# Thread: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

1. Join Date
Jun 2012
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## How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

We all know that the amount of honey needed for winter ranges from as low as 30 lbs to as high as 100 lbs, depending on your region. But my question is this:

Do you determine your weights by inspecting the frames of honey and calculating a weight value from that? Or do you weigh the entire hive?

For example, I know that a medium frame of capped honey contains about 4 lbs of honey, excluding the weight of the frame and the wax. A deep frame has about 7 lbs of honey. Thus, if you wanted 100 lbs of honey you'd need 14 deep frames, or 25 medium frames of capped honey to literally reach your goal of 100 lbs. Considering the cluster will likely not make it to the outermost frames in a cold winter, you'd need to concentrate these frames in, say, the center six positions.

Does this sound right? I so often hear quotes of how much honey to leave, but not much about how other beekeepers actually determine that they've reached their goal weight.

2. ## Re: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

Giving the back side of the hive a heft up works for me.

3. Join Date
Sep 2007
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Hudson, WI USA
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## Re: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

I use this old thing. I haven't been able to adjust the pointer to zero, but it registers additional weights accurately. For example, for when I weigh my 5 frame nucs I just take off 110 pounds for the weight of the box, frames, and non-adjusted pointer. http://s1110.photobucket.com/albums/...8-30145321.jpg

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Sep 2011
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Reno, NV
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## Re: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

I just count frames of honey. I have one deep that is completely full and then a brood chamber that has quite a bit of honey in it. So I am estimating I have over 100 lbs of honey. The guesstimate is not all that critical since I plan to continue to inspect the hive on warm afternoons through the winter. Plus I intend to make two new hives in the spring with any left over frames of honey and two nuc I have started. So left overs will not be a problem. Each nuc has over 25 lbs of honey on them as well. I have no idea how much is enough. Farmers almanac is calling for this winter to be milder than last years. IF so I will be feeding my bees most of the winter.

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## Re: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

I guess with experience you could learn to use the hive heft method but my target for my climate is +170 pounds gross hive weight. My arthritic fingers wont co operate. I used a meat scale which is like a big brother to a fish scale and rig it on a tripod affair. Too slow. Here is a link to one mans solution; http://www.instructables.com/id/Buil...igh-bee-hives/ Getting 100 net pounds of honey into 2 deeps may be a bit of a challenge as not all hives have the same idea about packing and I have seen some scattered so that there are few of the big fat honey frames that you need to accumulate and still have room for pollen and cluster. Two hives I have are double deep and medium and were around 170 pounds. Another double deep is barely over 120# gross (most of which I fed) so they will bear watching in early spring.

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Jun 2012
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## Re: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

Thanks everyone for replying. I see some of you are truly weighing the entire hives, and others counting or using the good ol' experienced "guesstimate"!

7. Join Date
Jun 2012
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Belews Creek, NC, USA
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## Re: How Do You Determine Weight of Winter Stores?

As I mentioned on an earlier thread, I have a portable scale and weigh the whole hive. I can weigh all four of my hives in about 5 minutes. I also plot their weight on a graph.

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