weighing hives with luggage scale
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    745

    Lightbulb weighing hives with luggage scale

    Hi, everyone,

    I'm very excited to finally realize an idea for weighing my bee hives. It only took more than a year.

    I got a luggage scale last year. I finally figured out how to use it on my hives. I attached door handles to my hives, on the long sides. (sorry this picture is rotated!)
    IMG_2074.jpg

    I weigh both sides and add the numbers together.

    I could see how this method could be difficult as the hives get heavier and heavier!

    Anyways, it is really neat to see the differences in weight between my hives and I look forward to tracking the bee "biomass" as the season progresses!

    Regards,
    Thomas
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: weighing hives with luggage scale

    I'd want to be certain those door handles were fixed very well to the hive ... if one gave way it could get quite exciting. I have a 6mm hole through the floor 'runner' on each side. I then simply have a 6mm bolt on the end of my luggage scale which I push into the hole ... and then lift ... https://theapiarist.org/weighty-matters/

    And yes, as colonies increase in weight it can get to be hard work. It helps to have a luggage scale that 'freezes' when the maximum stable weight is reached.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    745

    Default Re: weighing hives with luggage scale

    That is very interesting! I suppose you could attach anything to the end of the luggage scale....

    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    I'd want to be certain those door handles were fixed very well to the hive ... if one gave way it could get quite exciting. I have a 6mm hole through the floor 'runner' on each side. I then simply have a 6mm bolt on the end of my luggage scale which I push into the hole ... and then lift ... https://theapiarist.org/weighty-matters/

    And yes, as colonies increase in weight it can get to be hard work. It helps to have a luggage scale that 'freezes' when the maximum stable weight is reached.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: weighing hives with luggage scale

    I used luggage scales - broke all three. They would freeze or "peg" below the advertised weighing ability. I was even fooled into believing there was a hive issue - printed scale had rotated relative to the spring dial (???). So pay for a good fish-like scale. I quickly bought a bottom scale but will be switching back to weighing each side via an eyebolt in my bottom board frame. One hive was a little piggy!!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: weighing hives with luggage scale

    https://youtu.be/kdyYdDIogZ8

    This is the game scale I have been using for six years.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: weighing hives with luggage scale

    FYI: For greater accuracy one should lift at equal distances from the center of the hive, front to back or left to right, and straight up. I use an eyebolt on the left and right side centers of my bottom board and have weighed all components when dry including frames with drawn comb. Hives do accumulate significant moisture besides bees and honey

    Errors from lift angle off vertical are typically small inducing a small error. If you get to far off a vertical lift you can move the hive. Equal distances left and right side pivot on the edges of the bottom board assembly so equal distances from the opposite sides are accurate when the forces are summed. Different readings, usually a few pounds, 4-8 lb., signifies that the Center of Gravity (or weight) is off to one side.

    Important Reasons to Verify Weight: Besides being easier the "hefting", it's accurate. Fall of 2018 when I implemented this approach, I noticed the weekly readings (being cautious) were going down. The usually reliable Fall flow in southern New England had failed due to weather conditions - really wet. Being a 3rd year novice I immediately fed...and fed.....and fed like I never fed before (I now fast feed in fall to a Nov. weight goal). I was following M. Palmers' guidelines. All my hives made it through winter but many other beekeeper hives failed, lots of them, including some very experienced bee keepers' hives who had just assumed after hefting too early.

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