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Author Topic: Honey Per Hive  (Read 4151 times)
Ruben
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« on: February 16, 2006, 11:28:21 PM »

I was at a beekeepers meeting tonight and a speaker from Virginia Tech said he sent a survey out to Va beekeepers and the results came back that the Virginia annual average was 47.9lbs per hive. I am new but I thought that sounded low compared to what I read people on the internet say and books that I read. Is the 200-400lbs that some people say they get  only in southern climates? What would be an average per hive that most people will see?
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2006, 01:45:26 AM »

There are many factors in production.  The average per colony yield in Utah in 2004 was 70 lbs.  The 2003 per colony yield was 57 lbs, with 2000 more colonys registered.  Different management styles can surely impact production, as well as pastures you get your bees on.  Rainfall, humidity, also affect nectar flows.  I had a few boomers that made a great deal more than the average, but I also had a few that cast swarms and didn't make any surplus.  The end result was just about the state average.
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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2006, 01:46:13 AM »

Quote from: Ruben
Virginia annual average was 47.9lbs per hive.
internet say and books that I read. Is the 200-400lbs that some people say


Good question. That is most difficult are in beekeeping. I have not learned. It often makes me surprise.

That is very small yield. Even normal  swarm forage that measure in one week if hive is beside canola field.

Reason for small yields:

* swarming
* too many hives forages same flowers and area
* dry areas
* cultivated fields where is such a crop which give nothing to bees
* too long flying distances.
* if hive is at the distance of 1 mile from canolafield bees miss 50% of they yield for long flying

Basics of bigg yields

* big hives, you must prevent swarming
* foragers and nurse bees are in balance
* take hives to the field which are sure to give nectar
Mine:
 ....dandelion 50% sure
.....canola    90%
......fireweed 90%
.....red clower 20%
.....heather    20%

Same flower in moist soil gives honey and in dry soil and in hot wetather it gives nothing.

If you put hives in different places you will see how it happens. If you keep them in one place, you will not learn anytking. They are just there.

Last summer (again) I had hives  in different places . Difference with best and worst places were 5 fold.

Here I am taking my best hive to better fields. I had collected allready 140 lbs in June. Then on fireweed fields it gathered  240 lbs more.

Secret was that I put only 3 big hives in one very spended place where flying distance was under 1 kilometer.

5 kilometer away from this place  hives collected only 60 lbs.    

More pictures http://bees.freesuperhost.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1121627860

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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2006, 02:01:13 AM »

One story:

I had good Italian hives in my yard. There were 15 hives in one place.

Then I got a call from  7 mile distance that framhouse had swarm in their garden.

I took a swarm and I put it into 2 langstroth boxes. I left swarm near that farm house and it foraged alone the area. It got 120 lbs honey and build 2 box foundations.

At same time my BEST hive on my yard gathered same measure.  Hive was 7 boxes tall. So I understood that I had too many bees in one place.

Next summer I took all my hives away from my yard. In one place average yield was at once over 200 lbs per hive. After 5 year it was only 40 lbs.  ... AND in the distance of  5 km every hive in another place get over 200 lbs honey . That another place revealed that secret: pastures had become old.

These cases waked me up.  If you have a good pasture, it changes. One year it gives and one year not. You need to learn your places.
.
.
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Kris^
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2006, 07:13:05 AM »

Bee Culture reported the average region 3 (NJ, DE, MD) yield at 30 lbs.  My four established hives each produced 88, 41, 55 & 72 lbs.  The last two were packages I started in the spring, the second one swarmed.  Only the first one had been overwintered from the previous fall.

-- Kris
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2006, 09:30:01 AM »

During last 15 years my best average yield has been 260 lbs (1994) and the worst  72 lbs (1996).
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Jack Parr
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Location: Lockport, LA


« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2006, 07:46:07 AM »

Quote from: Ruben
I was at a beekeepers meeting tonight and a speaker from Virginia Tech said he sent a survey out to Va beekeepers and the results came back that the Virginia annual average was 47.9lbs per hive. I am new but I thought that sounded low compared to what I read people on the internet say and books that I read. Is the 200-400lbs that some people say they get  only in southern climates? What would be an average per hive that most people will see?


Your question, seems to me, would have best been answered by the follow beekeepers of Fairfield, VA.

What the average of the State of VA is no real concern to you inasmuch as you only live, and will keep bees in Fairfield. Do they even farm anymore in, and around Fairfield?

Now if you are a politician and wanting to obtain some grant money for the aid of beekeepers then 47 lbs average is a poor yield, and you need some help. Call your Senator George Allen, he might " pass " you some flowering cabbage. hmmmm wink
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2006, 07:58:36 AM »

Quote from: Jack Parr
Now if you are a politician and wanting to obtain some grant money for the aid of beekeepers then 47 lbs average is a poor yield, and you need some help. Call your Senator :


I think that those official "average numbers" are far from truth for taxation reasons. No professional lives with those incomes.

hive number x yield x selling price = bankruptcy

belive who wants  shocked
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2006, 08:50:57 AM »

Quote from: Finsky
Quote from: Jack Parr
Now if you are a politician and wanting to obtain some grant money for the aid of beekeepers then 47 lbs average is a poor yield, and you need some help. Call your Senator :


I think that those official "average numbers" are far from truth for taxation reasons. No professional lives with those incomes.

hive number x yield x selling price = bankruptcy

belive who wants  shocked


Finsky, we don't have that type of tax system here in the US. Except for the parties in the Honey producing business, as a business. Then average yield could be used for estimating annual future production, AND income.  Business pays current year taxes quartley, based on past year's income so I'm really uncertain that any numbers on average yield would be anything more than academic.

The " exterior signs of wealth " as used in some countries of Europe do not exist here. I don't know about Finland however.

The mention of politicians is a joke wink
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derbeemeister
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2006, 09:19:01 AM »

Hi!

When looking at statistics re: honey production, remember that if there are lot of pollinators, they will bring down the average. Pollinators make money renting hives, so they try to have as many hives as possible, and not super strong ones. Honey producers usually try to have strong hives and aim for a high average. If you can't average 100 pounds or more, you are in a poor area.

However, it is the bottom line that counts, not the average. If you need to make 40,000 pounds  it doesn't really matter whether you do it with 500 or 2000 hives. The extracting and bottling takes the same amount of time. Of course, more hives may mean more driving around, but you may only need to visit them once a month.

You see, there are two types of beekeeping: intensive and extensive. One tries to maximum the output of each hive, and the other tries to minimize the time spent on each hive, preferring a let-alone style.

Now don't go condemning the one or the other; let-alone can work as long as you are diligent about things that matter, like disease. And there is a limit to the intensive plan. You can't get a ton out of one or two hives, no matter what you do.
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Herve Abeille
Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2006, 11:23:47 AM »

I've gotten as low as -40 pounds (I fed them 40 pounds) and as high as 200 pounds per hive.  Usually it's more in the range of 60 to 120 pounds per hive but we've had a lot of drought lately and I keep breaking up hives for queen rearing, so it hasn't been very good lately.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Ruben
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Location: Fairfield, Virginia


« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2006, 07:23:18 PM »

Quote
Your question, seems to me, would have best been answered by the follow beekeepers of Fairfield, VA


I will be the only one I know of around Fairfield with bees, had to drive 40 miles to the nearest beekeeprs association meeting.

Quote
Do they even farm anymore in, and around Fairfield?


Yes I have farms all around me, most farming is either corn or livestock though, and all crops that are planted are corn, alfalfa, winter rye, fescue, most things for making hay, there are also lots of field growing wild with things like honey suckle, clover, thistle, daisys, blackberries. I have a small wine vinyard right up the road do bees like grapes?. If you look on the photo's page there is a picture I put there last week taken from my back deck

Quote
Call your Senator George Allen, he might " pass " you some flowering cabbage.


State is in the process of passing law to exclude beekeepers with less than 50 hives from having to have a honey house that are inspected by the health dept. the law has never been inforced, alway kept a blind eye but they are making it official.
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Finsky
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2006, 09:08:47 PM »

Quote from: Ruben

Yes I have farms all around me, most farming is either corn or livestock though, and all crops that are planted are corn, alfalfa, winter rye, fescue, most things for making hay, there are also lots of field growing wild with things like honey suckle, clover, thistle, daisys, blackberries.


I know those pastures well. If bees come with half load to hive it means that they have flied long distances. If you drop your amount of hives to 1 or 2 and look, what happens, does yield increases.

My philosophy is, that if there are some amount of nectar in flowers at the distance of 1 mile, and one hive is enough to collect it, there is no need to keep other hives in one point. You should try what is proper number of hives or "foraging capacity" in one place.
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