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Hive scale weights


#21

Most of what I will call the Australian bush will produce nectar better in warm and humid weather on a blue sky, From those that are more learned than I have said that nectar is found on some species of trees in the mornings and others later in the day from bee foraging observations.
Hope that goes some way to answer your question.
Regards


#22

I didn’t reply because I assumed this question was not addressed to me, given that I wasn’t the original poster. Then I worried that you might think that I was being rude by not answering, and that wasn’t my intent.

In the interest of not dominating a thread, I will keep my answer short (well, as short as I am able to, given my long-winded tendencies). The software for my scale comes from the scale supplier, Arnia. I chose the Arnia hive monitor for several reasons:

  1. The user interface is very easy to understand and very powerful. It is web-based, so you can use it on any device (desktop, laptop, tablet or phone)
  2. The scale sends data via a mobile data (cellphone connection), which means that hives out of WiFi range can still be monitored. Arnia supplies the data service, and it is much cheaper than most US-based mobile data subscriptions. Many scales use a bluetooth connection to a smart phone, but I wanted to be able to monitor when I am traveling. Bluetooth obviously wouldn’t let me do that. I chose the Arnia so that I can get my mentor to rescue a blown over hive or other big disaster before my neighbors get upset.
  3. My husband wanted the acoustic data. Only Arnia supplied the type of data he wanted. We actually don’t really use it, but he is fascinated by it. :smile:
  4. One of the major cons is that the batteries only last about 3 months. This is countered by the the fact that the data box is outside the hive, so you don’t have to disturb the bees to replace them.

I just like seeing how much honey they are gathering. At the moment, it is about 400g per day (less on overcast days, and less when it hasn’t rained for a few weeks). Although we do inspect regularly, it is a nice reassurance that they have sufficient space for storage if we are about to travel. For example, we added the Flow super in about mid-March this year. The weight dropped for a while, because the super had 3 previously used Flow frames (waxed) and 3 unused. The hive seems to lose weight, even during a flow, if there is a lot of wax production going on.

Since adding the super, the bees have added about 12.5kg of weight to the hive. Some of that will be in the brood box (probably about 3kg from inspecting), but most of it is in the super. From our harvest last year, I know that our Flow super holds about 20kg of honey when full. So in another 8-10kg or so, we need to harvest or add another box, particularly if we are going to travel.

I love having that much extra information to help with making decisions.


#23

Hi Peter,

Lost my password for a day!
Looks like Dawn has picked up the slack though (thank you). my reasons are similar to Dawn’s for getting the scales put in place. I find I am opening up the hive a little less (being a newbee, I like to have a peek any chance I get) which is good for the bees.
My system (Broodminder) is fairly cheap and, as always, you kinda pay for what you get. Having said that, they are fine for picking up weight increases over time if you trend the data and don’t get to bent out of shape about each reading on any particular day. Arnia looks more reliable to me but it costs more so the choice is yours.
My hive weight is about 63kg at the moment I know when it gets to 65-70kg the frames will be ready to crack.


#24

The spiking issue mentioned on my initial post was definitely the sun hitting the scales, which I have fixed now.
Thanks for the comments on the nectar flow as well. I have only recently just realised (perhaps this was obvious to all but me) that to get a bit of a flow sometimes a good hit of rain is required.


#25

How interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience @Dawn_SD. I put my Arnia hive scales under 2 hives mid Feb and wondered why one hive kept loosing weight. They just had their new flow super put on, but kept as busy as the hive next to it. That one added weight. I assumed they used their honey for wax lining the flow cells. And they had a spot of chalkbrood too, so I wasn’t sure what the weight was indicating.
Nice to compare notes.
Tomorrow I will fit out more hives with Arnia equipment. I like comparing my different queens. Bit nerdy perhaps, but I love graphs. One doesn’t need a reason for a hobby.
Being able to observe the hives while traveling is a grand bonus.


#26

Thanks for explaining that so well Dawn, it is fascinating and so much technology has come into the industry since I last had bees. I put the question in for anyone to answer so as to get a spread of explanations and ideas. Thanks again for yours.
Regards.