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Author Topic: Hive weight?  (Read 771 times)
vmmartin
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« on: October 06, 2010, 10:40:34 PM »

I am going into my first fall with bees. I started off with just 2 hives in the spring. Was fortunate enough to pick up 13 more from someone who had other things to do. My question is this. For Southeast Texas and mild winters, what weight should I be looking for?
Saturday my son and I used a big game scale (300#) to list the back of the hive off of the stand and recorded the weight. I know this is not scientific, but my idea is to be able to check weekly to see if a hive is gaining weight or losing. Any thoughts would be cool.
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tecumseh
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 07:58:01 AM »

where in southeast Texas would be somewhat important.  you should have a minimum of about 20 kilograms of honey in the hive to make it to early spring.  from there on whether you may need to feed or not will be somewhat dependent on your season.

a few years ago my wife and I did a bit of a science project with a digital fish scale, a bit of chain and a hive tool and calculated the tipping weight at the front and back of the hive (the shape of the bottom board does matter here as does whether the honey is situated at the front or back of the hiv).   from this we did a least squares regression on the data.  I then confirm this total using the heft method and a good bathroom scale.

then by subtracting the empty weight of the equipment you could estimate weight of bees and feed in the box.  the gross total of the hive was 2.4 X  the tipping weight.

although I added a few small details of my own this idea was stolen from a very old bee magazines (about 1975 or so).

 

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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 10:50:08 AM »

To weigh my bee hives, I use the head, arm, back method.   I use my arms to lift the box and if my back tells my head that it is too heavy, then they are good.    grin
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vmmartin
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 11:32:20 AM »

Funny Allen. Albeit far from scientific, my method is a little less relative to body mass index. You might be as strong as a Yeti and your chocked full hives may feel as light as a feather.
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 11:48:27 AM »

It is like how my grandmother in her 90's can make biscuits with out measuring a thing, just throwing it in the bowl.  And still come out perfect every time. 
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tecumseh
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 07:17:23 AM »

Allen writes:
To weigh my bee hives, I use the head, arm, back method.   I use my arms to lift the box and if my back tells my head that it is too heavy, then they are good.

tecumseh:
some of us old school guys call this the 'heft method' <or the 'oh my god, there goes my back again' method.  doable for singles and story and a half... not so easy on anything of double deeps or larger.

when the box fills easy enough to toss about it need feed.  when it feels like a brick it is heavy enough.
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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
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