4.1.3. The honey meter
One of the most important and widely used
applications of hive scales is the so called ‘honey meter’, a nectar flow
tracking or honey forecasting system. In other words, the aim of the honey
meter is to monitor the timing and potential honey harvest of healthy colonies
of a local area, based on the entering amount of nectar. It is of course an
open discussion as to how representative data from single colonies are. The
best solution is to place all colonies in an apiary on scales, but this is not
feasible due to economic reasons. The Capaz Company has therefore designed a
pallet scale for existing metal pallet system, having four load cells, thus
providing average data for four colonies. The four load cells can measure up to
1.200 kg. Some examples of scale networks functioning as honey meter are given
in Table 11. An example dataset for the weight changes of a colony in Jutland, Denmark
are shown in Fig. 19.
Fig. 19. The Nordic/baltic honey meter. Over 66 scales are distributed in four countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Latvia). Here food/honey consumption/weight gain for the period 1.4.2011-1.9.2011 is shown for a scale located close to the town Hobro in Jutland, Denmark.