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Offline danno

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my harvest is way down
« on: August 28, 2009, 02:37:21 PM »
We never really did have a summer this year.  I just looked at our area automated weather and the warmest day was back in june at 89.1 deg.  We hard ever touched 80.  Winds have been way higher than average.  My honey is usually very light but this year it is dark and strong.   Not sure where that came from. 

Offline sc-bee

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 05:32:56 PM »
Mine is 1/3 of last year. Too much rain.
John 3:16

Offline acbs

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 06:42:09 PM »
We sure know what you're talking about here in Central Illinois.  We will also be lucky to get a 1/3 of last year.
Checked one of our yards yesterday and just got back from another one today.  Really discouraging.  If it hadn't been for the early comb sections I managed to get this year we wouldn't have much.  Some of our double brood box hives never even needed a super and even some of those are lighter now than I'm really comfortable with.  For example, we have 5 supers divided up between 4 strong double brood hives a little apart from the rest of the hives in one yard.  We'll be lucky to get a total of 2 supers of capped honey from the 5.  This yard is located in a truck patch with lots of apple, peach, and apricot trees with blackberries, strawberries, and other produce.  It's next to a lake with woods, fields, weeds, and wildflowers within easy foraging range.  Has been an excellent yard in the past.  Too much rain, cool weather, and wind.  Thankfully at present we have lots of healthy bees in hives that range from fair to heavy amounts of pollen and little to plenty of nectar.  The queens are slowing down on laying.  Still have a higher number of drones in some colonies than I would expect under the circumstances.  Hopefully they know something I don't.  Still have time for fall foraging.  Main concern now is to get what we have through the winter.
Arvin
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Offline Boom Buzz

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 10:29:22 PM »
Yeah! must be that global warm..um, wait global cool, uh..changing weather pattern..uhhh.  Here in Colorado we have had the mildest summer by far in the 10 years we have been here.  Very few days over 90.  I hope to harvest one or two frames in the next couple of weeks - total for the season on three hives.  Granted all were started this year.  So I don't have enough experience to blame it on the weather.  But it has been cooler this year here too.  :-D

Happy Honey Harvest!

john

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 05:38:51 AM »
From what I have read, it seems like honey production is down in all major producing countries.  Buying price should be over $2.00 a pound from packers.  You think that will happen.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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Offline PeeVee

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 07:19:46 AM »
My first year. If it stops raining and warms up I'll be doing another check for weight.

In my limited experience javascript:void(0); I was thinking the girls were doing pretty good with the Goldenrod. Then the few warm days have left us with a lot of rain again.

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Offline MustbeeNuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2009, 09:46:54 AM »
We never really did have a summer this year.  I just looked at our area automated weather and the warmest day was back in june at 89.1 deg.  We hard ever touched 80.  Winds have been way higher than average.  My honey is usually very light but this year it is dark and strong.   Not sure where that came from.  

Hey Danno , I noticed the same thing down here?? I figured it was the bees. The dark honey part.
Last year it was like this,


This year like this
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Offline irekkin

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2009, 10:38:47 AM »
same story here in cen. va. the folks i've talked to, big and small, have'nt made half the crop they usually make.
when you're dumb, ya gotta be tough.

Offline mlewis48

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 12:13:17 PM »
 It is the same, here in Southern Ohio. Spring was too wet and Summer never came. I don't expect much of a Fall flow either. Let's hope that next year will be better, I don't see it getting any worse......
                                              Marc
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Offline MustbeeNuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2009, 03:32:57 PM »
I think the season is over now.. won't get much warmer I'm sure. 57f here today. bees are hardly moving at all.
Each new day brings decisions,  these are  new branches on the tree of life.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2009, 11:58:07 PM »
What harvest  :?  :lau: :lau: :lau:



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :)
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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Offline Jack

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2009, 08:57:13 AM »
Checked 8 hives yesterday with the help of my new and knowledgeable bee friend. We found all hives to be light and in need of feed immediately. Two are wintered over so I had hoped for a bit of surplus but that is not in the cards. It has been a bad year for beekeeping unless your only goal was to build new comb. I would expect honey prices to go up from what I am reading.

Offline mswartfager

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2009, 09:48:59 AM »
I agree with Jim...What harvest!  Golden Rod is at its peak here, but not much to show for it.  Talked to others in this area with same (lack of) results.

Online kathyp

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2009, 11:43:07 AM »
i just finished taking mine and got about 10 pounds.  that's pretty sad.  wonder how the other PNW folks did?
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline Irwin

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2009, 11:48:37 AM »
i just finished taking mine and got about 10 pounds.  that's pretty sad.  wonder how the other PNW folks did?
Nota drop been feeding and put a pollen patty on yesterday
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Offline bee-nuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2009, 05:20:31 AM »
I have not harvested yet, but I plan on it very soon.  I have four different farmers within 1/4 to 3/4 of a miles that have alfalfa.  It was all in bloom.  The biggest two just cut it down.  I still have about 30 acres left that they can work.  I'm hoping that the stuff cut will bloom right back out when it starts recovering and that what is left will be there till then.  I am waiting for the girls to finish capping what they have now.  I hope to harvest that at the end of this week or early the following at latest.  I will report then.  All the honey I had this spring was mixed with sugar water and I just sacrificed half of these to some nucs that need them the rest I'm leaving for winter stores of course.  If it were not for this lucky alfalfa bloom, I think I would be getting nothing either.  My girls have paid no attention to the goldenrod at all.  Crazy!!
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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Offline tandemrx

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2009, 11:49:46 AM »
Just removed 9 supers from 4 hives yesterday.  I think I might get 2 supers of capped frames to spin out  :'(.

Very odd in that on some frames there is a patch of capped honey about the size of a 3x5 card on the frame, but the rest of the frame is drawn, but near empty, not even much nectar. . . and the capped section looks like it has been capped for a while.  Almost as if they had been feeding from the supers and depleting their own supplies during the summer.  I know that some of the frames had been more full - but I so no evidence of robbing during any of my visits.

The hive bodies also seemed very light, so while there seems to be a HUGE goldenrod bloom and some alfalfa might bloom in next door field (although I don't see any goldenrod within any visual distance of the hives), rather than leave some supers on and hope they fill them, I think it is time to make sure they can fill up their hive bodies for winter and see where I am with mite counts.

I have seen a couple bees with deformed wings.  :-\

A tough day yesterday.  We will see what I can get for amount of honey today when we fire up the Power Ranger.

Bee populations didn't look horrible, but activity at entrances was not what I would expect at 3 of the 4 hives for a 78 degree sunny day.  I will inspect more fully in a week or so.

The bees were very calm as we stole the supers.

Offline vermmy35

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2009, 12:05:45 PM »
I am sorry to hear that everyone is having problems.  This was my first year and I harvested 75 lbs. and when I put the suppers back on the hive so the girls could clean and dry them.  When I went out to pull the suppers I found out that the girls had filled one of the med. supers before I could pull it off.  Also my deeps are heavy and full of brood, the weather here in Chicago has also been crappy all summer long, but I think they really had no Competition in the area and that is why they did so well. 
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Offline rast

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2009, 02:34:29 PM »
 It's a big "What Harvest?" club this year.
Fools argue; wise men discuss.
    --Paramahansa Yogananda

Offline skflyfish

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2009, 06:12:13 PM »
I just started harvesting and extracting, a few frames at a time, so I don't know what my yield will be, but it appears to be close to what I was getting last year. My honey from my first hive is light, like last year. Weird, eh, cause I am between Al and Danno.

Jay


Offline daniel

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2009, 08:40:42 PM »
We had 370 pounds off six hives this year. I also noticed frames not drawn out even or capped. It would have been better if I would have controlled the swarming better. We had two swarm early and one late. I should have split more of the hives to reduce the population earlier in the year. I learn more every year than the girls change the rules!!  Dan

Online kathyp

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2009, 08:53:33 PM »
Quote
We had 370 pounds off six hives this year

wow.  congratulations!  nice to hear that not everyone had a bad year.  you should be getting good money this year.  i have heard the prices are up.
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline contactme_11

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 09:42:26 AM »
What harvest  :?  :lau: :lau: :lau:
    BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :)
That's the way I feel. 5 hives and I've harvested 4 frames this year and now I'm feeding. I thought last year was bad...

Offline Jim 134

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2009, 06:37:18 PM »
contactme_11 .......


 I got 2  :'(  frames this year on 12  hives and I will be feeding.


       BEE HAPPY Jim  :)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 06:21:05 PM by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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Offline MustbeeNuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 08:52:38 PM »
so my total this year is 125lbs from nine hives. I think thats pretty poor. but this is just my second season. theres always NEXT year.!! LOL
you know that seems to be a pretty popular belief. wonder if its ever correct. . lol
Each new day brings decisions,  these are  new branches on the tree of life.

Offline mherndon

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2009, 10:07:37 PM »
I was lucky and harvested 90 lbs. off two hives.  One was very strong and the other was from a split off the main hive early this Spring.  I left what honey was uncapped.  I pulled one super that wasn't capped and have it in the freezer now.  Golden rod is all over and I planted some buckwheat 3+ weeks ago and the girls are tearing it up each morning.  I harvested two times.  Once in the middle of June and the second at the end of July.  Only did this to try to focus on sourwood on the second go around.  I started feeding this weekend also to build up plenty of stores.


Mark
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Offline contactme_11

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2009, 01:47:20 PM »
Why do you think it was so bad this year? All the rain?
contactme_11 .......


 I got 2  :'(  frames this year on 12  hives and I will be feeing.


       BEE HAPPY Jim  :)

Offline Jim 134

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2009, 06:19:52 PM »
Why do you think it was so bad this year? All the rain?





contactme_11 .......


 I got 2  :'(  frames this year on 12  hives and I will be feeding.


       BEE HAPPY Jim  :)


Rain and cool IMO no 90F in June or July

           BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 07:01:06 AM by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2009, 01:29:53 AM »
Well I pulled honey today and thanks to my great harvesting skills I am now lucky if I get 30-40 pounds of honey instead of 80-100.

I was going to just brush bees off the frames yesterday but I bought some bee escapes this spring so I figured I better see if they work.  A friend came along to help.  I have been waiting for the bees to cap honey and to my disappointment the uncapped frames looked the same.  One hive had a deep super full of caped honey so I put the inner cover and bee escape in put the super one and moved to the next hive to look at stores and my Buddy put the inner cover and outer cover on.  I forgot that that inner cover had three Popsicle sticks on it.  I worked all weekend and got called in Monday.  Tuesday I was woke early so I still did not get to sleep in and catch up till today.  By the time I got out to pull honey it was five.  As soon as I pulled up to the hives I knew what happend and I was glad to share with nature and the bees many great words of my disapproval.  They emptyed the whole super other than maybe one frame if you added it all up.  One by one I shook off all the frames and soon knew which hive had robbed me and the colony blind for soon there was a monster beard of bees on the hive the robbers belonged to.  The evidence was clear when I looked through there hive when I found almost every frame in there brood chambers full of uncapped honey.  They filled all the empty cells around hatched brood.  Frames on outside that were mostly bare last time I inspected the hive were full to the brim of stolen honey (every cell full and not one cell capped).  I was so mad.  Only one hive had a full box of caped frames on it.  Gone in one day.  Anyway I rumaged through three hives and came up with maybe forty pounds of honey. 

Now I have a question.  The hive that stole the honey looks like this.

Two deeps for brood and two mediums for honey.  The one medium is all drawn and each side of frames are 30-40% capped.  so I did not take it.  Other medium is just foundation (I added this box for room so they would not swarm).  The bottom two boxes are loaded with brood pollen and honey.  They filled every available cell in these boxes with the honey they stole.  Now the queen has nowhere to lay eggs.  Will they now move the honey up into the medium boxes to make room for the queen or will they just leave it there, stopping brood rearing.  IF they move it up that will be great because they will fill and cap the one box so I can take it and hopefully draw the other box out.  If they don't I am worried they could swarm or stop raising brood and not have the bees they need to winter.

I am so disappointed with myself for allowing such a stupid mistake to cost most  of my harvest.  I know better than to leave any opening into a box when using a bee escape.  If I would have woke up at ten like I wanted to I would have probably have caught the disaster in time to have little loss.  I guess I should just be happy these hives are alive and not starving like many hive are in the country right now.  A 50 cent bee escape cost me 60 pounds of honey.  Oh well!!
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Offline GaryMinckler

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2009, 06:55:23 AM »
No harvest for me this year.  4 established colonies made about 7-8 surplus medium frames.  I split that up between 2 colonies that were a little light. (Swarms)   

Offline fcderosa

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2009, 11:37:14 AM »
Four hives at the beginning of season.  End of season; 8 Med frames of honey from the feral hive, have been feeding the other three, will have to combine two of the hives hoping they'll survive the winter.  Have decided to feed the feral hive as well.  Two bad years in a row.  Have also decided to split the bee yard to various locations on my property than in one location
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Offline annette

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2009, 04:15:42 PM »
This was definitely my worst year. I pulled only 5 medium frames and although the remaining stores looked sufficient a month ago, well they ate through them already and now I am feeding, feeding, feeding 3 out of 4 hives. Every night making sugar syrup like clock work.

I am so ready for winter. Goodnight little girls.

Offline honeytaker

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2009, 08:42:30 PM »
I don't know why all the bad luck this year i live in Michigan and I've had a great year light in the spring dark in the summer and light in the fall been averaging 5 gallons per super i got lots of pictures ill post for the shock and awe

Offline blckoakbees

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2009, 08:09:00 AM »
 :-D After reading all your experience, I feel pretty good.  I have five hives from last year.  Increased by five hives with swarms and splits.  I did purchase some new queens.  I got 60 pounds from the three hives in one location and approximately 260 pounds from the other hives.  I have comb honey in the freezer. We have been eating and giving away honey so I do not have an exact amount.  Cooler summer than usual here and the flowers bloomed longer. I also know there are is still some honey to be harvested in the two of my hives.  I have also four or five frames to feed back in winter

My estimate is 360 pounds this year for 10 hives. Five of which are in their first year.  Now I have to sell more honey. :roll:

Offline phill

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2009, 01:36:46 PM »
No harvest to speak of here, but girls were bringing in pollen by the boatload this afternoon. So I guess it's not quite time to think of winter yet.

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: my harvest is way down
« Reply #35 on: September 20, 2009, 07:30:32 PM »
I ended up with two gallons.  LOL

Hopefully I got a medium capped when I check tomorrow!!  Then its time to focus on winter survival.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

 

anything