I found a hive monitor that is basically a scale that you put under the hive and through the season you can monitor the weight of the hive. Do these work? Does anyone use these? If, so PLANS?
I found 2 on ebay, but they went for around $42.
I have two of these and really like them. I purchased them last year on Ebay when they were being offered on a dutch auction. I purchased mine for $18 each. I though that $18 was a bit much. These are no longer in production. The hive monitor was designed and patented by Dr. Ambrose (of NC state University). They are very simple and should be easy to reproduce if you have the proper springs. The spring I think is the closest to the original is McMaster Carr part number 9657K32. Web site: www.mcmaster.com It's great to know the weight of your hive on a daily basis. This is very useful for knowing when the flow starts/stops and when to feed. The disadvantages are:
1. you have to set up the hive stand very carefully to get a reasonable reading.
2. The hive monitor gets out of alginment and the springs sometimes fall out if you take the lower hive body off the bottom board.
3. Hive monitor only goes up to 200lbs.
I will be making some more hive monitors for myself and I will let you know how it works out. I will be using two springs for hives below 200lbs, and 3 springs for heavier hives. I will also secure the springs and monitor to the bottom board to minimize misalignment when working the hive.