A Weighty Matter.
Please excuse the muck on the side of the hive, I really need to make a few stands to lift it clear of the splatter zone.
A recent bee keeping blog by “The Apiarist” discussed the issue of weighing occupied hives. Knowing how heavy it is now, just after I have given it 4 kg of candy, and being able to measure the loss in weight during the rest of the winter would give me some idea whether it is likely to need more food. I have known a hive and its contents surviving be upturned in a blizzard so that it filled up with snow, so bees are resilient, But, it is important to disturb the colony as little as possible. This one is fitted with thermometers which tell me that, normally, the inside temperature is about 10 degrees above that outside. Today, I took the roof off, put on a candy tray and reassembled the hive without seeing any sign of a bee in there, but the temperature increased by 20 degrees in about a minute and then took 36 hours to restabilise. That used up a lot of energy.
I have devised a method of weighing hives by inserting a hive tool between them and the stand/(ground) and using a luggage balance to lever one side of the hive off its support. Using a little simple arithmetic, I can deduce the weight of that side of the hive and then repeat for the other side; add the two together and I have the total weight: 46.1 kg with a resolution of one decimal place.
In the past, I have tried weighing hives[ directly by lifting with a balance and, while it works with one that is on the ground, you need to be Superman if it is on a stand; I have tried.