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Weighing Hives

1260 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  missybee
I made this up as an alternative to hefting hives to determine weights. It's a cheap luggage scale with a bit of home blacksmithing to hook under one side of the bottom board to give half weight. It takes about 10 seconds to weigh a hive and write the weight on top with a dry erase marker. Then I go round with my tablet and enter the weights into a Google Sheets file. It's not perfect, but I can get to within a couple of pounds, and it's a lot cheaper than what's next best.

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What your doing is indeed useful for determining approximate weights but I question the accuracy. Are you weighing the front or the back? In the far north, the back is usually much heavier than the front, because the front is where the light comes in.
I don’t think exact accuracy matters so much. It is not the exact weight of a particular hive it’s trying to identify. It’s more to identify hives that are light. Those can be given additional food or have honey frames swapped around to equalize resources.
We have scales on three of our hives. The weight varies. One hive is 110, one 125, one 158. We need to weigh the rest of them to figure out which ones needs food. Here heavy feeding can make the bees swarm in October. We are still warmish. Actually have had 5 come get the swarm calls to the club in the last week.
I used to weigh my hives using the "tilt up and add the numbers method", which I learned here on BS. It is not very accurate. Using the same scale, in a direct overhead lift (hoisted using the bucket of our tractor), we found the weights to be much higher. Better that the actual weights ARE much higher, of course, but still a fair amount of work for not good-quality data.

We usually open the hive, go into the top box see if it is all capped check the mid box (we have either 3 mediums or one deep and two mediums) see how many are capped. Then decide whom needs food. That has worked fine for us for years now.

In warm/cold (never know which way it will swing) fall maryland we don't do too much harm breaking the hive seals. We are still in the 70's
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