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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    24,457

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

    Start w/ a yard of bees. Take all of the supers of honey from all but one hive. Stack those supers on that last hive. Wait a period of time until the bees get up in those supers. Then harvest the crop. That's one trick.

    Otherwise, Location, location, location and good strong hives.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,111

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

    Well, don't know if it's a trick or not. You've all had apiaries with tall (lots of full supers), and short (no full supers), and medium (a couple full supers) size colonies.

    Raise queens from your most productive colonies and you will have more productive colonies. GBA!...good basic agriculture

    That's the best trick in my bag.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
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    651

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

    For giggles I thought about making a colony queen-less and adding capped brood to it constantly from strong hives making a insane sized honey producing hive. I was thinking of a long box, say five deeps wide then stack honey suppers in center to the moon. You could constantly swap brood frames every week from one side or other. That should make some serious honey and relive swarming pressure from other colonies. I think it would be cool to just see the mass of bees coming and going and how large the colony would grow.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,587

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

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-beek View Post
    For giggles I thought about making a colony queen-less and adding capped brood to it constantly from strong hives making a insane sized honey producing hive. I was thinking of a long box, say five deeps wide then stack honey suppers in center to the moon. You could constantly swap brood frames every week from one side or other. That should make some serious honey and relive swarming pressure from other colonies. I think it would be cool to just see the mass of bees coming and going and how large the colony would grow.
    If you did this you would certainly need that long box so it would be easy to inspect brood a couple of days after or they would sure raise a queen from a stray larva. You would have to give them some open brood too or they would probably develop laying worker. Might be a good way to have a cell starter and honey hive too.

    Hmm...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sale Creek, Tn. USA
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    173

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

    Hey HH, just think of all the honey you could make if you "took the leash off" your queen and let her perform at her peak !

    I don't really blame you. If I had honey running out my ears I would have to restrict the brood nest to one deep and make them go thru a queen excluder too.
    Raymond

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    651

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

    Unless I got my info wrong Im under the impression you will not develop laying workers unless you go bloodless. If wrong Id like to be corrected.

    If on a weekly schedule you should in theory be able to scrape all viable queen cells before any hatch. If you put a queen excluder under supers, and on sides of the two brood chambers you could rid hive of a queen that pops up without to much hassle. I thought about being able to raise cells in these too. You could raise a ton of them.

  7. #27

    Thumbs Up Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Quote Originally Posted by victory1504 View Post
    Hey HH, just think of all the honey you could make if you "took the leash off" your queen and let her perform at her peak !

    I don't really blame you. If I had honey running out my ears I would have to restrict the brood nest to one deep and make them go thru a queen excluder too.
    For every queen excluder that fails I lose about $100 in honey a year. Most call it feed for the bees, I call it lost profit.

    I had a few hive produce 11-14 medium supers last year. Almost a barrel of honey for those hive in production. Location is a big part of it, but why does one hive produce 12 supers and the hive beside it only produce 4 supers. Dad say thats a good thing, because you stand on the short hive to take the honey off the tall one. I think a lot going to the queens.

    Maybe this is for another tread, but went does most enduce the queen excluder to the hive. And what kind of excluder are most using. Excluders are like most equipment it is great if used right.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    394

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

    [QUOTE=victory1504;603683If I had honey running out my ears I would have to restrict the brood nest to one deep and make them go thru a queen excluder too.[/QUOTE]

    IMO excluders are not an issue for singles. Bees will go thru in any flow if surplus honey is produced.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
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    1,018

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

    [QUOTE= Location is a big part of it, but why does one hive produce 12 supers and the hive beside it only produce 4 supers.

    I've had one hive make far more than others, too. Maybe the strong one is robbing from others or maybe because of hive setup foragers from other hives are returning to that strong one.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,587

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

    Quote Originally Posted by The Honey Householder View Post

    Maybe this is for another tread, but went does most enduce the queen excluder to the hive. And what kind of excluder are most using. Excluders are like most equipment it is great if used right.
    If using an excluder correctly makes you get more honey then let's have it!

    According to Ed Holcomb (respected local expert) don't add an excluder until 3 weeks before harvest and then put it wherever you want as long as the queen is below. By the time you harvest any brood will have emerged and be back filled with honey.

    What do you do?

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,043

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

    I will never accept that genetics can directly account for widely variable honey crops. My feeling is if you would go through a yard and count frames of brood several weeks before a major honey flow that you would see a fairly direct relationship between that frame count and your surplus honey being initially stored. If the honey flow were a bit later many of those smaller hives would begin to catch up of course. But the big variable is always the drifting factor particularly if your yard is set up to drive a truck in or near enough to affect a flight on a day when you might be supering with a large flight on. Bees can and do frequently get in the wrong hives when returning heavily laden particularly if something has changed since they left. The fact that is it is not at all unusual to have large numbers of bees begin to land on a truck load of supers or a corner hive that you have just supered up gives you some idea how easily this can happen.
    We use wire excluders, have never really trusted the flimsy plastic ones. In addition to maximizing your honey available to pull off the other big advantage of excluders is keeping not just the brood but also the pollen in the brood nest and greatly minimizing hive beetle problems in the extracting room.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,643

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

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    IBy the time you harvest any brood will have emerged and be back filled with honey.What do you do?
    I don't want brood cocoons and pollen in my honey supers because that is what wax moths eat. I put excluders on top of the brood chamber and bait the bees up with drawn comb. I have had eight full mediums on top of a single brood chamber through an excluder and eleven on top of a double.
    This is this years 8/1, and it started as about 20 bees and a queen in fall.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sale Creek, Tn. USA
    Posts
    173

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

    HH, I certainly understand why you would have to use an excluder if you are restricting the queen to one deep super. Most queens can fully cover a deep and a shallow, or two mediums. When I used commercial equipment I used three mediums. I rarely had trouble with the queen laying in surplus supers with no excluder.

    Clearly, your location is far superior to mine.

    I would be surprised if you don't have major swarming problems, crowding them that much.
    Raymond

  14. #34

    Thumbs Up Re: Tricks for getting the most honey from one hive

    Jim your right about the drifting, but I get some queens I call my super queens that draw bees to them. It's like 1 in 25 queens, maybe 1 or 2 queens in a yard. They out produce the rest by 1/3. Those are the hives that really up the avg. per hive.

    For excluders I use the all metal and the metal one with the wooden frames. I put all my excluder on when I shake the package in and I add two honey super on them then too. The bees don't see the excluder as a bottle neck, because it has always been there.
    I think it was Allen Martens that pointed out when running singles the bee have to put everything up. Many want to know how can I produce 8-10 lbs of bees in a single deep. From the time I shake the bees in in the spring until I shake them out in the fall, they have supers on them. The thing is with only 8-9 frames for the queen the combs have to be the best. Every year I put all my brood boxes into the shop to clean them up and sort the bad out. I set the hives up for everything they need to get started. Frames of feed, pollen, an 1-2 empty frames to give the queen a place to get started. Then fresh quenn and bees to start each season.

  15. #35

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

    Quote Originally Posted by victory1504 View Post
    HH, I certainly understand why you would have to use an excluder if you are restricting the queen to one deep super. Most queens can fully cover a deep and a shallow, or two mediums. When I used commercial equipment I used three mediums. I rarely had trouble with the queen laying in surplus supers with no excluder.

    Clearly, your location is far superior to mine.

    I would be surprised if you don't have major swarming problems, crowding them that much.
    Don't get me wrong I do lose a few to swarming, but I do shake a lot of packages to sell too. Its easier to cut queen cells out of single then doubles!!!!
    I shake my packages in around the last week of March and start shaking the extras to sell around the first of May. Most the time I only have to shake a few frames out to keep things in line with my strong hives. The local beekeeper like it because they get fresh bees the same day. The packages I sell are back in the hive within less then 24 hours most of the time. Plus they don't have all that shipping they have to pay.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,043

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

    HH you may well be correct in your observation that some queens may simply attract bees better. Perhaps they fan in such a way to emit the phermone better or perhaps some queens simply emit more. The additional bees allow the queen to lay at a higher rate and the end result is the same, more bees make more honey. As most beekeepers we strive for uniformity from the time that we make our splits in the early spring, too often it dosent happen but when it does it is quite remarkable how little variation there is in production among the hives that caught queens in a timely fashion and built up without delay.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    394

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

    I would rather have a well produced queen with poor genetic than a poorly produced queen with good genetics. Before HI got varroa we used to get our queens with nurse bees in the box and no attendants in the queen cages. If the bees were all over the queens they inevitably had high acceptance rates and end up being great honey producers.

    A couple of years ago I produced some queens in July and introduced them into mating nucs in an area I had about 200 hives and strong flow was on. The resulting queens were big, plumb, and attracted bees well. Made 60 2 frame splits during the first week of Aug which is late for southern MB. By fall these splits had grown to occupy a single. Next spring they exploded and I threw an extra brood chamber on over half of them which provide a split in a couple of weeks. During honey flow, most of the hives had 2 frames of brood pulled for nucs once or twice depending on their strength. Many of the hives produced 9+ deeps full of honey over 3 pulls in 10 weeks. The 4 best hives produced 12 deeps packed with honey; I'm sure they produced 500 lbs each. However, the location was incredible. The field where the bees were location had red clover the farmer alternating grazed lightly and hayed so it was blooming continuously. The surrounding fields were canola, soybean, sunflower and late alfalfa.

    Queens I had produced early from the same queen mother didn't come close to this performance. Mind you, nor did the location.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    85

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

    Quote Originally Posted by marksmith View Post
    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

    whether by newbees or veterans, I have learned from many experiments, accidents, and foul ups reported on here by users. And I'm thankful for the opportunity.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,420

    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.
    We start as beginners. Then we learn a little and think we know everything. Eventually with enough experience most of us become wise enough to listen too and evaluate all contributions that come our way.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,111

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I will never accept that genetics can directly account for widely variable honey crops. My feeling is if you would go through a yard and count frames of brood several weeks before a major honey flow that you would see a fairly direct relationship between that frame count and your surplus honey being initially stored.
    I agree that drifting can be a factor in some colonies making way more honey than others in the same yard. I gave a quick answer to the question, and probably should have said more.

    Yes, in my apiaries, it is about how many frames of brood are present at the start of dandelion bloom, and how much brood they maintain through the flow season. Along with amount of honey produced, one criteria I follow is minimum of 9 frames of brood. Before I started raising my own, and bought all my queens, the strength and production in each apiary was all over the board. Tall hives, short hives and in between. Using the 9 comb rule changed all that, but the first indication of productive colonies is of course how many supers of honey they made. After years of raising my own stock, a new NY inspector came online. He commented by writing on the hives things like...another colony with 9 frames of brood, another colony with 9 combs of brood...wow, another breeder here, etc.

    My reason for my too short reply was that I think rather than try to get super production from one colony by using some trick, it is better to increase the colony average in the whole apiary.

    With that in mind, how would a beekeeper go about accomplishing that job other than through selection (genetics)? You say that the most productive colonies in the yard and the ones with the most brood are likely because of drift. What other indicators should be used by the beekeeper trying to increase the colony average in the apiary other than honey produced, and amount of brood maintained in the broodnest?

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