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  1. #21
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    Jul 2005
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    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
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    Post

    http://alfalfa.okstate.edu/pub/alfal...o-alf-guid.htm

    hold up on that 400 pounds per acre number, I think it is very questionable. That number is for pounds of seed per acre.

  2. #22
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Not by my math. I am not hesitant to tout that number. Of course it is so hard to measure that number because the bees collect nectar up to 2 miles without much effort. But you can figure it out roughly by observing the field in the area and seeing the honey that is comming in.
    I have a bookelt on these numbers, I will try to find it and post the numbers they give.


    On a 100 acre field, to produce 400 lbs of honey per acre ( seed alfalfa, and I forgot to mention it was pollinated by leafcutters ) will yeild 4000lbs of honey. 40 hives set on that stand through out flowering will give you more than 100 lbs of hoeny. Of course all depending on weather and diseases and bugs.
    Clover will yeild more I believe, just by its mear nature to continiously flower for months on end. Alfalfa tends to slow down as it matures, weather permitting.

    >>clover and buckwheat

    Buckwheat use to be a good late flow in my area, but with the new self pollinating varieties, I actually think that they give off far less nectar than the old varieties. It is really hard for me to say, because we have just seen two real unusual years, I hope the nectar production was influenced by the weather these last two years. I usually get 15-20 barrels of BW honey in the fall, the last two years I have only gotten 3-5. Was it the newer demanded varieties? or was it the weather?
    The Manitoba Buckwheat Growers are actually going to do some tests next year to find out if the new varieties are producing less nectar. Buckwheat growers have always appreciated honeybee operators in the area. Pollination sevices for 1 hive for every one to two acres have been shown to increase buckwheat yeilds up to 100-150%.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,693

    Post



    [size="1"][ February 28, 2006, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: sqkcrk ][/size]
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    Keep it coming Ian. I'm most interested in what you're coming up with.

    I for one have been reading in The Hive and the Honey Bee- there are a couple of chapters of interest, I'll post more later.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Question

    while we're on the subject:

    At what height do you cut the alfalfa?

    I'm growing a 15 x 30 patch to see what happens with the bees, but would also like to get seed and some hay from it.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    257

    Post

    Some of you may be interested in honey production in Saskatchewan Canada. These people have been keeping production records and comparing them with the provincial average.
    http://www.sasktelwebsite.net/gilmar...roduction.html

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    As for the protein levels I suppose in the 2 to 4 per cent range would be pretty close. I have heard 1/2 per cent a day kicked around and assuming it takes a week to go from 10% to full bloom that would be 3 1/2%. As far as nectar yield per acre a little math tells me that anything more than 10 lbs. per acre would be pretty good. As far as the heighth at cutting it all depends on the moisture situation; it may begin to bloom at 6" and then it might grow to over 2'. But we have found that the short bloom can yield extremely well so the point is to cut your high tonnage early hay and hope for a late summer short bloom and try to get the best of both worlds. Another thing that typically happens is that many hay farmers don't want to risk having their whole crop on the ground at the same time during rainy periods so they tend to cut fields in sections which extends the bloom period a bit and gives the bees a little more of a chance to work it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Beverly, Mass
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    303

    Post

    Planting for bee sounds great, but It seems quite risky. The bee range is about 8000 acres. I have a ~10 hives near some Purple Loosestrife in swampy areas, that must be close to a hundred acres. I average ~ 200lbs, a third being PL, other is assorted Basswood and other/Goldenrod, but every year it seems to vary. It seems like having multiple nectar sources is a benefit. The Locust are amazing some years and others a bust, same with other sources, last year was a dry summer and the nectar was poor in august/Sept but really good in spring.

  9. #29
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Sorry typo.

    Like I said, weather depending,
    This year I had an strong split yard of 30 or more right beside an alfalfa feild. It was cut later in the season, but those bees zipped a super in before the canola started blooming. Thats in a weeks time. Seed alfalfa flowers for at least 2 months, tapers off near the end. Watch out for that late aflalfa flow, it will blow you away!!
    I am getting excited about my 100+ acre clover crop right next to my here. Going to lace it with hives!!

    Mark, I will pull in 200lbs/hive some years. From Clover, canola, alfalfa, sunflowers, buckwheat, you name it. Thats my overall hive average yeild. Some hives will yeild 300+, some fail, so it all averages out.
    This is the reason why those california pollinators bring there hives northernly.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    Like I said, I've been reading in The Hive and the Honey Bee, chapter 10, "The production of nectar and pollen". Facinating. There's a lot of information, much study has been done on nectar production over the years, much of it apparently in Canada. Here's a table from page 419:

    </font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">Some Estimated Nectar Sugar Yields
    -------------------------------------------------
    Common Country Estimated Yield
    Name kg/ha2*
    -------------------------------------------------
    Phacelia Poland 183-1130
    Lucern, Alfalfa United States 250**
    Linden Poland 125
    &quot; Europe 500
    Sweet Clover Russia up to 400
    Goldenrod Poland 56-294
    Milkweed Poland 187-576
    (honey)
    Blueweed Poland 182-429
    (honey)
    Red Clover Alberta CA 880
    Dandelion Alberta CA 5-72
    -------------------------------------------------
    * 1 kg/ha = 0.89 pounds/acre
    ** 1 crop in a 5 day period</pre>[/QUOTE]I left off 2 columns, the scientific species name and the reference to the researcher(s).

    For reference, 1 hectare = 10,000 square meters = 2.47 acres +/- and 1 acre = 43,560 square feet or roughly a square 208' on a side.

    For the Red Clover in Alberta Canada, 880 kg/ha = 880 * 0.89 = 783.2 pounds per acre. Woof!

    George-

    [size="1"][ February 22, 2006, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: George Fergusson ][/size]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  11. #31
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Red clover is hard to get honey off of,

    Sweet clover on the other hand [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #32
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    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    &gt;Sweet clover on the other hand..

    Aye. Seems to be the ticket, eh?
    Dulcius ex asperis

  13. #33
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Best tasting honey in my opinion!!


    Interesting chart George. One thing I would like to point out is we are talking potential honey avaliable. With some crops, we need many factors to fall into place to recieve the full potential from a crop. Just like growing a crop or wheat, top end yeild is around 70 bushel an acre for hard red spring wheat. Best I have done is 65bu, and average 40bu. But the potential to make my fortune dangles infrount of me!!
    It is what keeps me going in this business,...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #34
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    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    &gt;One thing I would like to point out is we are talking potential honey avaliable.

    Right. Anything can and probably will go wrong, but the potential is there. According to what I've been reading, the single biggest factors affecting nectar production are ground water and solar insolation, in that order. In other words, too dry is worse than too cloudy; wet and cloudy is better than dry and sunny. Wet and sunny is best [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I'll continue researching the subject of nectar production and honey yields while pondering the potential yield of 15 acres of well soaked white clover...
    Dulcius ex asperis

  15. #35
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    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    Post

    Here's a good link for nectar and pollen producing plants in Ohio. Ohio is "generic" enough that a lot of the plants listed grows in many other parts of the country to some extent. It provides some qualitative remarks about the plants, but nothing quantitative. Interesting nonetheless.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2168.html
    Dulcius ex asperis

  16. #36
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    My booklet ( that I cant seem to find) said that carraganna trees produce up to 200 lbs/acre. That reall suprised me. We have quit a few in and around all our yard sites, not acres, but hedge rows all the same. It is no wonder the hive really takes off during that flow.

    Does it say anything about dandilions?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #37
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    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    &gt;Does it say anything about dandilions?

    They're pretty big, mostly because of the time of year they bloom (early) and the duration of the bloom. Dandelion is what gives bees here in Maine their kick start for the summer and it leads right into the main flow.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
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    949

    Post

    I have read some pretty wild claims about the honey yield of anise hyssop (agastache foeniculum) aka "the wonder honey plant". Apparently (with the right conditions) it yields profusely and over a large part of the summer.

    Such claims are a ton (yes -- 2000 pounds) of honey per acre.

    Another is that a couple acres will provide sufficient forage for 100 hives.

    I have no idea how true these claims are, or how hard it is to achieve "the right conditions".

    [size="1"][ February 23, 2006, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: GaSteve ][/size]

  19. #39

    Post

    I too have been looking at the anise hyssop. Read a lot about it in many older beekeeping books. Said to be the best honey producer of them all. Still trying to find out how well it might do here. From what I have read there is a market for the anise seeds. Can get up to three crops of seed per year if I recall. Seems that would equal three blooms? They press the seeds for anise oil - licorice (sp?) flavoring.

    Anyone ever cultivated and harvested anise seed?
    BEE-L snob since 1999
    What's a swarm in April worth?

  20. #40
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    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    &gt;I too have been looking at the anise hyssop.

    Yep. I found FEDCO located here in Maine sells anise hyssop seed and it's supposedly hardy to zone 4 so it should grow fine here in Maine. Dunno about KS, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't grow it there too.

    It's a member of the mint family, and similar to Cat Mint, which I do have growing here and the bees LOVE it.
    Dulcius ex asperis

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