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weight of strong colony

 
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Cosmicwillow
Guard Bee


Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 82
Location: U.K. Notts/Lincs/Yorks border

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:55 am    Post subject: weight of strong colony Reply with quote

just started keeping, have 2 colonies in 2 TBHs, collect late in year but appear to be doing ok. thinking of installing a hive on garden wall next season and would appreciate any thoughts on general weight of a colony when at full strength. i can weigh the empty hive but need some idea of overall expected weight to design the supports. hive will be Chandler style about 1 metre long.
any bee keepers retford/gainsborough area?
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rough guide to weight: over last winter, my colonies were up to around 60kg total, of which a bit less than 30kg was the hive. The weight is essentially stored honey, as the bees themselves might be just a few kg, and empty wax combs weigh very little.

No reason to suppose this would be much different in summer - quite likely less stored honey in summer.

That should be close enough for guessing strength of any supports.
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Cosmicwillow
Guard Bee


Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 82
Location: U.K. Notts/Lincs/Yorks border

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, so you are saying the colony weighs about 30kg (4.5st+), that's some weight. Is your hive TBhive Chandler style. May have to think carefully about design.
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi - sorry, slow-motion conversation - don't often log on. Yes - my hives are sort-of Chandler TBH - not Phil's plans though. I ended up with something that's the same 15 inch gap across the top, not as deep, but slightly less angled sides, so volume fairly similar. About 1 meter long, and made out of 1 inch thick scaffolding board. So with legs, roof, mesh floor, bottom board, bars, the hive itself was getting on for 30kg.

As I say, weight of the colony and stores to add to that is mainly just a case of how much honey is stored, as nothing else weighs very much. Indeed could be a further 30kg (lots of stored ovey honey last autumn), which is probably more than they could possibly need - you could always remove some.

Looked in a hive only the other day - comb after comb of capped honey added just recently, probably ivy. Could take some, but will leave it (late October, after all). If it's still there in spring, will probably make mead out of it - like last year.

Must weigh my hives again soon and monitor over winter. I heft each end with a 'luggage scale' and add the two numbers together.
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Cosmicwillow
Guard Bee


Joined: 07 Oct 2015
Posts: 82
Location: U.K. Notts/Lincs/Yorks border

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the extra details CeeBee, still thinking about my next hive design. Wanting to mount on outside of conservatory with window side made from 10/20mm acrylic with cover on inside of conservatory to fulfil blackout for the bees but removable to observe internal action. Thinking it through so more questions may appear on this forum over winter.
P.s. Not run the idea past the wife yet!
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