As I posted before, I purchased a Broodminder scale when the indiegogo campaign was occurring this summer. My favorite part is just uploading the data to my phone, no plates or balance arm needed. It’s low profile, sleek and light.
The scale provides data showing the humidity and temperature levels. As the electronic portion of the scale is well protected, I believe the humidity level is not super accurate. However, the Broodminder folk do have an in-hive temperature and humidity sensor that one can install if one is interested.
I just have the scale and I love it. I love seeing the bees leave the colony, come back and evaporate their stores. If I choose to, I can have real time data uploaded every second or two. But I have it set to an hourly reading and I think that’s enough.
It’s not perfectly calibrated (you do that by placing a known weight on the hive and adjusting the scale factor) but it’s pretty close. I’m hoping to play with that this weekend.
Here is what the data look like:
This is what the screen looks like. I can move the bottom chart to see any part of the green line; I can also zoom in and out–just like with my phone, by moving my fingers together or apart. The increments are 6 hours apart, so you can see the weight of the colony drop as the foragers leave and then slowly increase as they bring stores back to the colony.
You may notice that the colony has put on 10 lbs of weight a day for the past few days…I suspect robbing and now need to check my other colonies to make sure they are not the victims. I’ve watched those bees and they do not appear to be going to one of my other hives. I suspect they are robbing someone’s weak colony.
I strongly, strongly recommend getting and using a scale. I can’t wait for spring.