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Hive weight during the season


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At one time I took quite an interest in weighing hives, back before the 'world of digital'.  Here's a bibliography I created.   IT hive stand.  Gleanings in Bee Culture.  SepBusker, L.H. 

Weighing beehives ----------------- Some years ago I asked an engineering friend how *he* would weigh a beehive.  I expected some sort of tripod lifting arrangement with scale and lever.  I

You can get digital scales for weighing fish etc from stored like “hunting and fishing”.  

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The one in first link cost around 344 euros or 590 nzd at one of our resellers page. Ratio.. for example my mentor has for each container one ( 40 hives). They must know the state of the forage ( oscilations) to choose right time to move onto next location. My mentor put it under " standard" colony ( not the strongest or weakest). Funniest is when swarm go from that hive, then you can calculate the weight of a swarm.. ?

There are also simpler ones without sms function, but they mostly people build themselves ( diy from regular scales, adapt for hive weighing).

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Thanks guys.

I know about those EU scales made for beekeeping with txt messaging etc.

Also we have here in NZ on TM or few other website handheld digital scales or digital platform scales and their prices are good(China made, but under $100 so it is a good price).

 

However what I am looking for(I will prefer) is to get an old school platform scale to have the hive on it all year round. I will check the weight when I go to the apiary and I will make notes. I am afraid to buy a digital platform one because of the rain plus it may not work to have the hive on it all the time(they are going from $70 to $ 140 with a platform of 500mm/400mm).

 

@Gorando you know a source for the old school mechanic scales where you have to slide the counterweight on the balance?

 

Just checked it on alibaba. You can get one for US$ 130 + shipping US$200 and its good for 1000kg. I can take 2 months till it gets here.

 

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Well,my mentor had one old mechanic scale. I could ask him where he bought it ( I believe he bought is second hand). Nevertheless, these electronic scales he has are also almost all year under the hives. I think he watches winter consumption also.

I found some document from university which subject is making beekeeping gsm scale, but is in croatian so I don't know to post it here ( also need knowledge from mechatronics).

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22 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

 

That is probably the best scales system that I have seen.  

Simple and effective.

 

Yes. Also not least important, doesn't have to be under the hive all time, last longer, doesn't need to worry about losing it to robbers, multiple measures at your choice.  No wonder the man who sells them claim patent for it..

Only bad thing is for migratory beeks, when they are hundreds kms away, You don't know the status.. For them is gsm scale. 

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At one time I took quite an interest in weighing hives, back before the 'world of digital'.  Here's a bibliography I created.

 

IT hive stand.  Gleanings in Bee
Culture.  SepBusker, L.H.  The WATDt 1970 pp 521-525.  Hive stand with built in
bathroom scales under back of hive (WATDIT stands for What
Are They Doing In There).

 

Bryan, Ernie.  If there is a will there is a weigh.
Gleanings in Bee Culture (?).  April 1977 page 161.
Bathroom scales inserted into frame below hive.  Scales not
permanently fixed.

 

Shaw, F.R.  An improved device for weighing colonies.
American Bee Journal 96(8):322.  1956.  Uses spring scale
with two people lifting hive off the ground using pipe
across hive.  Hive supported on sides and back.

 

Owens, C.D.  New hive scale for use by one man.  American
Bee Journal 98(4):140.  1958.  Two wheeled cart with forks.
Foot operated pedal with 4:1 advantage used to lift hive.
Commercial hydraulic-compression unit between lifting lever
and moving frame to read weight.

 

Harding, J.P.  A simple method of weighing a hive.  Bee
World 43(2):40-41.  1962.  Pipe inserted into permanent
stand below hive. Hive lifted from sides using spring
balance.  Total is sum of two sides weight times two.

 

Al-Tikrity, W.S., Hillmann, R.C., Benton, Dr A.W., Clarke,
W.W. Jr. Three methods for weighting honey-bee colonies in
the laboratory and field.  American Bee Journal
111(4):143-145.  1971.  Modified pickup truck hive loader
method: boom off truck using block and tackle and hanging
spring scale.  Lifting method: one person on each end of
rod, lifting hive with hanging spring scale.  Leverage-lift
method: Wooden bar is pushed down, pulling wire cable to
lift hive in building.

 

Bell, Roland.  My homemade hive scale.  American Bee Journal
February 1979: 97.  Uses screen door spring, piece of baling
wire, short chain and three iron straps.  Long bar (beam)
suspended at the one foot mark, weight can be lifted from
the short end when long end is pressed down at 2 to 1, 3 to
1, etc.

 

Hofmann, Chas. S.  Wintering its in's and out's.  American
Bee Journal 105(1):6-8.  1965.  Telescoping device used to
lift back of hive. Pointer moves up given distance before
hive lifts off ground, indicating weight.

 

Anonymous.  Introducing hive monitor(tm) weighing base, a
revolutionary advance in hive management.  Gleanings in Bee
Culture  105(4):138. 1977. Base to sit hive on, mirrored
scale with pointer. Claims accurate readings to within 1/2
pound.

 

Anonymous.  Fuers bienenhaus.  Chr. Graze catalog 1973-74
(German bee supply company). "Plastikwaage"  DM 21.80 (1982
price).  Appears to be a manometer/hydrolic scale, with
water being poured in tube.

 

Wedmore, E.B. A manual of bee-keeping. (publication details
not available).  p 228-229, items 880-883.  Describes value
of scale hive, use of spring balance to lift hive.

 

Reid, G.M. Personal communication.  1974.  Describes use of
spring balance with lever arrangement (fits into handhold on
bottom box, to measure 1/2 weight of hive).  Commonly used
in South Island, NZ.

 

Gilberd, Darcy J.  Make your own bale weigher.  NZ Farmer,
September 25, 1986, page 57.  Uses four car tires with tubes
filled with water, joined by stems with copper tubes, then
up to plastic tube against scale on wall.  Will take up to 2
tonnes.

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Weighing beehives
-----------------

Some years ago I asked an engineering friend how *he* would
weigh a beehive.  I expected some sort of tripod lifting
arrangement with scale and lever.  Instead, he thought about
10 seconds and said "Using a plastic wine bag!".  Took him
the best part of an hour to explain it to me and convince me
it would work.

OK, here goes: cheapish wine in NZ comes in 3 or 4 liter
cardboard 'casks', with plastic bag with valve out the side.
The bags, once empty (ahem...) are in fact flat in
construction - find one that is pretty big.  Small bag means
greater accuracy, but harder to measure (hence less
accurate, if you see what I mean).  Best I ever made was
with a commercial sized bag that was almost the same size as
the inside of a bee box.

Build the floor arrangement.  Basically, a flat base with a
telescoping lid that fits over it.  Hole cut in base to
accommodate the valve arrangement of the bag.  Take out the
'guts' of the valve, and glue 10mm diameter plastic tube
about 800mm long into it.  I added a 20mm x 50mm piece of
timber, fixed to the telescoping lid thing with a hinge, to
support the plastic tube up the side of where the hive will
sit.

Fit it all together, put it under a hive.  Now, here's the
part I couldn't really figure: how much water would you have
to pour into the tube in order to lift the hive off the
base?  Hardly any!  After only a bit, water starts to 'back
up' the tube to a certain height, then doesn't come up any
further!  If you keep pouring water, the hive will lift
higher, but the distance from bottom of hive to top of water
in the plastic tube remains constant.

The proper name for this thing is a manometer.  If you can't
get it from this description, go to a good engineering book
to get the concept.  By pouring only a little bit of water
into the tube, the telescoping lid thing 'lifts' off the
base, and the hive is floating on a waterbed type thing.
The height of the column of water can be converted into the
weight of the hive!

The height of water is the 'head'.  Imagine a column of
water the same size as the plastic bag, and as tall as the
head.  The weight of that water would be equal to the weight
of the hive.  So you can calibrate a scale up beside the
plastic tube to give hive weight.

Weight of hive (gm) = Area of bag (cm2) x Height of water in
column (cm) x 1 gm/cm3 (weight of cubic cm of water).

For the bag size I used (the only variable), it worked out
that each kg of hive weight equated to 9.7mm of water height
in the column.  It meant you could go some pretty accurate
weighing, but the cost of the thing was just about nothing.
You *might* want help drinking all the wine...

scale.bmp

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3 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

@NickWallingfordhow many liters of water you need for one of those systems?

One box can be up to 35kg, and one hive of 5 boxes will get close to 160kg. Just estimating.

I try to visualize the 0.8m of tubing filled with water (80-90%) lifting the hive.... 3mm.

Barely more than a cup or two!  When the water level rises in the tubing, it is exerting a force into the wine bag equal to the column of water - not the column of water in the tube, but the imaginary column of water of the same size as the wine bag. 

 

So in the case I described, with 9.7 mm water rise in the tube equal to 1kg of weight, if you were weighing a 160kg hive, the water would be 1.6m up the small tube.  Admittedly, the models I made back then were not working with that weight - I was designing mostly for something more like half of that - I think I had the scale marked up to 100kg. 

 

When you pour the cup of water into the tube, the hive lifts a bit and you can steady it with your hand as it sort of floats on the thin layer of water in the wine bag.  If you keep pouring water into the tube, the hive will continue to rise, this will distort its overall 'footprint' (h x w), and make the measurement inaccurate.

 

The most amazing feeling was to stand on the platform yourself while pouring a cup of water down the tube - and feeling it lift you up!

 

Sometime after I did this, I saw a Kiwi designed scale for weighing cattle.  It was basically a platform with 4 tyres tubes under it, with valves disabled and tubing between them.  Put the cattle on top, pour water until the platform rises, and read the weight on the vertical scale.  It was homegrown Kiwi No. 8 wire at its finest, and for a long time I would point at it and claim discovery of the principle!

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On 7/12/2020 at 2:50 PM, NickWallingford said:

Barely more than a cup or two!  When the water level rises in the tubing, it is exerting a force into the wine bag equal to the column of water - not the column of water in the tube, but the imaginary column of water of the same size as the wine bag. 

 

So in the case I described, with 9.7 mm water rise in the tube equal to 1kg of weight, if you were weighing a 160kg hive, the water would be 1.6m up the small tube.  Admittedly, the models I made back then were not working with that weight - I was designing mostly for something more like half of that - I think I had the scale marked up to 100kg. 

 

When you pour the cup of water into the tube, the hive lifts a bit and you can steady it with your hand as it sort of floats on the thin layer of water in the wine bag.  If you keep pouring water into the tube, the hive will continue to rise, this will distort its overall 'footprint' (h x w), and make the measurement inaccurate.

 

The most amazing feeling was to stand on the platform yourself while pouring a cup of water down the tube - and feeling it lift you up!

 

Sometime after I did this, I saw a Kiwi designed scale for weighing cattle.  It was basically a platform with 4 tyres tubes under it, with valves disabled and tubing between them.  Put the cattle on top, pour water until the platform rises, and read the weight on the vertical scale.  It was homegrown Kiwi No. 8 wire at its finest, and for a long time I would point at it and claim discovery of the principle!

Saw a clip of a guy blow up his car tyre, he used 6-7 empty 1.5 coke bottles all connected in a line with an air valve at the end, he poured water in the first one and it would push the air out into the next bottle in line, and so on until the end bottle was tight as a drum and then dump the air into his tyre, from memory it took 2-3 goes

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:54 PM, Kiwi Bee said:

Maybe an oldie question, but anybody using a scale to get the weight of the hives now in the season?

I can't find an old school scale or I didn't search in the right place.

Are you still looking for old scales? This set came up on FB Marketplace.

D9EBFF09-DEF4-4434-B699-A36FDC3CF8F5.thumb.jpeg.ea12737bd14ff6b5a38c9aec62180a42.jpeg

 

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