in a pound, if they just fed them, and they were younger FAT BEES to start with, they will weigh more than old, starved forager bees, but going with 100mg per worker bee and forgetting about 200mg Drones or Queens, a Pound being 455.592 gram, means you get 4536 Worker Bees per pound (U.S. Lbs), say 4500 more or less (and it is always going to be less bees by the time you get them....they may be well fed and well sprayed with sugar syrup going into a package, but by the time they travel, and are not as well fed, and dry, well, they lost some weight on the TRAVEL DIET, so 3Lbs will no longer be 3 Lbs, but the bees minus the dead dozens enroute will be the same number of bees as when weighed....so my guess is, 3,000 is way too few, 3500 is a good approx., but you will never get 4500, and would be lucky to get 4,000 where a 3 Lbs package would be 12,000 bees to under 13,500 bees for sure. For every Drone, you have 'one" bee, but at the weight of "two workers", so you are really losing there, when you figure in Drones as a percent, since they do not work....unless you need to get a virgin queen mated in a hurry. You can figure a Pound (1 Lbs) of bees would cover 2 to 3 medium super frames, I use plasticell myself, 27X78.5 x 2 sides is 4238 cells, but your 4,000 to 4500 Pound (US 1 Lbs) 0f worker bees are not "in" the cells as brood, they are moving around, shoving, and pushing and running, and doing their thing, so they have that "personal boundry" buffer space going on, so figure about 2 to 3 frames of coverage, so tha a 3 lbs of bees covers about 8 frames, just enough to qualify usually at the minimum standard for Almond pollination.

If you still are masochistic or old fashion enough to use the heavier DEEP HIVE BODY then multiply all the above numbers by 1.5 since there are approximately 3 medium supers (6 5/8th) equivalent to 2 deep brood boxes (9 1/2 inch) or 2/3rds one way or 1.5 the other way (3/2=1.5) .... enjoy.

If you want to learn more, I plan to do videos later this summer and fall at http://www.LorgeHoney.com or you can emal me at Lorge@LorgeHoney.com

Cleo C. Hogan Jr
07-15-2012, 04:15 PM
The majority are ladies so....count the legs, divide by six. Works every time.