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Vergilius 

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Dear All,

Currently, in the context of Winter stores I am hearing a lot about "hefting" and, to be honest, I don't really know what it is.

So,

a) What exactly is hefting?

b) How do you do it?


Thanks for any help.

Ben P
 

Moggs 

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Hi Ben

Hefting is the art of lifting the hive, one side at a time to gauge the amount of stores (by weight). It takes some experience to attain an accurate picture as the uninitiated probably won't have a reference of what 'feels' like a decent weight of stores.

I have found it useful to 'heft' all of my hives and get a comparative weight for weight indication, with prior knowledge of how many frames of stores are present. Certainly, the difference in weight prior to and after feeding is very obvious (as one would expect)!
 

Hivemaker. 

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Lifting the beehive to estimate the amount of food stores held within...many also remove the roof first before hefting,some just lift one side of the hive at a time.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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..many also remove the roof first before hefting,some just lift one side of the hive at a time.
what ever you do, just make sure you always do the same thing or your guess will be wrong and you will be all confused.com
 

rowbow 

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You can also use spring scale's, average weight 40lbs full of stores and bees, so if you get a brood box/floor/crown board/roof make this up to 40lb, use the spring scales on ether side and see what it comes up with.
John
 

drstitson 

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:iagree:

I'm going to be using a set of baggage scales to record readings when autumn feeding finishes and i put my hives "to bed" for the winter.

NB slightly easier with italian hives as they have proper metal handles on sides not just recessed woodwork!!!!
 

richardbees 

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ben,

Some of the above weren't awake in maths lessons at school! All you have to do is hook a 'spring balance' under one edge of the floor and gently lift up until it just takes the weight (you need to have a friend squatting alongside to read the scale accurately)

Double that is the total weight of the hive.

As I recall, an empty BS Brood box with floor, cover board and empty frames weighs about 10lbs so look for a total weight of 55lbs+ to be enough for the winter.

Mind you, I do love that word "heft" and just wish I could have that expertise!

Richard
 

Moggs 

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Not as daft as it sounds - 'hefting' is really quite a good method for those with a good point of reference. If the 'hefter' is used to gauging weights, it works. There's no doubt though that a spring balance is more definitive. But you can't beat a good hefting for speed!
 
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Double that is the total weight of the hive.
Only if the stores are distributed evenly, which may not be the case if the brood is all up at one end. If you want to be accurate do both sides and add them together.

I must admit I only ever lift one end and don't use scales - It is very easy to spot the light hive. if I struggle to lift a hive then it must be OK.
 

richardbees 

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of course you are correct, rooftops....but new beekeepers should start with spring balances (and know what wt they're looking for) and gradually learn the correct weight

......which is bloody heavy!

richard
 

MJBee 

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I use one of these:-

http://www.balanzza.co.uk/

With a cuphook screwed into each side of the floor it is a matter of seconds to clip on and lift gently, it bleeps when the weight is recorded and holds the figure for 30 seconds to allow one person operation. Lbs or Kgs - it is also useful for weighing your hand luggage:coolgleamA:
 

Vergilius 

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Lifting a brood box full of stores sounds like hard work! Richard's technique sounds good though.




Ben P
 

oliver90owner 

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Hefting is one of those things the new beek never thinks about until wintering time. It would have ben better starting practising with the nuc back in summer!

Rooftops is quite right, both sides need hefting - I had a colony with ten half frames of brood one side and the ten frames were all completely full of stores on the other side in one hive last year.

Usually, if things have been done properly now and the bees actually stop, or very much slow down, brooding (not all strains are the same!) the hefting problem is more one for the start of next season; as soon as brooding starts with a vengeance, stores will be depleted very quickly and that is the greater danger period for starvation.

Regards, RAB
 

Mike a 

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So how do you heft a beehaus.....? With a forklift?

Tony
You lay underneath on your back and use your arms and legs. :p

If you can spin the hive like a circus act its light on stores....
 
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