1. Re: weighing hives

Last time I inspected I had a few hives that were already good to go - so I heft them from the back and compare the rest to them. No idea what they weigh.

2. Re: weighing hives

Originally Posted by sqkcrk
I'm gonna go beat my head against a brick wall. You tell him to weigh the hive from the front and then weigh the hive from the back and add the two measurements together to determine the total weight of the hive?

Then you say the weight of a bridge is two cars and the weight of the supports?

What's the difference between an Orange? Ducks fly sideways.
Actually I believe he is correct. If you put both ends of a 20 pound plank on scales they would each read 10 pounds (more or less). Then if you put 4 five pound bricks on the plank the total of the scale readings would be 40 pounds no matter how you arranged the bricks. I think.

3. Re: weighing hives

If you had something which weighs 100 lbs, lets say a bar of steel or a log of wood, and you attatched one end to a hanging scale and the other end on the ground, are you telling me the scale would read 50lbs?

4. Re: weighing hives

If it was pretty much horizontal. The more it stands up the more weight transfers to the lower end. Ever help carry a couch up stairs?

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Re: weighing hives

Here is what I found after weighing the front and back - hive #1 bk 60 frt 50 =110----- hive #2 bk 50 frt 35 -85----- hive #3 bk 85 frt 70 = 155

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Re: weighing hives

It is not correct to say that the actual weight of a hive is the sum of the weight of the front and back weighed separately. What you get is an approximate weight, but that approximate weight will be less than the actual weight.

The problem is that when you slightly lift the end with a hook, as soon as that end is raised even slightly, some of the weight is shifted to the end of the hive not being weighed. Then when you go weigh the other end, the act of raising that end of the hive shift some of the weight onto the end that is not being weighed. Both ends are short-weighed to some degree. The amount of the shift is dependent on how high the end is lifted.

If you think about Mark B's example in post 23, you will see this concept illustrated in the extreme. Or tilt a hive body up high enough so that you can keep it tilted on edge with two fingers. Virtually all the weight has been shifted to the lower edge in this extreme example.

If you weigh each end separately by raising that end slightly with a scale, and then repeat at the other end, the total hive weight will be the sum of the two weights, plus some additional amount. What that additional amount is depends how much you tilt the hive in the act of weighing each end.

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Re: weighing hives

What kind of weights should I be looking for going into winter in PA , with two deeps .
Last edited by laketrout; 10-15-2013 at 07:07 PM.

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Re: weighing hives

If the hive was perfectly symmetrical meaning the weight was directly in the center of the hive you would see a difference between the front reading and the back reading because of the overhang. That doesn't matter because the true weight of the hive is the sum of the two readings.

This is true so long as the "fulcrums" at the front and back are on the ends of the hive at the same place as it is weighed from. If the hive hangs over the back of the hive stand an inch or 2 that would really throw the readings off by quite a bit.

Dave is right that doubling the weight is close enough. We just heft them and know if there is enough honey in there for the winter.

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Re: weighing hives

First year combs at least, get drawn out more completely towards the rear of the hives and usually make the rear at least 5 lbs heavier than the front end. If you are that close to survival critical weight that these small math errors matter, then you should be putting your mind to ways of getting feed on them. Knowing within an ounce of exact weight wont bring peace of mind if that amount is short or marginal!

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Re: weighing hives

Originally Posted by sqkcrk
That would be like me standing on the scale on one foot, recording the reading, and then the other foot, recording that reading, and adding the two together.
Absolutely not!
When you put the scale under one side the other side is still supported by the hive stand. If you had two scales and put one under each side both would register weight which is like you standing on two scales. Now if you rock the hive over on to one scale like you standing on one foot you would then register the full weight of the hive.

I am sure you have driven over a highway scale with your truck. Most likely there are four scales under that platform where the weights are all added together to measure your load. That way no matter where you park the truck on that platform they can measure your total weight by just adding all the weights together.

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Re: weighing hives

Originally Posted by Eddie M
Dave is right that doubling the weight is close enough.
Originally Posted by laketrout
Here is what I found after weighing the front and back - hive #1 bk 60 frt 50 =110----- hive #2 bk 50 frt 35 -85----- hive #3 bk 85 frt 70 = 155
So looking at laketrout's data in hive #2 doubling 50 would be 100 and doubling 35 would be 70, that's close enough? If I am going to take the time to weigh a hive I am going to take the time to actually find the real weight. I can't help myself.

Rader, you are picking fly poop out of pepper.

Mark in the case of the steel bar most certainly yes but the log might have more weight favoring one end. In this case like the hive you should weigh both ends.

Nothing is better than proving the concept to yourself so do as David suggested with bricks or blocks on a plank and two scales.

Laketrout, I think 155 is good, 110 is iffy and 85 might be hurting. Of course it is not the number of boxes that matters it is the size of the colony, the race of bees, the health of the colony and the weather to come that matters.

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Re: weighing hives

Originally Posted by Acebird
Nothing is better than proving the concept to yourself so do as David suggested with bricks or blocks on a plank and two scales.
If you want to test the accuracy of adding weights of both ends weighed separately, you only need one scale and a hive body or two. (You can do this without bees in the box.) Just weigh each end, then shift the scale so the entire weight of the boxes is entirely on the scale.

Add the first two weights together, and compare to the third weight. Calculate the percentage difference, and apply that percentage to your live hives.

Originally Posted by Acebird
If I am going to take the time to weigh a hive I am going to take the time to actually find the real weight. I can't help myself.
You claim to be driven to accuracy, yet you fail to recognize the inherent inaccuracy of the method you promote!
Originally Posted by Acebird
Rader, you are picking fly poop out of pepper.

13. Re: weighing hives

It is not correct to say that the actual weight of a hive is the sum of the weight of the front and back weighed separately. What you get is an approximate weight, but that approximate weight will be less than the actual weight.
Alright Rader - if you want to get all technical then no matter how you measure anything you ALWAYS get an approximation. Exactitude is a myth, precision is defined by margin of error. So using more or less precise measurements only results in a lower margin of error - never an EXACT measurement.

If you try to get exact enough then you invoke the Heisenber uncertainy principle which claims that the mere act of measuring something on a quantum level causes a systematic error.

But, hefting the back of a hive achieves a measurement which is sufficiently accurate within the required margin of error for practical beekeeping.

Apparently we have too much time on our hands here.

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Re: weighing hives

Originally Posted by laketrout
What kind of weights should I be looking for going into winter in PA , with two deeps .
You are looking for at least 130 - 150 gross. Here are more details. The hive that is 85 lbs. is a good candidate for a single.

If you can downsize hive #2 to a single, you will only need about 25 lbs. sugar on hive #1 which is about 5 gal of 5:3 (if you have 2 more weeks of nice weather to store it) or a good size candy board.

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Re: weighing hives

You claim to be driven to accuracy, yet you fail to recognize the inherent inaccuracy of the method you promote!
You make me laugh Rader. You should be smart enough to recognize that when the weight decreases because you lifted it to high that you would take the highest reading. That comes natural to me. I guess you have to work on it.

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Re: weighing hives

Originally Posted by Acebird
You make me laugh Rader. You should be smart enough to recognize that when the weight decreases because you lifted it to high that you would take the highest reading. That comes natural to me. I guess you have to work on it.
If your method is so accurate and easily understandable, why did you feel the need to explain it by using cars on a bridge?

Originally Posted by Acebird
That doesn't matter because the true weight of the hive is the sum of the two readings.

Think of a bridge that has a support on both sides of the creek. If there is 2 cars on the left side and non on the right side the left support will see more of the weight of the cars then the right support. But the total weight of the bridge and the cars on it will be the sum of the weight of the two supports.

.
Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 10-16-2013 at 07:58 AM. Reason: oops, typo

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Re: weighing hives

Would it be a good idea to shift some frames around , take some from the heaviest hive and switch them with some in the lite hive .Or better to just feed .
Last edited by laketrout; 10-17-2013 at 02:10 AM.

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Re: weighing hives

You really don't have much to spare. Go through hive #2 and see if you can locate 5 capped frames of honey (the heaviest ones), 2 pollen frames and 2 frames of brood or mostly open space (since you might not have brood this time of year). Then put them in a one deep with the honey to the outside walls and the brood in the middle.

19. Re: weighing hives

I rob from the rich and then feed them all if needed. It's easier to get 20 hives to gain a total of 100 pounds than to put 25 pounds each on 4 really light ones.

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Re: weighing hives

David's method also likely reduces the chances that the weaker hives will be targeted by robbers from the stronger hives. If only the weak hives were getting fed, potential robbers could smell that.

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