So....Countryboy just told me,
"According to the USDA, in 2008, the average in Ohio was 53 pounds. Virginia's average was 42 pounds. In 2009, 50 and 39 pounds respectively.
While location does play a factor, I'm a firm believer that management is extremely important. Keep in mind that there are a lot of mismanaged hives bringing the state average down. Aspire to have the above average well managed hives."
I aspire to have a well managed hive. Despite the 45 day nectar flow, I also aspire to get above the VA average...
So, besides the topic we just had a war over, how do YOU manage your hives for honey?
These are the basics I think I know:
1) Have a good, strong queen who can build up numbers before the nectar flow
2) Don't loose your good strong queen and half your hive to swarming! Move boxes, insert frames, remove brood, artificially swarm a split, etc to keep your bees.
3) Keep them close, but not crowded--add boxes (only) when appropriate.
Because our season is so short, I plan on trying the 'dequeening' method, so the hive is broodless and raising their virgin for most of our flow, and then declines in numbers as we enter the mid-summer dearth. Anyone do that regularly?
I guess double queen colonies aren't really 'basics', but if you do that for honey, I'd like to hear about it: How the equipment is set up, how long it runs like that/when do you do the combine, double colony averages vs singles, etc.
Any other methods?