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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,116

    Default Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Say it's a contest - what things would you do to make one hive produce the most honey possible?

    Supplement feeding early to start brood build up?
    Transfer brood and bees into the hive before the flow starts?
    Combine hives before the flow?
    2 queen system?
    Remove or cage the queen a month or so before the end of the flow?
    Not use an excluder?
    Extra entrance above the excluder?

    You have to keep it from swarming of course, but that isn't the question. Assume you can prevent swarming.

    Anybody do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Columbiana, AL
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Early spring feeding. Rotate brood boxes(give em space)give them supers right when they need em. Try to grow their numbers right before the flow.
    jlk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    This topic was recently discussed with a lot of good tips.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=247470

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    854

    Reminder Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    So many forget about the health of the bees today. Not all bee supplier are suppling health bees anymore. With the prices of bees going up every year and a big demand for package. Package suppliers are getting bees in from whoever, and where ever they can, and bring problems with them. Starting to see things in the east that the west has been talking about for a while.s
    Know your supplier and how they do business.

    SICK BEES DON'T MAKE HONEY
    Last edited by The Honey Householder; 12-24-2010 at 08:40 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    441

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Say it's a contest - what things would you do to make one hive produce the most honey possible?
    Location, location, location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Large frames and brood chambers.
    Location, Location, Location.
    This is close to 300lbs on this hive, and they drew out and fill that green box with ten 11 1/4" frames.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Elkton, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Build like mad by supplementing feed/pollen to build hefty numbers by start of flow.

    Roll the queen when the flow starts.

    Add boxes of drawn foundation to keep ahead of the bees.



    Rolling the queen will allow all resources coming into the hive to be diverted to honey for about 3 weeks (one week until capped brood then additional 3 for the mated queen to start laying again)

    You will stuff a hive FAST as long as you are in the right place. Downside to this is the population will dive a couple weeks after the queen starts laying again. (from what I noticed last year)

    JMHO. I am a newbeek also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,116

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    If you were going to de-queen to increase honey production (by not having brood to feed for a period) when would you do it? I would guess that would be about 3 - 3 1/2 weeks before the end of the main flow if you were going to let them make an emergency queen.

    On the other hand it's about 6 weeks from the time an egg is layed until the bee starts foraging so maybe it would be better to dequeen at the beginning of the main flow - assuming the population is very strong at that point. If it isn't the hive isn't going to produce maximum honey anyway.

    So, what do the experts say?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    854

    Question Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    I don't get the de-queening. The flow here is about mid June-mid Aug. I just keep extracting and adding boxes back on. No need to mess with the queens. I shot for about 8-10 lbs of bees by production time with 5 supers on each hive to start. I only run in single deep brood boxes, with excluders.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Elkton, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    I dont de-queen. IF you were looking to maximize honey, then rolling a queen at the beginning of the flow will allow the bees to focus on storing honey. They have no need to store pollen or turn it to food for larvae. At the beginning of flow also allows them to pick back up and bring in pollen for the newly laid eggs and brood.

    I found this out personally by rolling my queen accidently during the blackberry flows this past year. Two almost identical hives and the queenless hive had 2 mediums more than the queenright colony.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    So a new inexperienced beekeeper has once experienced maiming a queen and coincidentally getting a larger crop, and then proceeds to suggest it as a viable method to obtain larger crops on a regular basis. Hopefully all my competitors down here in the Bay Area will follow his sage advice.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Why not take the queen with a frame of brood and make a nuc, instead of killing her. Seems like a waste of assets to me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Elkton, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    So a new inexperienced beekeeper has once experienced maiming a queen and coincidentally getting a larger crop, and then proceeds to suggest it as a viable method to obtain larger crops on a regular basis. Hopefully all my competitors down here in the Bay Area will follow his sage advice.

    SOME inexperienced beekeepers look for information to see why this might have been. Finding information supporting what I found, I then realized that it was possible and WHY this happened.

    I have no idea why beekeeping is a cutthroat hobby? Seems everyone has a smart ass comment about the new guy not being 'up to par'

    You do your thing, I'll do mine. FYVM

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Lots of supers with drawn out comb. Forget about the honey excluders, I learned this one the hard way and lost lots of honey crop over the years.
    Lots of strong colonies with HEALTHY Bees.

    Sounds like making a Nuc would be a reasonable thing to do!
    I can think of one Beekeeper named Mel that would recommend the same thing, check out his website:
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,116

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Clearly "rolling the queen" refers to an accident - it would be pretty hard to do on purpose.

    As far as any of this being "sage advice" The first word in the thread is "Trick" some of them are good management practices which is great, but that's not all I was asking for - Otherwise I would have started the thread with something like "Best practices for producing a large honey crop?"

    Just like "How do you grow a giant pumpkin?" Isn't the same as "What is the best way to grow pumpkins?"

    Like any information found on an Internet forum - buyer beware.

    But the tips that have been given are exactly what I had in mind.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,116

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by scdw43 View Post
    Why not take the queen with a frame of brood and make a nuc, instead of killing her. Seems like a waste of assets to me.
    That is of course exactly what you would do.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,732

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    This should throw gas on the fire....... Remove all frames with drone comb from the brood chamber. Replace with all worker comb. Smash any drone comb built in brace wax. Drones do not make honey, but they eat it. .


    Roland

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,116

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn. Bee View Post
    I can think of one Beekeeper named Mel that would recommend the same thing, check out his website:
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/
    That's an interesting site, but where I live there is only one good flow and it starts too early for that system to work on the same schedule. I would have to overwinter the nucs and combine them in April - Which would probably be just as good.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Remember the old wooden/excluder screen drone traps with the wire mesh funnels/entrance? (I have a few floating in the archive pile)
    They looked a lot like a front porch pollen trap and were used to get rid of those honey eating drones!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Over wintering nucs isn't that hard, I have a bunch in cool storage right now and they are doing fine.
    Where you live it would be a lot easier than the part of the country I live in.
    (the land of ice and snow)

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