2 Hives, (using queen excluders) final 2008 season tally: 312 lbs
How did you ever do that much? How many supers made up each hive?? WOW, that is so great.
I have 2 hives and zero honey this year. I will never have that much out here because of our drought conditions in the summer the bees do not make so much honey.
I'm so sorry about your missing honey this year. Are your bees healthy?
Our bees just amazed us this year. I don't know how to explain it. But from others I've talked to who have been doing this much longer, 150 lbs per hive is closer to a typical season. Then maybe it's just the first "typical" season we've had.
We had a very hot and dry July
here with absolutely zero precipitation from June 4th through the end of July at my house. May and August were about normal but spring was also late and very dry. But my little 2 acre plot is not enough to sustain them, no matter how many blooming things I've got in my yard so they are finding it somewhere.
One of the colonies was brand new
this spring and had to start from just a 3 lb package! They were fast to build up and very productive even though there were a bit "hot" to handle. (Minnesota Hygienic). Our other colony is a 2nd year Italian queen from Georgia. They were troopers too but never complained or got bothered about the four times we stole the honey. (I wish I could clone that queen.)
At any given time, we had no more than 6 supers loaded on the hives (3+3) because that is all we own.
Thinking back over it, I've been trying to understand what went right this year. I suppose one big factor was that we had fully drawn comb on most of the supers we put out this year for the first time. That is we reused comb from supers we had previously harvested. That helped a lot. It seems like it takes them forever to pull the first comb from those plastic foundations. Also we harvested a total of four times (which was a pain) but because we ran out of supers and one of the hives was so tall we had to use a ladder
to open it we were forced to take some out mid-season. When we did, we just returned the freshly harvested supers right away and that always gave them a headstart on the next batch. Healthy bees + constant nectar flow (from somewhere?) + plenty of ready to fill storage place = great harvest.
We really enjoyed the difference in the flavor from each harvest, they seemed to get better each time. Even with all that, we put away about one full super of partially capped honey frames that we may feed back to them in the late winter.