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Author Topic: and you thought your 15 hives are too much?  (Read 6182 times)
Mici
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« on: August 18, 2007, 06:52:02 PM »

I've read countless times how you north americans get a 100 pounds out of a hive on a bad year. now..as much as i was astonished by it, it got me thinking, why do we get only 20 pounds, if it's a good year 40.
there is a theory, my theory what could be the cause of this but when i discussed this with a friend he said: " but there are many hive in Slovenia, aren't there, maybe they're competing too much?" (well these aren't the exact words but...)
so i startet thinking and counted at least 150 hives crossing my hives flight paths. this explains a lot!

if you are interested:
http://rkg.gov.si/GERK/viewer.jsp
click SIR on the right, tick the "Cebelnjaki"
there are icons for different type of command at the top but i figure those are international, LOL
now to get to my village:
X,Y =  475967, 87524
and "merilo" should be =  1:68040
now tick the 3km. pas


my hives are not registered so you can't "see them" but i guess you can imagine the 3km radious around the center village.

i hope the instructions are easy enough for everyone (the interested ones) to follow.

(didn't know in which forum to post..the mods will know what to do if it's wrong)

Hope you enyoj the scenery:D
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TwT
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2007, 08:40:22 PM »

I've read countless times how you north americans get a 100 pounds out of a hive on a bad year.

this might happen to a few but not here, I can get 150-200 pounds from a hive if it is a good year and If keep the number of hives down in that area but not on a 20 hive yard, maybe on a 10 hive yard, finnish this post later... bbs
« Last Edit: August 24, 2007, 06:06:18 AM by TwT » Logged

THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 04:35:24 AM »

I've read countless times how you north americans get a 100 pounds out of a hive on a bad year. now..as much as i was astonished by it, it got me thinking, why do we get only 20 pounds, if it's a good year 40

My average yield has been 160 pouns per hive during last 4 years. Now it is bad summer and I got about 120.

The basic to big yields are

1) good queens
2) big hives
3) good pastures
4) not too much bees to share pastures
5) short fly distance, under 1 km.  - more bees longer seaching distances.

Still I wonder every year how one place may give 3-5 fould more that another place.  To finf good pastures is a key to big yields.

I have found that if bees must fly over 1 km to rape field, yield will drop from 200 pound to 100 pound.

This summer I have in my home yard rape, which located 2 km away. Bees got nothing surpluss. Everything was consumed to brood. Nectar was quite wetty for rainy weather.

We have only 2 yield month: June and July.

To get honey in June I must start with protein feeding at the beginning of April. So I have enough bees in foraging age at the end of May.
When my hive is wintered with 2 Lngs.box, I may get 80-180 pound during June. One box wintered hives are not able to get surplus.

This summer all hives were empty when I took them to rape field at the beginning of Junly.

What I am saying: Hive must be ready to attack when weather is good and certain flowers are blooming. 

**********

What I have seen Mici's hive, the reason of small yields are:

Small hives
no migrating= pastures are what they are near home
perhaps over grazing


How to avoid honey yield:

1) Dont select queens. Use what ever wghich has long abdomen.
2) Use swarming hives, let them escape
3) Fill hive with sugar allredy in spring
4) Like natural methods
5) Think bees as petties, not as production units.
6) Do work with bees as little as possible.
7) use  metdods against bees natural insticnts.

Cool Most important: believe everybody who says something - the more stupid the more fantastic!

9) If you are beginner, renew the whole beekeeping at once and refind the wheel( and every year of course)

.
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Mici
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 06:01:13 AM »

in this particular case, long and rich beekeeping culture is not my ally, an enemy actually.

it's a vicious circle, let's say...two hundred years ago, almost every household had a hive or two so, locations were already over-populated by bees.
so when movable-frame type of hives became available, people saw that if they had more hives they would get bigger yield.
sugar became available so there were only "few" beeks left, and they had a lot of hives which were unable to perform at it's best so it became obvious that a small hive is sufficient. more than 95% of local beeks would be willing to argue real badly about 2 deeps being more than enough for our circumstances. well they actually are but...
but i guess i would have very little luck convincing local beeks to reduce their number of hives from 20-60, down to 5, so basicly i'm just scouting for the most isolated location where i could put a hive or two, to see how big yields i would get.
but as you can see, very little is bee-free, or it's a pasture area which means you can't put hives there.

big yield however can be achieved with our type of hive, but instead of just one extraction, you muct perform extraction all year long. there also is a lot of migratory beekeeping going round, but..an average per hive can't be that big if you bring 120 hives on one location, can it?
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Understudy
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2007, 07:50:24 AM »

My best year has been 110 lbs/49.8 kg out of one hive. However that is drawing from a hive several times over the year. I usually do about 80 lbs/36.2 kg.

This year my biggest problem will be my having been on the road so much this year.

I don't have more than 7 mediums on a hive(total including brood). Because it gets to be to much work. Also if I pull a  hive body off I replace it.

I don't do pollination or place my bees near fields. So for a backyard beekeeper I don't think I do to bad.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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TwT
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2007, 07:53:23 AM »

there also is a lot of migratory beekeeping going round, but..an average per hive can't be that big if you bring 120 hives on one location, can it?


I like the term finsky uses, OVER GRAZING, it is easy to over graze a area with to many hives in a location, it would have to bee good pastures just for 120 hive to survive without feeding, you could put 10 hives in a location and get more honey from those 10 than you will putting 20 hives in a single location, sometimes you might put 5 hives there and get a lot more honey than using 10 hives, it takes a lot of honey to raise bee's per hive and the more hives the more they eat and you dont get...
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
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Mici
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2007, 08:01:12 AM »

i know this (now that a friend reminded me of this issue)
but do we have any voulenteers to convince 10.000 beeks with around 15.000 hives to at least half the number?
a hive can cover roughly 90km2
slovenia is about 25.000km2
if i take away the empty areas which can be seen on that map (pasture, mountain areas) you end up with 1hive/km2

talk about over grazing...

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TwT
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2007, 08:12:52 AM »

yeah then you have to remember the wild hives in the area if any...
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2007, 11:12:12 AM »

and when you guys use the term area do you mean a one mile radius?
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Mici
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2007, 01:20:21 PM »

you mean about those circles around the triangles(apiaryes), those are 2 mile radious-3km
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2007, 06:36:17 PM »

Also, to get a good crop you need a lot of bees per hive.  Two hives with 50,000 bees will not make NEARLY the total honey that one hive with 100,000 bees will.  A certain number of bees is just the overhead of running the hive.  The rest are foragers.  It's like you paying the rent and utilities on two houses instead of one.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2007, 02:03:07 PM »

Also, to get a good crop you need a lot of bees per hive.  Two hives with 50,000 bees will not make NEARLY the total honey that one hive with 100,000 bees will. 


My experience is that  100 000 bees  = 5 langstroth boxes makes 50% more honey than  two 50 000 = 3 boxes. Small hive is not able to handle great honey flow.  1 box honey need 2 other box where to rippen nectar.

5 kg swarm occupies 2 langstroth boxes. Soon you have onother box brood and where bees put 100 lbs honey?
On rape field hive is full during one week and then they swarm.

The queen must be bad quality if it cannot make more than 3 boxes bees.  I put two that kind of hives together for main yield and I prefer to use bad queen during main yield.  There is a big difference within hives  how much hives have brood and nurser bees involved larvae nursing.

The worst situation is that you have basicly the queen which is able to lay 2 boxes. Hive is at firts weak and then flow comes better. Hive start to raise brood. So you have "flesh colony". 5 boxes bees but no honey.  The reason is that bees are not old enough to forage.  That happened this summer after cold early summer.

Chalk brood makes same thing. When colony recover, it is late summer and half of yield has gone.

If you have poor pastures, nothing helps. Last summer I had 50 hectares rape and 4 medium size hives (4 boxes each). They got very little honey because of dry weather.  Some kilometers away I got 5 times more from moist area.

As you have seen, pastures are very seldom discussed area on forums because very few use migration beekeeping.

My opinion is that flowers makes nectar and bees gather it which is on the field. Good flows are rare during summer. Most time bees forage poor pastures. We have 4 moths flowers but bees get main honey stores during best 2 weeks period. Dry soil may ruin yield even if you have flowers up to horizont.

So put 20 hives on pastures where 2 hives are enough during 80% of summer time.



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Finsky
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2007, 03:43:24 AM »

.
How I waked up with pastures?

It was 20 years ago and I hade 15 Italian hives on my cottage yard.

I got a call 7 miles away that there is a swarm in farm house garden.  Swarm occupied 2 Lang troth boxes. So it had 40 000 bees = 8 pounds.  Furthermore it was full of mites and I cleaned it with Perizin. I leaved a swarm alone near farmhouse and nearest beehives were 1 miles away.

The result was that that 2-box swarm collected as much honey as best hive on cottage yard. So I realized that I had 15 hives and half mile away another guy had 15-20 hives.

Next summer I had none hives on my cottage yard and started to get from every hive 200 lbs honey from one point.
That lasted 2 years and yield dropped 80%. I thought that bad weathers were the reason.
One year (1991?) I had in that point hives and 3 miles away another yard.  In that another yard every hive again got over 200 lbs honey and the first place got about 40 lbs per hive.  So, again I realized that pastures are not ready and keep hives in same distant place means not good yield.

In Finland cut forest areas with all kind of weeds are important to honey crop. After a couple of years hay takes over the pasture and honey crop ceases.

Then I noticed that sand and cliff based cutting areas are poor and best choice is clay based soil.  The difference is easily 5 fold.

During 20 years I have wondered pastures and every year they make me surprise.

In my corner of Finland there are few beekeepers. I may select virgin pastures but it is not easy at all.
That is really interesting.

Big hives 5-6 boxes is absolutely necessary in my situation. I have 2-4 hives per place. When good flow starts, during 2 week blooming hive gets on average 160 lbs honey.   It means that you need 7 medium boxes' volume to store that yield. It does not happen always but I must prepare for that.

To select area where I have possibility to catch fireweed yield and rape yield is strategic choice. To play with one card is a big risk.

That system needs often big work. But I take care of hives all year around.  Why do not bother when time is to hit. Busy time is only one month during year’s course.  If your intension is to minimize work with bees, you will not get good honey yield.

Yes, you may have as good hives as possible, but if you do not have good pastures, you will not get good yields.

If you have poor quality hives and good pastures, you will get quite good yield. It depends, how much flowers have nectar to be collected.

Big hives has enormous capacity to collect honey if it exist on the field, but it depends and depends....
.



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KONASDAD
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2007, 11:25:24 AM »

Welscome Back Finsky!

I have a friend who lives about 1/2 a mile from me. He used to farm. He says he never sees bees in his yard, but knows I keep some. Three weeks ago, he called and said he has lots of honeybees this week. This coincided w/ me going from two hives to five in my one acre yard. My bees are obviously expanding there range b/c of increased competion. I will find out next year if it excedes capacity when I compare honey results. I hope to move two away come spring.
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2008, 10:35:12 AM »

i know this (now that a friend reminded me of this issue)
but do we have any voulenteers to convince 10.000 beeks with around 15.000 hives to at least half the number?
a hive can cover roughly 90km2
slovenia is about 25.000km2
if i take away the empty areas which can be seen on that map (pasture, mountain areas) you end up with 1hive/km2

talk about over grazing...



This is a classic problem called "the tragedy of the commons" - when there is a resource that anyone can use and profit from (like village pasture or in this case, bee pasture), then there is an economic incentive for everyone to keep adding sheep (or hives). In the case of sheep, it leads to overgrazing and erosion. With bees, it results in better pollination but lower yields per hive (and possibly weaker hives). 

The English language wikipedia has a discussion on this topic and there are several good essays out there. 
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