BeeWeigh weighing a hive

A BeeWeigh ready to weigh a hive

This BeeWeigh was constructed from half of a premium fir 2x4x8 from a lumber yard.  It was sanded a little to eliminate roughness and then ripped length-wise.

A mustad fish scale

The Mustad fish scale

The BeeWeigh uses a Mustad fish scale which is available on-line from Walmart or Amazon.  It has a capacity of 50 pounds and is highly accurate. It also features an automatic save of the weight with an audible signal.  This is very helpful when making measurements.  The cost is a little over $20.  Formerly, a scale manufactured by Berkley was used. However, the case of the Berkley scale was redesigned. These changes made it less suitable for use with the BeeWeigh.





The amount of lift provided by the device is the distance between the  bottom of the fulcrum dowel and the top of the lifting dowel. The dowels are flattened on one side where they join the horizontal arm.  The purpose is to reduce the stress at the joint. Removing approximately one-quarter inch of the dowel should be sufficient.  Or, use a router with a semi-circular bit to route a groove for each dowel in the arm of the BeeWeigh.  This approach is more accurate than flattening the dowels.

A note about the length of the horizontal arm: A BeeWeigh similar to  that shown with an arm length of 46 inches has a mechanical advantage factor of 4.431  and a tare weight of 3.4375 pounds. This configuration requires a pull on the fish  scale of about 12 pounds to raise the side of a hive weighing 130 pounds. This is a  reasonable amount of effort. For very heavy hives, lengthening of the arm would reduce  the amount of pull required on the scale. There is an inverse relationship between  length of the arm and the amount of force required to obtain a scale reading. A hive  weighing 200 pounds will require a scale pull of about 20 pounds. This is probably the  upper limit of what is comfortable to do. If you have very heavy hives, you might want  to lengthen the horizontal arm.