Scale problems solved – I think

The erratic readings from the scale under a hive have been a problem since some time in December, and it seemed to get a lot worse after we moved the system from a spot on the lawn behind the house, out to the hive stands which now have a power plug installed.  At first I thought it may be wind or rain affecting things differently in the new location, but, in the end I became convinced the scale itself was the root cause of the problem, so I ordered a replacement.  Same scale from the same source, just a brand new one.

The new scale is in place, and like magic, the readings seem to have stablized dramatically.  We are using an inexpensive platform scale for this project, it’s not built to withstand the weather, and it is a single point load cell.  I’m not sure this type of load cell is meant to have a weight on it constantly over the long term, and I suspect over time the cell has possibly just bent a little internally, ie we essentially wore it out.  In the end it doesn’t really matter why the system became unstable, it had to be fixed.  Purchase cost of a replacement scale is in the same ballpark as buying one package or nuc in the spring.  Live data from a hive thru the spring flow has become a very important input for our strategies managing and in some cases micro-managing the hives for honey production.  With 15 hives set to produce honey this spring, scale data has more value to me than another hive, so this was money well spent.