I am interested in beekeeping and live in Maryland. How many hives should I buy? How much honey do you get from a hive ? I live in Howard County,any help is appreciated. Thanks, Rose
I recommend that beginners start with 2 hives, not one, as there are many more things that you can do with 2.
The honey productions varies a lot with the are you are in. I have spots where bees can make 100 pounds of honey in a few weeks; other spots within just a few miles might make 30. You need to become familiar with honey plants and look for areas where they abound.
White clover, such as the dutch clover in lawns is good. The tall sweet clover is even better, and you may have some growing wild, if you have sweet soils. If your soils are acid, clover isn't a good honey plant, but you might find that goldenrod is. I'm not sure if you have Japanese bamboo in your area; there is a lot along the rivers in PA. It makes a dark but nice tasting honey, and blooms in August.
I'm sure you have black locust and tulip poplar, both spring bloomers. BL makes very light and mild honey; TP makes a dark red, almost black, bold flavored honey.
There are many more bee plants that are more or less important. Find out from other beekeepers in your area what plants you have.
There's a list of beekeeper associations in Who's who at: http://airoot.com Find the one nearest you.
There's an excellent beginner beekeeping course by Dr. Delaplane available online. You can find a link to it by looking at the "beekeeper resources" at the web page in my sig file.
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