Surely there's a direct relationship between feed and honey. I purposely leave enough honey on my hives in the fall so I don't have to feed. I thought commercial beeks remove as much honey as they can as honey sells for more than it costs to feed sugar.
Yes, keeping colonies alive and strong (by feeding) is done to increase honey production.
I would generally agree with Barry. At least in our case we remove as much as we feel is prudent and then use supplemental feeding to get them heavy enough for winter. I am a bit puzzled by the argument of whether we do or don't feed to boost honey production. I have never thought of it in that way. I would say we feed what ever is required to keep the hives strong and growing until the main honey flow starts. If the insinuation, though, is that commercials routinely push feed in heavy hives with honey supers on I will unequivocally deny that is ever part of my beekeeping plan.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney
Pulling all the honey you can pull off makes it a little easier on trucking these pallets down the highway too. Especially for a small time operator with say 300-400 colonies and moves all their own stuff with an old beatup F250 and trailer.
I think I know where you stand on that. As you do I. No need to go over it again. Just that we disagree.
"Most of my exercise comes from wrestling with pigs and beating dead horses."
when a commercial beekeeper takes off honey he does not go into the brood nest to pull extra honey out. way too much labor. you cant leave an extra super on because all hives have to be uniform for moving providing the bees are to be moved. after moving if they need to be fed to prevent them starving you must feed them. real simple. feeding costs a lot of money with the price of gas and sugar.
If anybody has seen pictures of apiaries from the 50-60s and how many hives they would place in one area. I think, at least in this part of the country, that the carry capacity has decreased. I have heard that CT used to have 2 full time bee inspectors and a handful of part timers... today the job is handled by 1 person and it is part time. Even with the obvious decrease in hive numbers we can easily place too many hives in one location, where as before there could have been dozens of hives per square mile producing a honey crop.
I know that a lot of farm land has grown back into forest since than, but is that the only thing that has changed?
Always question Conventional Wisdom.
>>By that definition; 1 hive. <<
Well, I can elaberate on my point if you want,
"it about as many as you can keep without having robbing issues"
During your work routeen, what ever it is or how ever you do it, if you CANT get through your yard to complete your work without having to shut down becasue of robbing issues, then one thing you should consider is reducing your yard size. Reduce the size to decrease the total amount of bees in that yard which will decrease the bees availiable to rob or reduce the yard size to allow you to complete your yard work faster which will not allow the bees enough time to orginize themselves into a robbing frenzy.
Usually during my later honey pulls I have robbing issues. I need to be able to get into my yard, pull my honey and get out within half hour to three quarters of an hour otherwise Im fighting bees. So with my work routeen I keep my yard size around the 30 hive mark. Usually I can get in and out in the half hour mark without any trouble at all.
That is how I guage my yard size
Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog