Scientific Beekeeping Is Metric

Science Measures The Same Around The World

One of the interesting things about beeing a scientific beekeeper is using the metric system.  Even though the U.S. still largely uses the Imperial measurement system (cue Darth Vader music) science has pretty much settled on using the Metric system.

When we read the articles by Clarence Collison and Randy Oliver, Tom Seeley and countless other researchers in the magazines, books and websites out  there, they will use metric measurements in their research and discussion.  We being largely still being not used to it, there are times American beekeepers might get a bit beefuddled.

Yet and still we want to promote scientific beekeeping and advocating for beekeepers to be involved in more scientific pursuits or at least more educated on the scientific research.  Research that is rapidly being released almost daily it seems at times.  So then it beehooves us to help people wrap our minds around metric measurements.

Personally, I get a kick from the idea of a bunch of beekeeper citizen scientists, or as I like to call them, “Mad Beekists”.

It doesn’t have to be a total memorization issue either.  There are compromises to be had.  For example, in many measuring products available to us now, they come with both imperial and metric units of measurement on the same item.  Measuring cups, shot-glasses used for measuring, spoon sets, tools like wrenches and bits come in metric sizes.  There are tape measures that are very reasonably priced that have both systems printed on them as well.

A Synopsis On Units

Weight/Mass is measured in grams

Length/Distance is measured in meters

Volume/Space/Liquid is measured in liters

Temperature is measured in degrees of Celcius

Breaking down The Numbers

In Metric system, everything is done in tens.

10 millimeters (1 thousandth of a meter) equal 1 centimeter

10 centimeters (1 hundredth of a meter) equal 1 decimeter

10 decimeters (1 tenth of a meter) equal 1 meter.

10 meters equal 1 decameter

10 decameters (100 meters) equals 1 hectometer

10 hectometers (1000 meters) equals 1 kilometer.

This can be applied pretty much across the board to other areas of measurement such as liters and grams.


Temperature is a bit different.  It is measured using Celsius instead of Fahrenheit.

To start with, in Fahrenheit measurements fresh water freezes at 32°F.  That same fresh water freezes at 0°C in Celsius measurement. (I specify “fresh” water because researchers have noted that depending on the type of water and aspects of it’s makeup, it can freeze at different temperatures.)

Converting from one to the other is also a bit tricky. To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit you could use the following method…

 Multiply by 9, divide that result by 5, then add 32. For example; 

To convert 10 degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit

  • 10×9=90
  • 90/5=18
  • 18+32=50

Thus 10 degrees Celsius = 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Going the other way, converting from Fahrenheit to Celsius is actually using the reverse order.  so

Subtract 32, then multiply by 5 and then divide that result by 9

To convert 90 degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius

  • 90-32=58
  • 58×5=290
  • 290/9=32.2

So 90 Degrees Fahrenheit is 32.2 degrees Celsius.

Sum It Up

So, at home, it really doesn’t matter what system of measurement we use for ourselves.  When it comes to scientific documentation and experimentation though, it really, really helps for everyone to bee on the same page.

By all of us “Citizen Scientists” (I still prefer “Mad Beekists”) sticking to the same system of measurement, it makes it that much easier to have peer reviewed work available and reproducible experimentation to help others either support our findings or come up with different results using the same numbers.  It happens.


Bee Smart and Bee Handy

The Bee Smart project is an aspect of the BBE-Tech Apiary Services effort to help beekeepers to bee successful.  It is the information branch of the BBE-Tech Apiary Services tree.

While the main BBE-Tech website focuses on the services I provide locally to beekeepers, businesses and residents, the Bee Smart project focuses on getting information disseminated and sharing experiences.

To that end, the Bee Smart project is really two branches in one.  The main branch of course is the weekly podcasts, monthly video program and shared content on the website.

A special branch of that is the “Bee Handy” special focus on not just sharing information and experiences but taking people step-by-step through various hands-on projects and activities.

Beecause, “Thought without action is wasted time and action without thought is wasted effort.”  We most certainly do not want to waste time or effort, so we give you the information to stimulate thought and then we go the extra step and walk you through the steps of actually doing things to inspire you to taking action on those thoughts.

Going forward, you will hear me use the phrase, “Bee Smart and Bee Handy” as the new motto of the Bee Smart project.

There will be podcasts, videos and website content geared specifically to “Bee Handy” How-To’s and step-by-step projects.  Please keep an eye out for “Bee Handy” in the titles of those posts, videos and podcasts.

The Bee Smart Project Video Show

Not only do we have the website and the podcasts getting geared up for our community.  We have a monthly, to start out with anyway, video show that will include great action from our content creator team.

The Bee Smart show will kind of, sort of, bee themed after the “Ask This Old House” show that airs on PBS.  At the same time, it will definitely bee its own thing.

We have brought together a team of beekeepers ranging from brand new hobbyists to experienced professionals and experiences in-beetween.   Each of us bringing a special segment or more tot he show that will focus on something that relates to bees, beekeepers and beekeeping.

I can say that personally, I will be bringing the Bee Smart to visit different people, places and groups having to do with beekeeping.  I will bee visiting various beekeeping clubs and associations to show you what different groups are up to and some of the great people who are members of these groups.

I will also take us “backstage” to different places, businesses and operations having to do with all different aspects of bees, beekeepers and beekeeping.  From the warehouses and stores of beekeeping equipment businesses to university functioning educational apiaries and then off to visit the people who use the products of the hive like beeswax soap and candle makers, people who make honey based products and do things with pollen and propolis.

Other members of the Bee Smart beekeeper team will show you How-To tips and take you along as they explain the activities they are involved in beekeeping.  From building equipment to doing live removals or pollinating fields and anything else we can find a way to bring to you.

We will be doing reviews of technology, products and equipment used in beekeeping.  (we encourage people who would like to see our team members try their products out on the show to send them to us for reviewing.  All items sent in for review will be passed along to contest winners and for special patrons rewards (unless otherwise specified by the sender, but we cannot guarantee return of review items sent in.)

There are so many cool things we want to show to you that it just can’t all bee contained in a few episodes.  We are in this for the long haul and we need your help to make it happen.  We want you as a Patron, to help us provide the best quality and content we are able to.  When you sign up as a Patron of the Bee Smart project, you are helping us have the right equipment, get to the places we need to bee and bee at our best to give you our best each and every episode.

Visit the Bee Smart Patreon page and become a Patron today to help us bee our best so that we can help you to bee your best for years to come.

The weekly Bee Smart podcast

Beginning in January 2017, the Bee Smart weekly podcast will become available for streaming and download on a once per week basis.  That might seem obvious up front but it represents quite a challenge in coordinating schedules and keeping interesting topics each and every time.

The purpose of the weekly podcast is to have an opportunity to share ideas, opinions, experiences and insight from a variety of perspectives.  At the core of the podcast panel there is myself, Big Bear, and Tony G.  In this team up alone we have a different perspectives from an experienced, professional apiarist and a new, just learning beekeeper.

Along the way, we will add guest hosts to the panel other beekeepers of different experience levels and those having a speciality or niche that they tend to focus on.  These are possible to include just about anyone with an interesting story, background or perspective on bees, beekeeping or beekeepers.  It could even be you.

The weekly podcast is expected to be a 15 to 30 minute episode in which the podcast panel will talk about something in general relating to bees, beekeepers and beekeeping or it might put more focus on a special interest of one of the podcast panelists.

We don’t plan to do “interviews” with notable beekeepers as a great many times it can put people “on the spot”.  Instead we will invite notable people involved with bees, beekeepers and beekeeping to sit on the podcast panel as a guest panelist.  This way, if there is something in particular the guest panelist would like to discuss, they have the opportunity without it being a “deer caught in the headlights” experience for them.

For the guest panelist, they are one of us for the time and part of a larger conversation.  Hopefully, this keeps it more relaxing, more fun and more interesting for everyone.

Bee Smart is a multimedia project by BBE-Tech Apiary Services that has the grand objective of being a fun way to continue teaching, learning and sharing experiences by beekeepers and people involved in activities and businesses related to beekeeping for everyone who has an interest in bees, beekeepers and beekeeping.