I'm fairly new to beekeeping (started last Aug) and am one of those guys who loves data. I would read a lot of posts and books that would talk about doing this or that 'when a flow is on', but never any advice on how to detect nectar flows other than opening and inspecting.
Some folks had rigs which would let them weigh their hives, and this seemed like a good non-intrusive method, but it has a low sample rate.
I know a bit about electronics, so i decided to have a go at building a scale that would permanently live underneath the hive, and could be polled at any time. I built one, and thought I'd share some of the early results with the forum here.
It's been running for a week, and over that time it looks like the hive has gained about 8 lbs. Not saying it's all honey, just that it weighs that much more now than it did a week ago.
I'll do a full writeup on how i made it eventually, but it was fairly cheap for the scale itself (< $50), if you don't count all the tools involved, computer to poll it, etc.
The hive. Scale is the yellow thing at the bottom:
A graph of the last 24+24 hours (day over day):
There's a bit of a summary over at my bee blog, and some more posts discussing it if you're interested.
I'll be keeping the raw data basically forever and if there's a lot of demand i'll find a way to post it somewhere that anyone can get to. It is all 1 minute samples.
I live in the silicon valley area if it makes any difference :)