Last build topic for a while! I promise!
It’s been over two weeks now since I have been trialling my bathroom scale mod.
I wanted to monitor weight during our nectar flow and record data for record keeping all within a realistic budget.
I already had bathroom scales and a wood stand with ant caps so my new weight mod would have to suit this.
Due to hive weight, I opted for welding over using fixings and wood, plus I already had 50x25x2mm MS RHS laying around. It’s overkill but it’s just what I had at the time, 1.6mm wt would have also done the job.
I went with a h-frame design to keep it simple and utilised two braces across the middle. It’s all centred and the scale takes up the hive weight irregularities when weighing.
As is, surprisingly I think it’s less likely to be toppled over by wind or even an earthquake now because the scale acts as a dampener against sway, similar to the buildings in Japan, well atleast that’s what I’m telling myself!
Regardless though I took this into account and addressed the potential for instability…
I made 4 adjustable packers with hex screws on top that I have shimmed at all 4 corners to take up soft foot and also load off the scales which reduces premature wear on the internal mechanisms when not in use.
When I weigh the hive the idea was to simply just lower the hex screws a quarter turn with a spanner and slip the packers out however so far I’ve been able to just lift a corner with my finger and with some effort wriggle the packer out.
So far I have not had any problems and it’s been doing what it’s intended to do. Another positive is I’m now also able to further tilt the hive for gradient fall which will help having a solid bottom and during harvesting.
Here’s a graph of the last 14 days. The colony gained an average of 1.5kg during the start of the flow and eventually ramped up to approx 2kg per day which I attribute to expansion. On the coldest day when it rained they only gained 0.75kg. I also learnt that the hive weight fluctuates daily and generally weighs heaviest late afternoon.
I know my method isn’t 100% precise but it’s definitely given me baseline figures and also a cool insight into my hive all at the total cost of $12.90… I could have saved $4.40 if I didn’t get the RHS end caps but I thought they were aesthetically worth it!
Hopefully this inspires more people to get creative and DIY as the WIFI scales currently on the market (which are amazing by the way!) aren’t the only option if you want some data on your hive. Mine being mechanical I don’t have to replace batteries too!
Anyway, as always thanks for reading!