Using bathroom scales to heft hive?

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herefordshirehoney 

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I've tried hefting my hives the last 2-3 weeks when ive been up there. Sometimes it feels heavy, yet other times it feels light im sure its probably be doing it from wrong angles and not in same fashion, etc. Im sure with time i'll get this right, but what to ensure im checking in a constant fashion.

As a backup plan i've just brought some cheap digital bathroom scales from ebay, if I weigh each side then add up then divide by two is this best way to get a "rough" benchmark figure?
 

Davelin 

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well if you weigh each side you just need to add the two figure together.

I got a set of cheap luggage scales and put a screw in each side of hive. Quick lift on each side and add the two figures together.
 

Finman 

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I have poly langstroths.


I have weighed my hives long time with one euro recycling scale.

It helps to see, has it taken enough food.
I weight one side, side side or back side. Two side weighing brings no better information.

One box hives I feed as much as they take. I do not weigh them.

Low feeded hive may be 18 kg....one feeding box more....
Enough feeded is 24 kg
and very full feeded is 30 kg

You see that differencies are huge when one side measured.
One feeding box is 8 litres syrup. It is1/3 out of winter feeding of 2-box hives.
 

Amari 

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Anybody have experience of the Australian hive scales advertised in recent Bee Crafts? I'm tempted to buy one. Years ago I used to have a heavy vintage sack-weighing scale. One of my hives sat on it permanently all year - great for monitoring weight loss over winter and weight gain in a honey flow - record was 8lbs in a warm windless day in May. Sadly left behind in a house move.
 

Amari 

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my hive on weight brought 100 lbs in one week (7 day). Evey day 15 lbs.
Wow, what were they feeding on - maybe robbing another hive?
 

Finman 

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Wow, what were they feeding on - maybe robbing another hive?
it was last summer. Day temp ws almost 30C. Bees flyed even after sun set.

They foraged honey dew I suppose + herb willow. The hive changed the qeen and they had not larvae to feed.

Totally it brought 340 lbs in 6 weeks.

This spring hive on balance brought 4lbs in a week when temp was 15-18 on rapefield.

When temp rised to 23C, it brought 7 lbs kg in one day.

I noticed that wind is bad to bees if temp is under 20C. They get nothing from rape.

.
.
 

alanf 

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I've just brought some cheap digital bathroom scales from ebay, if I weigh each side then add up then divide by two is this best way to get a "rough" benchmark figure?
In theory the total weight is the reading each side added together. However digital bathroom scales usually depend on a flat level surface to support the scales. They are usually 20-30mm high. If you're weighing the hive while still on the stand, you have the problem of how to raise one side and slip the scales in while supporting them. While they're in you've introduced quite a tilt, then you lift again to remove them - 4 lifts per hive, you've shaken the bees from from side to side and the tilt means you're shifting the centre of gravity so it could be consistent but it won't be accurate..

I agree with Davelin, luggage scales lifting from a fixed point each side is cheap and it works. My trial set up last winter was two screws each side of the base. It spreads the strain a little in budget timber. Some have used various brackets which can look neater but the screws alone are cheap, box of 200 zinc plated 30mm for just over a quid in toolstation or screwfix.

The digital luggage scales I got from the far east on ebay at around two pounds - hook one end, loop of cord at the other and they easily fit in your pocket. Claimed accuracy 10g - they agree with other kitchen scales but it's consistency that's needed rather than absolute accuracy. Lift vertically, just raise the side a couple of mm and hit the tare button. The scales had a facility to lock on a steady weight but in practice needed to be held steady for too long; less disturbance to hit tare and read the weight as a negative value when you lower the hive again. Only two lifts lasting around a second, you never need to raise the hive more than a mm or two and the only extra fixing is a few screws that you can add any time.

If you do weigh, you need to remember to weigh before and after any change. For instance putting on an empty super or eke to accommodate a few Kg of fondant.
 
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Wonder if a device such as above could be fitted on a plate under hive... weight could then be measured by simple plug in device.. or hard wired / transmitted back to computer.
great for monitoring 100 + colonies without all that heaving and hefting !
 

derekm 

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Wonder if a device such as above could be fitted on a plate under hive... weight could then be measured by simple plug in device.. or hard wired / transmitted back to computer.
great for monitoring 100 + colonies without all that heaving and hefting !
you can get them for a quarter of that price if you know where to look
 

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Wonder if a device such as above could be fitted on a plate under hive... weight could then be measured by simple plug in device.. or hard wired / transmitted back to computer.
great for monitoring 100 + colonies without all that heaving and hefting !

if somedody has 100 colonies, he surely know what to do with them with scale or without scale.

.
 

oliver90owner 

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the problem of how to raise one side and slip the scales in while supporting them.

No imagination. Leave enough space between your hives with a level platform for the scales, use a lever to lift the hive, the fulcrum resting on the scales. Just needs a whole lot of fore-thought and planning. Not a strong point for many. Me? I'll just heft - so much easier!

7lbs kg

What is this? A new unit of force?
 

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alanf 

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Sir Quej 

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Just out of interest. Roughly how much would a hive weigh with a good amount of stores and bees in?
 
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Just out of interest. Roughly how much would a hive weigh with a good amount of stores and bees in?
Depends upon the hive type.. number of broods etc

Would be an interesting experiment to wire up weight sensors to each hive for constant monitoring.... possibly practicable:party:!
 

itma 

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Just out of interest. Roughly how much would a hive weigh with a good amount of stores and bees in?
You have 14x12, I note.

My wooden 14x12s (floor, brood, crownboard and roof at this point) are at 30 and 32 kg. Although they are still busily bringing in the Ivy, I'm going to give them some Ambrosia, as I'd like to see them above 35kg gross.
The already syrup-fed Pain poly 14x12 is over 30kg gross, and I'm perfectly happy with that.
 

rolande 

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Complicated?
my post wasn't actually aimed at anyone or any other method, just a general observation and a link to two photos involving a method with bathroom scales -as per the title of the thread and the equipment which the op has available at this moment in time.
 
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