This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
An ingenious lover of bees has invented a plan for weighing his honey as collected, and gives the following account of his method:
Having lately devised a plan by which to increase my own enjoyment of bee-keeping, it has occurred to mo that many others who take an interest in the subject may like to follow my example, and I submit herewith a sketch of an "Indicator Bee Stand," constructed with a view of enabling the bee-keeper to note the progress of a colony in honey gathering all through the season, bo as to compare, if needful, the influence of a period of fine weather, say for a week or a few days, in increasing the weight of the hive. The indicator is a spiral spring fitted inside a hollow post, and on the spring is a short piece playing freely into the socket, and on this piece the hive-board is placed. A new swarm, hived in a new hive, would form the most interesting subject for a first experiment. When placed on the stand the weight of hive, bees, and board will be indicated on the dial plate by means of the finger which is attached to the spring, and as the process of comb-making, breeding, and honey-collecting goes on, the increasing weight acting on the spring will at all times indicate the gross weight superincumbent on it The one I have made registers up to 60 lbs., but I purpose making one to register to 100 lbs., so as to serve for a set of the large Stewarton or Tegetineier's boxes, both of which I have and purpose stocking with double swarms this season.
The construction of the stand is most simple; the hollow post is of inch stuff, and the short piece that supports the hive is carefully fitted and smoothed with black lead to make it play freely, and as its range of motion perpendicularly is only 3 inches, the action of the spring, even in taking a heavy super, cannot by any possibility cause a jerk. The spring is japanned, to preserve it from the action of the weather; without being so prepared it could hardly be expected to last through a season. The cost of the stand including spring, carpenter's work, and engraving of the plate was 18s., but any one enjoying sufficient leisure and handy in the use of tools might make it for 5s. or 6s. less. As my bees promise to swarm shortly I hope soon to set the stand in action, and anticipate much pleasurable instruction in the daily record of progress which the dial plate will afford me. - Shirley Hibberd, in London Gardener's Chronicle.