you take out your honey at the end of the season?
I take honey away 1-3 times in July and once before I feed them for winter. (first week of September)
Just now we have early yield and after one week I should start extracting. Canola is in bloom and it fills boxes rapidly. If weather is good I must take canola honey away every week and give more free boxes.
I only have space in the hut for two supers on top.
I use 3 deeps for brood and 4 -5 mediums for honey. This size hive is able to handle honey enough. I live in capitla city and in hives must be room for one week honey at least and more. http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/valmis3.jpg
on makes sense to leave them on, but I was worried about crystallizing
Canola will be crystallized if it is in the hive one month. One year I had crystallized canola honey 600 lbs to next summer. It was a job to dilute it off frames.
If you have room enough for brood queen need not lay eggs in honey boxes. Professionals like to limit the size of hive and size of brood area. Some put exluder on at the end of yiled season. So they get easily all honey away. I do not like that because it restrict the size of wintering colony.
Does there have to be a certain amount of space in the brood boxes to reduce the chances of the queen moving up
It depends on queen. Some are able to lay only one box. The best lay 2 and a little bit more. Often brood area has a lot of pollen. That is why I use 3 brood deep. Usually queen does not lay in lowest box because it is too cold for ventilation. It is just for pollen and new nectar and field bees sleep over night there.
I added supers just before the blackberry flow which is I guess the main summer flow in this area,
I add boxes and super according how the amount of bees grow. I may have 5 boxes for bees even if they have no honey.
Then when honey flow comes in you need 3 honey boxes to get one capped box. Bees spread nectar over hive to rippen.
For something like 160 lbs of honey i'm very willing to experiment...how many supers is that? Thanks.
Here is my 3 best hives last summer I just have brought to fireweed area. They picked EACH in 3 weeks 300 lbs honey. Honey was capped from top to bottom. It is my record I suppose.
In one time I harvested from each hive 240 lbs capped honey.
3 miles away I had hives on canola field. There hives got about 60 lbs per hive.
Normally hives get from canola field about 200 lbs during 2 weeks. Hive must have 6 box . If you have 4 box it will be stuck in few days and they swarms. Canola does not like hot ( 25C) dry weather.
Our honey season is about 3-4 weeks. Now raspberry, canola and soon fireweed. I move hives twice this year.
My best average yield has been 260 lbs and worst 70 lbs 2 years later. It depends on so much what is the weather in July and did I moved hives in right place. All happens so fast.
Difference between sites may be 3-5 times. To raise a big hive and put it in right place. You may put the biggest hive in dry area or too culivated area and you get nothing.
Here I move my hives in the middle of summer. The weight of hives are about 200 lbs. I just piled them on carry and then piled on field.http://bees.freesuperhost.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1121627860