Quantcast

Weight of a brood box?

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
I've just bought a luggage scale as a quick and easy way of checking the weight of stores until I have enough experience to tell by hefting. I'm trying to calculate how much to allow for the weight of the hive and bees.

So far I've weighed the roof (4kg) and a canadian clearer board which I reckon should be about the same as the mesh floor (2kg), but I dont have a spare BB to weigh. Its a cedar one, so I've weighed a cedar super full of frames (slightly drawn), which is 4kg, so I'm reckoning 1.5 times this ie 6kg should be about right.

On the basis that bees don't weigh much, I'm reckoning that gives me 12 kg to subtract from the total weight to give me an estimate of stores.

Does that sound about right?

The whole lot weighs 26.5 kg, which would give me 14.5kg of stores, meaning I need to get some more in there. I've been trying not to overfeed while the ivy's on so as to leave some brood space- they seem to be spreading it everywhere, rather than filling some space and leaving some empty, but I guess I need to get another 5.5kg of stores in a bit quick and hope they sort it out.

Any comments would be much appreciated.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,628
Reaction score
27
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
You will find the value at the end of the season, when all is full up. Your decision then at what weight to feed. A couple years experience and you may get it right.

A completely full single standard brood should be enough to get most colonies through most winters. It may not be enough when they restart brooding in the early spring.

If I heft I always pick up the stand, as mine are all on separate ones. When you get a couple of colonies you can compare much more easily. I've never used a spring balance for hefting, and rarely need to check as they all have had enough winter stores going into winter. KISS principle at work.

Regards, RAB
 

MJBee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,818
Reaction score
0
Location
Dordogne 24360 France
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
16 a mix of Commercial, National, 14 x 12, Dadant and a Warre
The only Nationals I have are double brood and I feed them up to 45kg. I would take your single Nationals up to about 35KG. I check again at the Christmas OA.

The weighing really comes into its own in early spring - I check weekly from the beginning of February, once the queen starts laying and there is brood to feed the weight drops rapidly and if it gets down to 25kg I give them some fondant. = minimum disturbance, maximum insurance against starvation without leaving too much feed in the hive when the nectar starts coming in.:coolgleamA:

PS my varroa numbers are falling - at last :cuss:
 

richardbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,798
Reaction score
0
Location
South London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Skyhook - i hadn't realised we'd now gone metric so you'll have to convert my suggestion that you aim for at least 40lbs of weight/stores in a national brood box....

mjbees - I'm not kidding about being confused by this metric stuff but a BN brood frame holds max five and a half lbs of honey ....so isn't your target of 35kg (75lbs) a bit too much?

richard
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
Skyhook - i hadn't realised we'd now gone metric so you'll have to convert my suggestion that you aim for at least 40lbs of weight/stores in a national brood box....
richard
I make that about 18kg, so Im not far off with my target- I was thinking 20kg/ 44 lb, that would mean I only need to get another 7 1/2 lbs in.
 

Skyhook 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
3,054
Reaction score
0
Location
Dorset
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
5
.
It is better to open the hive and look what they have there.
I looked in today but found it hard to judge as theres lots of cells three quarters full, but little space left for brood. I guess she's not going to produce a lot more now so time to top up?
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,584
Reaction score
157
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
Winter is coming there too. You have brood but the rest of cells are good to be full now and capped.

So feed them so much during 2 days that they do not take any more. Then let them be one week and how it looks inside then. Bees move food from peripheria to the centre when brood emerge.
It takes a little bit time that bees cap the food and ventilate extra water off.

Then you get a weight to your hive and you know what it means. Next year you know the proper weight.

Keep the hive warm that bees can do the store job. Keep ventilation small.
 

Finman 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
25,584
Reaction score
157
Location
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
langstroth
.
I weigh my hives with bathroom balance. I put it under one side of the hive.
It is handy.
 

Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
13,655
Reaction score
3
Location
Scottish Borders
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
9 and 18 Nucs
The bees don't weigh much? I'd check that out as they are sold by the pound.....

PH
 

MJBee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,818
Reaction score
0
Location
Dordogne 24360 France
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
16 a mix of Commercial, National, 14 x 12, Dadant and a Warre
Hi Richard,

The maths behind my questimate of 35 kg was based on Skyhook's 12kg for the hive plus bees, that leaves 23kg of stores (50lbs) which in turn is 9 of the 11 frames full.

As has been said elsewhere the figure of 40lbs/18kg has been a long accepted norm, so with hindsight I was about 4.5kg over generous:drool5:
 

richardbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,798
Reaction score
0
Location
South London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Hello MJ

I've just noticed your avatar...is that one of those Asian hornets recently arrived in la France?

It looks like we all agree 40-50lbs is about right. Because I've got these bloody dadant frames (which my little darlings weld together within a week) I'm only on 10 with a 5 ply blank - to give me room to get in and lift the end frame.

rich
 

MJBee 

Drone Bee
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
1,818
Reaction score
0
Location
Dordogne 24360 France
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
16 a mix of Commercial, National, 14 x 12, Dadant and a Warre
Yes vespa velutina nigrithorax aka a pain in the bum - still active and eating bees as are their european cousins - found an active nest in a hollow tree less than 100m from my hives.:willy_nilly:
 

richardbees 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
2,798
Reaction score
0
Location
South London
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
Thanks MJ...so there are set backs in living elsewhere than gangsta south London.

I dread the day that grey squirrels take an interest in beehives!
 

Hombre 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
2,818
Reaction score
1
Location
West Midlands
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
Ten
The bees don't weigh much? I'd check that out as they are sold by the pound.....
PH
Agreed. 5,000 bees weigh a nominal 1lb, so a full house of 50,000 will weigh 10lb or 4.5kg, depending on whether they are old English blacks or imported European bees . . . :)
 
Top