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Author Topic: What honey yields could I have projected?  (Read 2664 times)
luvin honey
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« on: September 03, 2010, 02:38:44 PM »

Hi all--I had my 2 topbars torn apart by bear/s this summer. I had installed two 3# packages with queens, so I know their worth. These bees were dumped into hives that were full of wax from last year's bees, so they were able to get going quite quickly.

So, the DNR (WI Dept. of Natural Resources) is willing to pay to replace the bees and lost honey sales. My friend selling "no-treatment" honey about 2 hours from me is getting almost $7/lb.

My questions:
1. What lb of honey could I reasonably expect from each hive?
2. What price for treatment-free honey could I reasonably expect to ask?
3. How much wax would I have gotten (volume or weight) after the crush and strain. My wax may be the most valuable of all, as I use it to make lip and body balms for sale.

Thanks so much!


luvin' honey
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luvin honey
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 10:13:20 AM »

Anybody, pretty please?  Smiley
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 11:16:11 AM »

$7 a pound in bottles, but the state will pay bulk prices.   Ask $2 a pound and see if they will bite.   You are in the same boat with the wax, since it was unrendered.   They may want to just pay what the going rate for a hive in your area is going for.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 08:55:01 PM »

Thanks, AllenF! Does anyone want to go out on a limb about projected honey yields (great year here) or wax yield? Thanks--luvin' honey
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diggity
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 09:56:01 AM »

I'm afraid I don't have a definitive answer for you, as I'm still pretty new to TBH beekeeping myself, but mine did pretty well this year, so I'll just tell you where I'm at.  Basically, they seem to be healthy and happy - currently about 10 bars of mostly brood, about 5 bars of mixed honey, brood, and pollen, and about 8 bars of mostly honey.  I only harvested a very small amount because in my inexperience, I wasn't sure that they would have enough honey to last through the winter.  This was a first year hive, from a 3# package like yours.  I know that first year colonies spend most of their effort building comb and increasing their numbers, while in subsequent years they produce more honey.  So I'm hoping for a lot more honey next year.  Also keep in mind that each pound of wax can support something like 20 pounds of honey, so whatever you estimate for honey harvest, take 1/20th of that as your estimated wax harvest.  So if I were to take a stab in the dark, based on your statement that it was a great year there, I'd say if you were really REALLY lucky, given the fact that they were both first year hives, I'd guess about 20 pounds of honey and 1 pound of wax from each hive.

-Diggity
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luvin honey
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 12:11:08 PM »

Thanks, diggity! Although they were new packages, each hive was full of wax and pollen built out by last year's bees. I kind of thought that would allow these packages to build up much more quickly than brand-new packages and hives... If I remember right, each bar of comb last year was about 8 lb of honey. The 1:20 ratio of wax to honey is very helpful--thanks!
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The pedigree of honey
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bbhb
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 03:39:59 PM »

I think people are hesitant to suggest a yield because 2 hives right next to each other could produce and not produce, regardless of the great year. That being said, we had a great year in our apiary, so I'll let you know what our yield was. We have one Top Bar Hive, which we supered with a warré box. It yielded about 30 lbs of honey and 1.5 lbs of wax after crush and strain.

Given that you stocked a hive already outfitted with combs, you probably were not too far behind a overwintered colony, so maybe you should round down when you ask for compensation.

ADDENDUM:
I forgot about the 2 combs I harvested earlier in the summer: that's another 10lbs of surplus. Inside the hive, I'm leaving them with 6 combs of honey for overwintering. My combs average 6#each, so there's another 36lbs.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 12:44:50 PM by bbhb » Logged
Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 10:10:14 PM »

I'm not sure that there is really good averages on tbh yields...they tend to be less than langstroth hives per, but I think a lot of that has to do with the replacement wax.

I'd say that 40-50 lbs per hive is reasonable.  The average here in MI is 80lbs/hive/year. As to honey prices, there too I don't think that $3/lb is unreasonable.

You really have to go on averages, because what is is a lot different than what could have been.  If it was a super year, they could have produced 120lbs per, or if you tripped while holding a frame and your queen got smooshed the day after the bear attack...well then it would have been nuttin'.

Plus, there's the potential loss from next year, since theoretically having a hive ready to boom in March you will need to get packages in May.  I don't think that is a money value, but it is something to remind them of if they balk at your other estimates.

Now what they're willing to pay...that is a whole different ballgame!!!
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luvin honey
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 11:02:03 PM »

Thanks so much, everybody! So many variables, but at least I have something to go on now. Wow--those yields seem really low compared to the yields I hear Langstrothers report. Kinda makes me want to try the Langs once I have a few successful years of TBHs under my belt  tongue
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The pedigree of honey
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 07:05:32 AM »

if honey is what your after, langs are made for primarily that.  course, warres were made for that too, so, always a choice.

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Tommyt
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 07:54:19 AM »

OK new Guy with an IDEA take or ask the Lang folks what one frame of honey weighs
Take the area Square inch figure what an inch weighs than take the Space of the TBH
comb get the square inch and B I N G O now you have one weight then How many
Top Bars you lost in honey then do the wax

Tom
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luvin honey
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2010, 07:03:04 PM »

Big bear--I got into bees mostly for pollination and to try to help the bees--but I've been more of a hindrance! But, I have to say I've been bitten by the green-eyed monster when hearing about the incredible yields other people get. I am a serious honey lover, so honey would be really, really nice. Smiley

TommyT--I lost the hives in June/July (can't recall exactly when at the moment), so it's the projected yield I am after. I know how many combs I lost from each hive before they absconded/dwindled, but not how many they might have been expected ot yield over the summer/fall. I believe one of my full combs last year weighed around 8 lb....

Thanks, everyone!
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The pedigree of honey
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irerob
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2010, 05:02:56 AM »

   There are a lot a variables of course.  My top bar has been  in 2 different locations over 2 Spring harvests. I am finding that I get roughly 20% more wax and less honey than a Lang in the same area. This is just an estimate I've not done any exact measurements or scientific experimentation to confirm.
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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2010, 05:27:06 AM »

I'm a little suprised that since it seems "standard parctice" to compensate for damaged hives, that they don't have a standard "fair price" that kind of compensates for the bees, the wax, and some reasonably calculated annual average - so you can tell them 'two hives' and they issue compensation for average X 2.
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danno
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2010, 08:02:32 AM »

I'm just on the other side of lake michigan from you and I get a 80 lb average form 25 + colonies.   About 1/2 of these were splits started in april
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luvin honey
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2010, 12:19:15 PM »

I'm a little suprised that since it seems "standard parctice" to compensate for damaged hives, that they don't have a standard "fair price" that kind of compensates for the bees, the wax, and some reasonably calculated annual average - so you can tell them 'two hives' and they issue compensation for average X 2.
I believe they will give me "market value" on the honey, despite the fact that mine would have been raw and treatment free. But, they wanted to know the # of colonies and expected yield...
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The pedigree of honey
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2010, 08:21:20 AM »

You should get somewhere between 200 pounds and -60 pounds of honey from each hive each year... -60 meaning you fed them 60 pounds of sugar and harvested nothing...

Prices vary by region, market etc. and you could get anywhere from $0.90 to $9.00 a pound depending on what form and who is buying it...
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Michael Bush
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luvin honey
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2010, 06:34:06 PM »

Thanks, Michael Bush. Have you had TBH yields up to 200 lb?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2010, 09:46:33 PM »

I didn't have them the one year I got 200 pounds... but I can get as much as any other hive if I manage it well...
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Michael Bush
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luvin honey
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2010, 03:08:23 PM »

And by managing well, do you mean staying on top of pulling full bars and leaving room for the broodnest to grow? Thanks--luvin' honey
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
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