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Thread: weighting bees

  1. #1
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    Smile

    Could anyone please tell me the best way to weight bees. thankyou steven

  2. #2
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    Weigh just the bees as in package bees? I'm not sure it's an exact science, but if you weight the box you will put them in empty and then add bees, most of the bees will be clustered or clinging, so the weight will be close. I've always wondered if the ones that are flying add to the weight. Does the air they displace push down at the same as their weight? But most won't be.

    So is the question how to weigh them or how to get them into a package to weigh them? Shaking into a box and then dumping down a funnel is the usual way to package them. I have a large and a small box with screened bottoms so I can shake them into the box and then I have a lid with a screened hole in it to put on top. This is so they don't suffocate when they end up in a pile on the bottom from time to time. Usually before you shake the next frame in you knock them all to the bottom again so they don't fly out or cling to the lid.

  3. #3
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    Just in case you meant weighing hives... Get a spring scale,weigh the front, weigh the back and add it up. Weigh them now and in Jan to see what they've used up.

    Dickm

  4. #4
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    In the Oct.ABJ(vol.143 no.10),T Szabo and D Szabo,in their article "Varroa Infestation Levels and Honey Beb Colony Characteristics in the Final Year of a Breeding Program" use a figure of 10,000 bees weighing 1 kg.These guys sound like pretty thorough researchers and only researchers would have the patience to count and weigh 10,000 bees.An excellent article that shows that Varroa resistance is an attainable goal.


    As for weighing hives,I've often wondered about the method Dick mentions.I keep some hives on parallel 4x4s.If I pick up the back of the hive,it pivots on the front 4x4 which acts as a fulcrum, which gives me mechanical advantage.I will not be lifting half the weight.Now if I were to pick up the side of the hive,the fulcrum would be the edge.Would that be 1/2 the weight?
    I have never tested my theory.Any beekeeping engineers on the forum?Anyone know of a source for an inexpensive spring scale?

    Jack

    [This message has been edited by Jack Grimshaw (edited October 27, 2003).]

  5. #5
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    Jack,
    It's obvious that you are right. An accurate weight (of a hive) would only occur if there were no Mechanical advantage as in the side to side thing. I actually built a device with a pole and a handle for leverage. I think the best use would be to compare the hive to itself over time. Since mine are all on cinder blocks in the same fashion, I can compare them to each other. I may never know the actual accurate weight.
    I built the thing last winter and have yet to use it. I may do so this year when the snow falls and there is absolutely no reason to go to the bee yard. It'll give me an excuse for the trip and make me feel like I am doing some beekeeping!

    Dickm


  6. #6
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    If the hive were level with the front resting on something and you holding the back and weighing and then it was level when you lifted the front while the back was resting on something it would be an accurate weight. But you tip the hive toward the fulcrom both times shifting some of the weight to the fulcrum. But it's not rocket surgery (lol) It's just an estimate anyway.

  7. #7
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    Here’s an engineering explanation dickm’s technique:

    Definitions:

    F1 – spring scale reading on one side of the hive
    F2 - spring scale reading from the opposite side of the hive
    A – distance from hive’s center of mass (CM) to F1
    B – distance from hive’s CM to F2
    W – Weight of hive

    The weight of the hive can be theoretically computed using the following formulas.

    Using F1: W=F1*(A+B)/A
    Using F2: W=F2*(A+B)/B

    However, solving for F1 and F2 from the above formulas gives:

    F1= W*A/(A+B) and F2=W*B/(A+B)

    Now adding F1+F2 gives:

    W*A/(A+B)+ W*B/(A+B) = W*(A+B)/(A+B) = W <- Yes, the weight of the hive!!

    In other words, the approach given by dickm is correct!

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Wink

    You guys have it all wrong. He said Weight bees, not weigh bees.

    I'm thinking about the times I added string to a fly and had them buzz around the room with this string attached. Probably a bee could handle a longer string, perhaps in the 12inch range. Maybe Astrobee could come up with the formulas of lift vs distance vs honey consumption, etc.

    Or how about little lead weights for the scuba bee....


  9. #9
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    Thanks for the defense. If I had any math skills I'd have been a pilot instead of a military policeman. (in 1953).I use "reduce it to the absurd" logic. If the hive is balanced on one 2x4 under the center of it's mass, and you lift up each end, you will be weighing in ounces. Am I wrong?

    Dickm
    (Who really didn't like to fly anyway)

  10. #10
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    dickm,

    You'll be measuring the weight of the hive in the units of your spring scale. Does this make sense? In other words, if your scale is in ounces then the hive weight you compute will be in ounces, a Newton spring scale will give hive weight in Newtons, etc. There are a few assumptions with the above formulas, but I believe that your approach will give a good ballpark number. However, I'm not sure I fully understand your "pole and a handle" method. If you're using a pole for mechanical advantage then the above formulas will not give you hive weight, but some "scaled" weight related to the length of the lever arm.

    I think the relative weights of the hives are much more important (which appears to be how you're using the data). Relative with respect to other hives and as the winter season progresses. It’s probably more important to make sure that you're using the same technique for each hive and throughout the year. Good luck this winter. BTW, feel free to put me on your list of candidates for your RV trip next summer


    BjornBee,

    Stay tuned for the formulas of lift vs distance vs honey consumption


  11. #11
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    Bjornbee,
    I'd love to stop in at some point. Thanks for the invite. My pole just serves as a fulcrum for an old axhandle attached to a scale. The axhandle pivots in such a way that I don't have to be superman to lift the hive.

    Dickm

  12. #12
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    dickm,
    Even though I'm thinking your invite was meant for Astrobee, your more than welcome to stop here also.
    I could probably use a retired psychologist to give me a self-evaluation into id, super id, and that sort of thing. My wife thinks I'm a little off the deep end with the bees and all. You could talk to her also, but then you could not mention that you have bees also.
    You already rank high on my list because you have been self-employed for most/all your life. Thats my kind of person.


  13. #13
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    >Could anyone please tell me the best way to weight bees. thankyou steven


    Just pour something sticky on them, that'll keep them weighted down. You will never worry about them taking off again.

    Bill

  14. #14
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    Walmart sells a 400 lb scale (for hunters)that is perfect for weighing hives (under $20). I wrapped tape around the hooks to keep them attached. And yes, you can just double the amount read on the scale- I've tried it. I weighed the entire hive to verify.

  15. #15
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    Thanks Bjornbee. This thread will be useful for places to camp. I love meeting new people. Marriage counseling was one of my specialties.
    Astrobee: By now you know that I meant to thank you for the invite. What a great way to see America.

    Dickm

  16. #16
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    When I was in the military we were required to strip to just our shorts, t-shirt, and socks. That seemed to give a reasonably reliable weight. I don't know about the bees though, since they have 6 feet, that means a lot of extra weight from their socks.

    Coyote

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