Hive Net Weight

The net weight of a beehive consists of:

  1. The bees themselves.
  2. The wax they create.
  3. The brood.
  4. Any stores such as pollen or honey.

The gross weight of the hive includes the items which make up the net weight plus:

  1. The woodenware which comprises the hive.
  2. Any wax foundation which have been added.

The gross weight of a hive varies over time as hive components are added or removed, as the amount of brood changes and as the bees buildup or consume their stores. Hence, this is not a good measure of the condition of the hive. What is a good measure is the net weight of the contents of the hive.

In order to determine the net weight of the contents of the hive, it is necessary to determine the tare weight of the hive components. One way to do this is to use the fish scale to weigh the individual pieces of the hive before they are filled with brood/stores by the bees. Below is a table with the weights of various components of a sample hive. The tare weight of this sample hive is 55.34 pounds.  An Excel spreadsheet is very useful to track the components and tare weights of a number of hives. Obvousily, the hive tare weight changes each time a component is added or removed.

Tare Weight of Hive Components (10 Frame        Equipment)
Item Weight in Pounds # Items in Hive Total Item Weight
Outer Cover 8.5 1 8.5
Inner Cover 1.75 1 1.75
Medium Super w/frames and wax 10.25 1 10.25
Deep Body w/frames and no wax 13.6875 2 27.4
Hive Stand 3.38 1 3.38
Screened Bottom Board 4.06 1 4.06
Miller Feeder 5.88 0 0
Tare Weight of Sample Hive 55.34
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