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Author Topic: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.  (Read 673 times)

Offline beesnweeds

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3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« on: May 09, 2020, 10:21:27 am »
Just curious what others are finding this year (if you check).  Helping a few beginners install packages I always check weight of the bees along with any dead bees on the bottom of the package with crinkled wings and short abdomens. I usually follow up with a mite check before capped brood.  Nucs I also like to check for sick deformed bees, sometimes I find some not so good nucs.  This year a lot of the packages are under 3lbs coming from Wilbanks.  Maybe they need to check their scale.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 05:43:26 pm »
Maybe the bees were full of honey when packed and have digested it, so weigh less!
I don't do packaged bees, but I do know of a retailer who sells packages that he buys from the BK that is a long way from where they end up, so they must be in the package for many days.
Another BK in Australia was exporting to Canada and they had a sugar syrup dispenser in the package.

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 06:12:09 pm »
Maybe the bees were full of honey when packed and have digested it, so weigh less!
I don't do packaged bees, but I do know of a retailer who sells packages that he buys from the BK that is a long way from where they end up, so they must be in the package for many days.
Another BK in Australia was exporting to Canada and they had a sugar syrup dispenser in the package.

If the bees were full of honey at package time I don't think they could relieve themselves during shipping to effect weight or we would see a big mess on the bottom of the cage.  The bees weren't in the package for very long and the syrup cans are full.  It seems package suppliers always get a pass.  We wouldn't be to happy if we got shorted at the deli or gas pump.  I would love to know the weights of packages of bees from NZ to Canada.

Online AR Beekeeper

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 06:13:18 pm »
How much under weight were the packages?

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2020, 06:15:35 pm »
How much under weight were the packages?
1/2 #

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2020, 11:45:35 pm »
NZ packages are 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2020, 12:10:51 am »
What's the weight when they arrive to the customer?

Online TheHoneyPump

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3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2020, 12:27:17 am »
1 kg + of actual bees, the syrup is not included in that weight.

If you think you have been shorted, call your supplier and get yourselves sorted.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2020, 09:18:53 am »
NZ packages are 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
Are they still called 3lb package?
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2020, 09:59:26 am »
Any Canadian and US beekeepers willing to weigh packages and post it?

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2020, 10:33:26 am »


If you think you have been shorted, call your supplier and get yourselves sorted.

The issue isn't calling the middle guy to make good on it, but the beginners or others who never know they have been shorted.  The price of a pound of bees in the US is about $45.00.  So if the producer shorts 5000 packages a 1/2#  of the 20,000 or more they make that would be $112,500 extra in profit. Not bad! I'm not saying they do, but the potential is there and who checks it?

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2020, 12:43:53 pm »
NZ packages are 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
Are they still called 3lb package?
No.  The NZ are called and sold in metric sizes as:  1 kg,  1.5 kg, and 2 kg 
1 kg = 2.2 lb
1.5 kg = 3.3 lb
2 kg = 4.4 lb
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 01:55:25 pm »
>Maybe the bees were full of honey when packed and have digested it, so weigh less!

Bingo.  They feed them up before they weigh them.  They burn it off on the trip.  The weight left as CO2 and H2O.
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2020, 11:55:39 pm »
>Maybe the bees were full of honey when packed and have digested it, so weigh less!

Bingo.  They feed them up before they weigh them.  They burn it off on the trip.  The weight left as CO2 and H2O.

I've weighed them in the past and almost all packages are 3lbs. or more.  I don't believe they can burn 1/2 pound of honey in between 24 and 48 hour trip without taking some kind of cleansing flight.  If my hives needed that much honey to survive they then would need about 1500 pounds of stores to make it a full year.

If they are left in the cage for 4 or 5 days would they be less than 2 pounds?  Or do they weigh out 2.5 pounds of bees and feed them 1/2 a pound of honey?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 12:18:02 am by beesnweeds »

Offline Acebird

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2020, 08:40:40 am »

No.  The NZ are called and sold in metric sizes as:  1 kg,  1.5 kg, and 2 kg 
1 kg = 2.2 lb
1.5 kg = 3.3 lb
2 kg = 4.4 lb
Ok that is good to know but the thread was started by someone in upstate NY.
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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 10:20:33 pm »
Quote
I don't believe they can burn 1/2 pound of honey in between 24 and 48 hour trip without taking some kind of cleansing flight.

Your problem here is in burning Honey vs. Pollens.  Like Mr. Bush says, Honey is carbohydrate, that breaks down into CO2 and H2O, or Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor.  Cleansing flights are almost always from eating solids.  So drinking syrup, and burning the honey they stomached wouldn't entirely build up wastes in their GI tract.  A few days without a flight probably wouldn't cause a mess.  Having months at a time without any relief would cause problems.

In this case, you have 10,000 tiny bodies trying to keep their metabolism.  I can imagine a cup of honey/syrup would be burned in 2 days.  When they're foraging, they eat that as nectar, they process the excess as honey.  I can't say what the maple flow is like in NY, I'm down here in Alabama, and the Maples start blooming in January here.
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 11:45:48 pm »

Your problem here is in burning Honey vs. Pollens.  Like Mr. Bush says, Honey is carbohydrate, that breaks down into CO2 and H2O, or Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor.  Cleansing flights are almost always from eating solids.  So drinking syrup, and burning the honey they stomached wouldn't entirely build up wastes in their GI tract.  A few days without a flight probably wouldn't cause a mess.  Having months at a time without any relief would cause problems.

In this case, you have 10,000 tiny bodies trying to keep their metabolism.  I can imagine a cup of honey/syrup would be burned in 2 days.  When they're foraging, they eat that as nectar, they process the excess as honey.  I can't say what the maple flow is like in NY, I'm down here in Alabama, and the Maples start blooming in January here.

Michael Bush said that 1/2 pound is burned off in the form of H20 and C02.  I'm not sure what C02 weighs, but I do know 1/2 pound of water is about a cup.  So you are saying that 10,000 tiny bodies will give off (expel) a cup of water in 24 hrs. to keep their metabolism?  I'm finding all this very hard to believe.  Do you have sources for this info?  This is the first I ever heard that cleansing flights are always from eating solids.

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2020, 12:33:25 am »
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2020, 12:41:09 am »
Capt,
They use the condensation that collects on the inside of the boxes.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2020, 08:57:42 am »
So you are saying that 10,000 tiny bodies will give off (expel) a cup of water in 24 hrs. to keep their metabolism?  I'm finding all this very hard to believe.  Do you have sources for this info?
I don't know where to point you to but when I was living in Upstate my bees consumed 40-50 pounds of honey.  Let's call it 50 for round numbers.  Honey is 80% water, so 40 pounds of water gets expelled through a NY winter.  That is 4.8 gal. of water!  Drowning bees from their own exhale is a thing.  Now on the other side of the equation you have 10 pounds of poop.  Loosing half of it during a January thaw is a nice thing for the bees.  When this doesn't happen the cases of nosema in the spring are greatly increased.  Yet they survive.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2020, 12:27:42 pm »
So you are saying that 10,000 tiny bodies will give off (expel) a cup of water in 24 hrs. to keep their metabolism?  I'm finding all this very hard to believe.  Do you have sources for this info?
I don't know where to point you to but when I was living in Upstate my bees consumed 40-50 pounds of honey.  Let's call it 50 for round numbers.  Honey is 80% water, so 40 pounds of water gets expelled through a NY winter.  That is 4.8 gal. of water!  Drowning bees from their own exhale is a thing.  Now on the other side of the equation you have 10 pounds of poop.  Loosing half of it during a January thaw is a nice thing for the bees.  When this doesn't happen the cases of nosema in the spring are greatly increased.  Yet they survive.
I agree that bees can expel a surprising amount of water through respiration, and I too have witnessed this in winter from personal experience, but I think your numbers are off.  Honey is approx. 17% water, not 80%.   
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Offline JConnolly

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2020, 02:52:06 pm »
Michael Bush said that 1/2 pound is burned off in the form of H20 and C02.  I'm not sure what C02 weighs, but I do know 1/2 pound of water is about a cup.  So you are saying that 10,000 tiny bodies will give off (expel) a cup of water in 24 hrs. to keep their metabolism?  I'm finding all this very hard to believe.  Do you have sources for this info?  This is the first I ever heard that cleansing flights are always from eating solids.

Why do you find that hard to believe?  If we think it through, a winter colony will go through about 70+ lbs of honey in the 3-4 months of winter.  That is more than 1/2 pound a day.  Putting it that way IMO makes the number a bit more believable and gives it some perspective.  68% of the mass of the sugars are exhaled as water vapor, the rest is exhaled as carbon dioxide.  Excrement is the left overs from the digestion process, not the left overs from metabolic processes.  Incidentally it works the same way in your body too.  It is why you exhale carbon dioxide and why you see water vapor condensation in your breath when you exhale on a cold day.    You inhale oxygen, your body uses that oxygen to react with the sugars in your blood.  Sugar consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.  The oxygen you inhale is added to the sugar where it reacts with carbon atoms in those sugars to make carbon dioxide.  This reaction releases heat that your body uses for energy.  The hydrogen and oxygen of the sugar molecule are left over after the reaction and they combine to make water.



Offline JConnolly

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2020, 03:04:31 pm »
Honey is approx. 17% water, not 80%. 

18% is the water content of the honey.  Each sugar molecule in honey has six carbon atoms, six oxygen atoms, and twelve hydrogen atoms in it.  When the sugar is burned by the bee's cells with oxygen the bee inhaled, then that single molecule of sugar becomes six molecules of water and six molecules of carbon dioxide.  That is where the extra water comes from.  But you are correct that the 80% figure is high but it is not way high.  The figure for the water is 68% by mass including the 18% of free water, and carbon dioxide is 32% by mass.

C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O





Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2020, 04:47:45 pm »
Opinions can be formed on anything. Opinions can be debated, argued, swayed.   
.     Cannot argue with facts and science.

.                 Nice work JC.  👍


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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2020, 06:29:20 pm »
Why do you find that hard to believe? 

Every year I weigh a few packages and they are always 3lbs and many are over that.  This year the packages are 2 1/2 lbs.  The packages are only about 24 hrs. old.  Michael Bush said "Bingo!"  Its because this year they must have burned honey/or sugar syrup they were fed in the form of H20 and C02 causing the package to lose 1/2 a pound.  That's why I find it hard to believe. Sorry I'm skeptical. 

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2020, 06:39:14 pm »
Opinions can be formed on anything. Opinions can be debated, argued, swayed.   
.     Cannot argue with facts and science.

.                 Nice work JC.  👍

Correlation does not imply causation.  I just don't believe the packages are lighter because they are shooting out molecules and atoms.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2020, 07:40:44 pm »
Michael Bush said that 1/2 pound is burned off in the form of H20 and C02.  I'm not sure what C02 weighs, but I do know 1/2 pound of water is about a cup.  So you are saying that 10,000 tiny bodies will give off (expel) a cup of water in 24 hrs. to keep their metabolism?  I'm finding all this very hard to believe.  Do you have sources for this info?  This is the first I ever heard that cleansing flights are always from eating solids.

Why do you find that hard to believe?  If we think it through, a winter colony will go through about 70+ lbs of honey in the 3-4 months of winter.  That is more than 1/2 pound a day.  Putting it that way IMO makes the number a bit more believable and gives it some perspective.  68% of the mass of the sugars are exhaled as water vapor, the rest is exhaled as carbon dioxide.  Excrement is the left overs from the digestion process, not the left overs from metabolic processes.  Incidentally it works the same way in your body too.  It is why you exhale carbon dioxide and why you see water vapor condensation in your breath when you exhale on a cold day.    You inhale oxygen, your body uses that oxygen to react with the sugars in your blood.  Sugar consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.  The oxygen you inhale is added to the sugar where it reacts with carbon atoms in those sugars to make carbon dioxide.  This reaction releases heat that your body uses for energy.  The hydrogen and oxygen of the sugar molecule are left over after the reaction and they combine to make water.
18% is the water content of the honey.  Each sugar molecule in honey has six carbon atoms, six oxygen atoms, and twelve hydrogen atoms in it.  When the sugar is burned by the bee's cells with oxygen the bee inhaled, then that single molecule of sugar becomes six molecules of water and six molecules of carbon dioxide.  That is where the extra water comes from.  But you are correct that the 80% figure is high but it is not way high.  The figure for the water is 68% by mass including the 18% of free water, and carbon dioxide is 32% by mass.

C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O
Phenomenal explanation, JC. 

Correlation does not imply causation.  I just don't believe the packages are lighter because they are shooting out molecules and atoms.
 
As small as they are, those molecules and atoms do have mass, which since we are only talking about bees on earth, essentially equates to weight.  Even humans lose about a cup or 1/2 pound of water every day just breathing.  It wouldn't surprise me that a package of bees all together could also lose that same amount of water in their respiration over the course of a day or two.  I can't speak to why your packages are shorter in weight this year as opposed to others, but I think what Michael Bush and JConnolly described is a probable occurrence.     

   
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2020, 09:59:40 pm »

As small as they are, those molecules and atoms do have mass, which since we are only talking about bees on earth, essentially equates to weight.  Even humans lose about a cup or 1/2 pound of water every day just breathing.  It wouldn't surprise me that a package of bees all together could also lose that same amount of water in their respiration over the course of a day or two.  I can't speak to why your packages are shorter in weight this year as opposed to others, but I think what Michael Bush and JConnolly described is a probable occurrence.     
 

You're correct and so are Bush and JC, they just dropped the weight by breathing.  The idea that a guy could pour 2 1/2 lbs of bees in a package instead of 3 just isn't a good scientific reason for most beekeepers :).  But it would be interesting if others weighed their packages.  Thank You everyone for the replies!

Offline The15thMember

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #28 on: May 13, 2020, 10:38:54 pm »
You're correct and so are Bush and JC, they just dropped the weight by breathing.  The idea that a guy could pour 2 1/2 lbs of bees in a package instead of 3 just isn't a good scientific reason for most beekeepers :).  But it would be interesting if others weighed their packages.  Thank You everyone for the replies!
Just for the record, I did not mean to imply that your packages were lighter this year because of the respiratory weight loss.  If you weigh your 3 lb. packages every year and they are 3 lbs., and this year they are 2 1/2, and nothing else is different (i.e. getting them shipped verses buying local), then obviously it's not due to respiration alone.  I was simply stating that 3 lbs of bees CAN lose a 1/2 lb. of weight, not that yours did.   
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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: 3lb. packages not 3lbs.
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2020, 03:47:46 pm »
Yessir Jim!  What I was getting at was the metabolism of the glucose and fructose in the honey was producing water and carbon dioxide.  That condensation is from their respiration, and that vapor comes from the honey!
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