hefting hive

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frenchbees 

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Lots of posts mention hefting hives but at what point do you decide that they need feeding.
Mid Nov the girls stopped taking syrup, I gave them a full super and checked the weight at the back of the hive with a spring balance, (I have no faith in my ability to "feel" the difference) it was 22 kg.
Been checking every 2 weeks since then and weight falling steadily, now 17 kg.
I have some fondant ready but still really cold here so I don't want to open them up unless really necessary.
I can hear them in the hive and no sign of any dead bees on the OMF.
 

oliver90owner 

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Hefting at one point is rather pointless!

You should have done it at both sides, or both front and back.

The loss by your method is 10kg, possibly, but not practically.

Imagine you are lifting a wheelbarrow with 100 house bricks in it; now remove half and check the effort to lift it. You could get very different values dependent on whether you removed those bricks from near the handles, or over the wheel. Same with a hive, except it is the stores position that makes those differences.

If you had a full brood and super, they should be nowhere near short of stores yet.

They may have consumed just those 5kg you have noted, but the cluster is likely positioned centrally (and that may depend on your site), so a bit more.

I suggest whenever you moitor with the spring balance, you lift simply by hand as well. Next year you will have some experience.

Regards, RAB
 

MJBee 

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As O 90 O has said the hive needs to be weighed on opposite sides, the two weights added to give a total hive weight. I have screwed a "vine eye" into the center of each side of the OMF and weigh every 14 days up to 1st Feb then weekly - once brood is present the weight can drop very rapidly and starvation is a very real possibility.

I try to get my colonies (OMF, Brood, Crownboard + insulation, Roof) up to 40kg to go into the winter and if/when the weight drops to below 30kg I feed.

The one Dadant I have went into the winter with only 7 frames (don't ask) with the space dummied up, on 21 Dec it was 29.75kg so was given 5kg of fondant.

Hope this gives you some ideas to work on.
 

frenchbees 

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Thanks for the info, that gives me some figures to work with and I'll start weighing both sides from now. I thought hefting the back would give me an idea of how fast they were consuming stores but obviously wouldn't work if they move about. Expect they saw me coming and all ran to the front of the hive!
 

oliver90owner 

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Your actual values really don't tell me a lot. Except that if the hives are identical, the weaker has likely over eight kilos more than the stronger colony. That leads me to the simple question of: Why do you think these results led to your apparent decision (on those results?) to put fondant on both?

It seems to me you were going to feed fondant whatever result you may have found, so hefting was pretty well a superfluous exercise?

Regards, RAB
 

Dave /Oscroft 

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Weights

Todays maths lesson is:


So how heavy would a brood and a half weigh ?
A Double brood
A 14 x 12
if they were all made from Red deal (pine) and fully fed in September with 21 ltrs of sugar syrup each hive ?

and what would the current weight be now

Cheers
Dave W
 

Poly Hive 

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Sorry but erroneous question.

Brood and a half? Of what type?

Folks should heft their hive at the start of the winter and through the winter to gain the experience of how it feels. use a cheap spring balance to get an idea of what weight you are feeling.

Theoretical weights are but theoretical. the hive slopes a lot down hill, and will feel very different from the front, the timber is out by 2mm, lot of weight there and so on, not to mention the variation in roofs.

Ya have to feel your own hives and get the experience.

PH
 

richardbees 

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If it's of any help in working out what's what; a pine national brood box + 11 frames with foundation weighs about 10 lbs.
 

Vergilius 

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Yeah... And it should feel pretty damn heavy packed with stores... Mine still hefting okay but I feel 1 nat box may not be enough for this winter... So fondant was put in in early Dec...

Ben P
 

Dave /Oscroft 

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If it's of any help in working out what's what; a pine national brood box + 11 frames with foundation weighs about 10 lbs.
Richard, thanks, tomorrow i'll weigh my spare boxs and compare them with the hives, and see, on the assumtion that if your down to a couple of kilos of stores in them then its probably best to be ready to add some fondant I assume.

thanks for the help, its difficult estimating with hefting but assuming there all still alive then next or this year ! it should be easier,>>>> yer right!

Dave W
 

Dave /Oscroft 

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So after weighing the hives hive one which is a double brood:
one side was 32lb and the other the same so 64lb allowing that a super weighs in at 8lb and a brood box 10lb. even if you said that two supers were equal to a brood. Thats 4x 8lb = 32 that leaves 32 lb including bees.
What ever that all meens is behond me!!!!!!!!!

interesting though !

cheers
Dave W
 

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