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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, OH
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    118

    Default maximizing honey

    Wasn't quite sure but I think this is the right forum to post this.

    Since I hear of so many people talk about maximizing hive populations before the honey flows I had an idea and wanted your guys input. It would be a lot more work but I think it may help.

    For the commercial honey producers they know the general time the major nectar flows are, and based on a fact (Iíve heard at least) the one big hive will produce more honey than 2 small hives. Why donít right before the flow you take 2 hives (say 2 deeps each) pull a deep off one box, only leave 2 frames worth of bees so in numbers itís the size of a nuc but in brood/stores it has tons of room for a quick expansion. Pull a deep off of hive #2 (remove bees and store it for later) and combine 90% of hive #1 by just adding the 2 hive body on top, and throw two or 3 super right on top. You now have a hive twice the normal population at the start of a flow, while still have 2 queens producing bees to keep overall yard numbers up so that when the flow is over you can go back to 2, 2 deep hives?

    Any thoughts? I know maybe to much work and ALOT of flaws I donít see or understand having not been able to work with any commercial beekeeping so just my mind wondering. Thanks for any comments/additions that may make it better. Or explain why it wouldnít/won't work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Why can't you

    Because when the cherries all line up on your machine, you can't keep up with it. They fill the boxes faster than you can put them on. You become maximized!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,872

    Default

    10 days before the main honeyflow, take a two box stong hive and move the queen with a couple drawn frames in the bottom box with the rest of frames nectar or honey. Shake the bees off the rest of the frames into the box. give the shaken frames to another weaker hive in the yard. stack up supers on the box that has the shaken bees in it. This way, you'll have a box with actively laying queen with room to lay (the two frames, one needs to have open larva) with a very large work force with no brood to feed. They'll move the honey up out of box to give queen room to lay and start drawing wax out above and storing honey. when the nectar flow hits, should have little brood with large work force for lots of honey!

    process is described by G. M. Doolittle in his book, A Year's Work In An Out-Apiary. Available at www.wicwas.com
    ďWhen one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.Ē Ė John Muir

  4. #4

    Default

    When the field force flies back to the old location you loose the workers you need for a crop. 10 days is not enough time to get them going really strong. Your are better off just feeding pollen sub and syrup to get them to build up. Most Commercial operations with 500 plus hives do not have the time to do this. At least i do not.

    I have done something like this in one yard for comb honey but I combined 20 hives on pallets to 10 hives so the field force had no were else to go but next door.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    maximizing honey production is EXTREMELY simple (as are almost all single objective criterion) ... just leave the hive no winter stores and the goal is accomplished.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Thumbs Up Take it all

    Take all the honey thats what I say!!! I only worked 650 hives last year and produced a 165 lb APH (avg. per. hive). Sold it all wholesale for an avg. of $1.55 per lb.
    DON'T LET THE BEES EAT ALL THE PROFIT!!!!

    o/o Ron Householder

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    How do you keep the bees from starving if you take so much from their winter stores?
    Terri

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by terri lynn View Post
    How do you keep the bees from starving if you take so much from their winter stores?
    Terri
    You don't. When maximizing honey production is your sole objective, you don't bother yourself with little details like winter survival.

    Some beekeepers have been known to harvest all the honey in a hive, leaving nothing for the bees. The value of the extra honey is worth more now than the price of a package of bees next spring.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Ohhhh. I've gotten too attached to my bees. I fed them when they couldn't find forage this winter. Guess I won't be maximizing! If only my bees knew how spoiled they are!
    Terri

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    bein' straight up with ya' terri lynn I do exactly as you descibe but then again my objective in keepin' bees is a bit broader than maximizing a honey crop. for some folks however... say in some location where the winter kill rate is almost 100% maximizing a honey crop as described above makes good sense.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

    Default

    I know few or no beeks that take all the honey and don't feed something back for winter survival, OR sell the bees to someone who will feed.
    We leave any honey they put in the 1 1/2 story brood nest for them but everything in the supers we take, and then we feed back syrup for winter.
    Sheri

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Yeah, I guess if the winter kill rate was so high there wouldn't be much difference. I was sure thinking it was cruel thanks to the poor girls that worked so hard to be left to die, though! With all of the talk of the shortage of bees, I must say that shocked (and saddened) me a bit. Of course I'm the type that generally takes spiders outside rather than kill them, so I really hate the thought of something I've cared for dying, let alone by starvation.

    Also, seems like it would still cost more to keep replacing because a 1st year package wouldn't make as much honey as a healthy established hive. I'd heard it really takes a year to be able to draw honey from a package. A few of my hives are so strong I really don't have to worry about them...they take care of any beetles, robbers and the winter fine on their own. The weaker hives I spend much more time with. I expect the strongest to have a great deal more honey as well, based on their strength.

    Terri

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri View Post
    I know few or no beeks that take all the honey and don't feed something back for winter survival, OR sell the bees to someone who will feed.
    i
    Sheri, that's what I was thinking...I wish I could buy those bees! I hadn't heard of letting them die before. Maybe I'm naive. I left mine honey and fed them as well.

    Terri

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,751

    Default

    At $75 a package and the added work of installing and feeding them, I'd have to harvest a lot of extra honey...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default

    But the methods of condensing lots of bees into a small space causes swarming which will weaken the hive later. How do you deal with that?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default

    Back in the 60's there was a outfit in the Dakota's, I believe they contracted out to the large beekeepers, it was a assembly line deal, they would blow the bees out of the hive boxes with blowers into a limb shreder type of deal !

    No bees flying around, just a pile of bees.

    I saw them at a number of places in the Dakota's, when I was hauling cattle so it must have been a fairly large operation.

    Any one know if this is still done ?

    PCM

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Azle, TX, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    God, I sure hope not! That kinda contradicts the term "beekeeper".

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default The Economics

    Of not overwintering bees is little understood by those who have not committed their livliehood to beekeeping. There are still outfits that do this as a practice. There is something valuable to learn. Nowadays few bees are killed, somebody with stars in their eyes comes out from Calif and tries to fill the deadouts before winter. The following spring the honey producer refills his culled sorted repaired equipment with packages from the same producer they have dealt with for generations. One family operating in Montana employs practically the whole town for weeks getting them all in. The consistency of new queens, ease of management, good locations, they make big crops! NO MITE TREATMENTS NECESSARY! These folks have been around the block a few times, believe you me!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    pcm writes:
    Any one know if this is still done ?

    tecumseh:
    as described by you I never noticed it done in that manner and frankly I cannot understand why such a time and resourse involved practice would be employed. when I was doin' the dirty deed (also in the Dakotas) you simply removed the lid after the first artic blast stopped the flow. the cold and the snow did the killin' for ya. afterward you would shake out the bees and stack boxes of whatever stores remained for next spring.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

    Default

    Yeah, I can't imagine anyone paying for a chipper. The folks up here would let the cold do it as well. A guy that we buy blow bees from now used to just shake the live bees out into the snow bank in early December or so; any that hadn't starved already, that is. I've also heard of cyanide gas being dusted into the entrance which killed them quickly but I think homeland security would visit anyone trying to buy it now, and playing with that compound isn't something many would want to do.
    Sheri

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