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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would weigh a hive today to see how there doing , it weighed 155 at the end of October and now its 125 they seem to be in good shape . I took a look at the candy board and there was a grapefruit size cluster hanging down from the quilt box over the hole where they can get up on top of the candy board . Shouldn't they have eaten more stores than that .
 

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I weighed our hives a couple of weeks ago, and the weight loss was similar to yours. During the brood less period honey consumption is not very high. When brood rearing resumes food consumption ramps up considerably. When the average temperatures start getting into the mid 40s I remove the sugar blocks and let the bees eat their stores. I use sugar to keep food directly above the cluster during the coldest part of the winter. When temps reach the mid 40s the bees are not trapped in a cluster and will move honey from outer frames to the cluster area which now includes brood. More hives starve in late winter trying to raise brood than die during the coldest part of the winter.
Dave
 

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It is interesting. "The Hive and the Honeybee" page 841, "Holte (1970) monitored a scale colony during the 1969-1970 season in St. Paul, Minnesota. Total weight loss for the winter season was 51 pounds. The weight loss during the 86 day period between Nov 21 - Feb 15 was 10 pounds. The weight loss during the subsequent 28 and 26 day periods were 12 and 18 pounds respectively." What I haven't been able to confirm (by a google search) was what the scale colony comprised of - a single deep, a double deep, or what?

Yesterday I weighed 13 of my double deep nucs. All had been fed to an average weight of 55 pounds of feed and bees by mid-october. Yesterday their average weight was 31 pounds - they on average have lost 24 pounds this winter so far.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MatoOA9TapA
 

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It is interesting. "The Hive and the Honeybee" page 841, "Holte (1970) monitored a scale colony during the 1969-1970 season in St. Paul, Minnesota. Total weight loss for the winter season was 51 pounds. The weight loss during the 86 day period between Nov 21 - Feb 15 was 10 pounds. The weight loss during the subsequent 28 and 26 day periods were 12 and 18 pounds respectively." What I haven't been able to confirm (by a google search) was what the scale colony comprised of - a single deep, a double deep, or what?

Yesterday I weighed 13 of my double deep nucs. All had been fed to an average weight of 55 pounds of feed and bees by mid-october. Yesterday their average weight was 31 pounds - they on average have lost 24 pounds this winter so far.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MatoOA9TapA
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So maybe my weight loss is inline , I expected much more weight loss but like you guys are saying it will pick up if the temps stay mild and brood rearing kicks in .I was under the impression I should feed syrup as soon as the temps hit 50 or so is this wrong and I should let them eat there own stores instead , this is my first spring with over wintered bees .
 

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It is interesting. "The Hive and the Honeybee" page 841, "Holte (1970) monitored a scale colony during the 1969-1970 season in St. Paul, Minnesota. Total weight loss for the winter season was 51 pounds. The weight loss during the 86 day period between Nov 21 - Feb 15 was 10 pounds. The weight loss during the subsequent 28 and 26 day periods were 12 and 18 pounds respectively." What I haven't been able to confirm (by a google search) was what the scale colony comprised of - a single deep, a double deep, or what?

Yesterday I weighed 13 of my double deep nucs. All had been fed to an average weight of 55 pounds of feed and bees by mid-october. Yesterday their average weight was 31 pounds - they on average have lost 24 pounds this winter so far.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MatoOA9TapA
Adrian, I watched your video and estimated based on size that if your average is 31 pounds, the bees might be very short on stores. I am basing this on my own hives which are singles. They would have similar weight in wood, similar weight in bees, I don't think those nucs have much weight left to lose before they starve. Do you know what your empty equipment weighs? I would be guessing close to 30lbs. The one you weighed at 63lbs in the video would be good. Not being nosy of pushy. I really like having the comparison. Thanks for the post.
 

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Hey Joadie, I don't think you are nosy at all. The average weight of 31 pounds is for the net weight of bees and food, I have deducted the 25 pound for woodenware in the calculation above.
 

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I weigh my hives weekly, all year long and graph the results. Second year doing this. Both years, my girls consume 1 to 2 lbs a week during the cold part of the winter. About late February, we can get an occasional 65 degree day and the large swings in temperature cause my weight data to vary.
 

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I would love to see a graph or data sheet for comparison. The problem with my measurement system is error. I am using an antique hanging spring scale and it is difficult to maintain an accurary better than 5 or so lbs. Im sure cold vs hot temps also effect its spring rate. So in winter perhaps 10lbs is more like 9 lbs and in summer is more like 11lbs due to elasticity. I also don't always have help so reading value while hold hive can be prown to error too.
 
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