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  1. #1
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    Default Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I picked up, and installed, 5 three pound packages of bees today. Out of curiosity, I weighed the packages before I shook the bees out, and after. Just wondering if anyone else has done the same.

    Now, a package will include:
    1. The wooden housing unit
    2. A can of syrup
    3. Three lbs of bees (ideally); and
    4. A queen in a queen cage, with candy.

    Now after the bees have been sitting in the cage for a while, they should be eating some of the syrup. And since they have been unable to use the bathroom, theoretically if you put three pounds of bees in the package, after a few days the bees should weigh more than three lbs. At least theoretically. Here's the results that I got:

    Weight with bees:
    1. 6 lbs. 7.9 oz.
    2. 6 lbs. 4.9 oz.
    3. 6 lbs. 12.2 oz.
    4. 6 lbs. 5.9 oz.
    5. 5 lbs. 14.6 oz.
    Average: 6 lbs. 5.9 oz.

    Weight when bees removed, can returned (minus weight of benton cage, as it was installed with bees):
    1. 3 lbs. 13.2 oz.
    2. 3 lbs. 11.9 oz.
    3. 3 lbs. 15.2 oz.
    4. 3 lbs. 13.5 oz.
    5. 3 lbs. 6.2 oz.
    Average: 3 lbs. 12 oz.

    Which means the difference was (or the actual weight of the bees and benton cage):
    1. 2 lbs. 10.7 oz.
    2. 2 lbs. 9 oz.
    3. 2 lbs. 13 oz.
    4. 2 lbs. 8.4 oz.
    5. 2 lbs. 8.4 oz.
    Average: 2 lbs. 9.9 oz.

    Which essentially means I didn't buy 3 lb. packages. I bought 2.5 lb packages (or probably a little bit less, after they gorged themselves on syrup). Not really that big of a deal in the end. Just interesting.

    I always thought that package suppliers shook a little bit more than 3 lbs. in each package. I guess I thought wrong

    Anyone else ever notice the same?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    covington ga
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    171

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    wow....thats interesting...i also thought they put in a little more for death.. ...may i ask who you got packages from? if you want to email heres my addy thezechmans@yahoo.com

  3. #3
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Those are interesting figures that you posted.


    > And since they have been unable to use the bathroom, theoretically if you put three pounds of bees in the package, after a few days the bees should weigh more than three lbs.

    I believe that you are overlooking at least one issue here. Any creature, including bees and humans, converts food [energy] into muscle movement, and consumes a portion of that food. Energy for moving muscles come from a chemical conversion process of that organism's food. And since one of the outputs of that conversion process is energy, the weight will be reduced. Some of the food mass may be evaporated into the air via respiration (and perspiration for mammals). Even if the bees don't poop in the cage, the combined weight of the bees and syrup will decline over time.

    The link below offers more information, although the page is focused around food energy conversion in humans, but it essentially works in a similar way for bees as well:

    http://cnx.org/content/m42153/latest...ol11406/latest

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 03-29-2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: spelling
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    2,668

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I recall a similar thread from a while back. The gist of it was that some suppliers were selling 3# (3lb) packages and others were selling #3 (No.3) packages. Last year, I weighed a single package from Rossman's, they came in at 3.1 lbs. net.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Acworth, GA
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    31

    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    I bought packages from two different suppliers and one was definitely smaller and lighter. I won't bring a scale. I just won't order from one of them again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    You miss the huge loss in weight from resperation of fluids. As mentioned they are useing the syrup, and holding it in will not keep the weight the same. most weight loss is from moisture.

    The big guys call it a number 3 now. not a 3lb, as your going to have problems. First off some outfits do weigh out 3.5 lbs. problem is those are fat fresh bees and in 5 days they are way less than 3 lbs, unless you feed the snot out of them thru the screen.

    Radners and Roberts both call them number 3, and fill them to just under the bar level in the cage. this is normaly about 4 lbs of Fresh bees.

    Don't use package weight as a measurment for anything, use how the bees do as your yardstick... thats what matters.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Even if the bees don't poop in the cage, the combined weight of the bees and syrup will decline over time.
    Well said Rader. I wasn't attempting to imply that 100% of the syrup should have gone toward the bees weight. I was just implying that some of the syrup weight consumed should have been added to the bees weight. When a swarm gets ready to issue, the bees will gorge themselves on honey, in an attempt to have plenty of resources for their new move. Packages are not swarms, but bees shaken from established hives. Some of the bees are likely to have some food in their crops, but not gorged like swarm bees are. When put in the artificial hive (package), more often than not the instinct kicks in for them to store as much resources as possible for the coming move.

    More or less, if you took 1 lb of bees, and fed them 1 lb of 1:1 sugar water, naturally they would not, after an hour, weigh 2 lbs together. But one would assume that the bees would weigh around 1 lb, maybe more maybe less, and if they filled up on sugar water they would weigh more than the original 1 lbs. Not a full 2, obviously, but something more than 1.

    At least, that's what I was assuming. Very well might be incorrect.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Don't use package weight as a measurment for anything, use how the bees do as your yardstick... thats what matters.
    Agreed. That's why I put near the end of the original post "Not really that big of a deal in the end. Just interesting." It's not like I'm going to demand some $$$ back, or complain. If the bees do fine in the yard, I don't really care if it weighed 1 lb or 15 lbs. If it doesn't do well in the yard, again it didn't matter if the package weighed in at 0.5 lbs. or 7 lbs.

    My question was more about "industry standard" than me getting jipped. Kinda like wood. Now a 1"x12" board is neither 1" thick, or 12" wide. It's industry standard for it to be 0.75" thick and 11.25" wide. It is what it is. If a 3 lb. package now weighs 2.5 lbs, so be it. Just interesting is all.
    Last edited by Specialkayme; 03-29-2013 at 07:00 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    no longer needed
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 03-29-2013 at 07:14 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    good attitude special... you would be amazed at how many complain about little stuff........missing the big picture. I was tickled at how well mine survived. We shook them out Friday night because of storms. I had planned on installing them Monday, but due to weather it was thursday. While I did feed a lot during the week (2 times a day) on top the syrup can. I had little to no change in the number of dead bees in the cages. very pleased with that. and all my syrup cans were still 1/2 full even after 6 days.

    The one thing I noticed this morning... instead of the usualy gold drops of bee crap, I had a LOT if 1/2" long string bee poop... like they were constipated..... it was everywhere!.... more than I have ever noticed before.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    removed
    Last edited by Specialkayme; 03-29-2013 at 07:01 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    I always thought that package suppliers shook a little bit more than 3 lbs. in each package. I guess I thought wrong

    Anyone else ever notice the same?
    Just got 300 3 pounders shook yesterday with Phil, he was running the scale but I know Phil has a green light on the scale when at the 3 plus pound mark. Maybe Phil will chime in
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    no longer needed
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 03-29-2013 at 07:14 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    What was the measurement of the package it's self? Sounds to me like you may have got 2 lb packages. A 3 lb pack measures 16 inches long, 5.5 wide and 7.5 tall. 2 lb packs are shorter.

    The packages on the Left are 3# packs and the ones on the Right are 2 lb packs.

    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    What was the measurement of the package it's self? Sounds to me like you may have got 2 lb packages. A 3 lb pack measures 16 inches long, 5.5 wide and 7.5 tall. 2 lb packs are shorter.

    The packages on the Left are 3# packs and the ones on the Right are 2 lb packs.

    Were those taken at Mikes? hes the only one I know useing the red caps....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    The red caps are actually plugs for PVC pipe. I haven't ever really thought about it, but come to think of it he is the only one I know using them. Yes this was taken last year in his package room.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Rader, you don't think quoting wikipedia to explain a typographical error was a bit overkill?

    I'm not upset. Never was. Just thought it was a little over the top. I tried to go further in my response

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    What was the measurement of the package it's self? Sounds to me like you may have got 2 lb packages. A 3 lb pack measures 16 inches long, 5.5 wide and 7.5 tall. 2 lb packs are shorter.
    Packages measured in at 16" long, 5.5 wide, and 8.5 tall. They were supposed to be 3 pound packages alright.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    Well, I checked the ad that I responded to on the packages, and I'll be darned if it doesn't say "#3" packages, while all the other ads say "3#" packages. I'll be darned. Didn't even notice it at the time.

  20. #20
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Actual weight of 3 lb. package

    > Rader, you don't think quoting wikipedia to explain a typographical error was a bit overkill?

    Not at all. Providing a refererence is not an attack, its simply something I routinely do when I have a suitable reference easily at hand. You can see for yourself if you care to review my posting activity.

    As far as a typo, what you posted is not as easily recognized as say, a spelling error. In fact, some people (quite reasonably) believe that a 1x12 is 11.5" wide. That is a reasonable view when you consider that smaller dimensions (up through 1x6s) all are 1/2" smaller than their nominal dimensions. Standard lumber dimensions have changed over time, and its likely that some years ago 1x12s were actually larger than 11.25", but I can't prove that with a link.

    At this point I'd normally post a link to an industry reference to support my statements, but in light of your sensitivities I'll forgo that this time.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 03-29-2013 at 07:41 PM. Reason: oops, I got a dimension wrong!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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