www.uucantonny.org, "Support Our Troops"
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
The notion that putting on too many supers too soon actually hurts honey production is one that I have never really accepted. We still only rarely put on more than 2 mediums at a time for a couple reasons. #1 is that we always seem to be running short of boxes and so we try to be as efficient as possible with what we have. #2 it makes a lot of unnecessary handling if they are only partly full as the bees will just work right up through the middle leaving the outside combs untouched. Our main exception is if the bees are on a location far from home or a location that is not easily accesable in which case we like to just stack them up and forget them for awhile.
Averages? There have always been lots of games played with those numbers. Some use hives started, some use season ending numbers to make their average look better. Some like to inflate them to brag while others like to understate and be coy about what they produce. I think pounds per location says as much as pounds per hive. Personally I use the number of queen right hives that we start the honey production season with since that is what we have costs associated with. Timing and putting hives that are of the proper size and "on the grow" on location ready to produce honey just as the major flow begins maximizes your production potential and as a beekeeper that is about all you can do, the rest is up to the season and how much nectar is available. We always hope for a 100 lb. average and do get it occassionally but experience has shown that it is tough to do especially long term. But now I am being a bit coy aren't I?
"Ve are too soon olt und too late schmart."- A nameless German philosopher
Maybe a better way to figure honey production would be to find the median. With this method you would automatically need to exclude any non-producing hives to keep the median poundage from CLIMING. I 'spect' a lot of us already exclude non productive hives when we figure the average or mean.
However to find the median requires a level of record keeping that most 'beekeeps' would be uncomfortable with, myself included. Maybe it would be easier as well as more educational to figure an average for all bee yards by extracting them separately, and use this data to find the median of all locations.
I think it was Mark Twain who said, "There are three kinds of lies, regular lies, danged lies, and statistics."
Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.
And if you are putting on drawn comb, I agree. If, on the other hand, you are putting on undrawn foundation, it’s my experience that you should add one at a time.
Production averages are a result of management practices as much as location…..which is why I often wonder how I make any honey at all.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards
PDF, ePub, kindle, take your pick.
Awesome! Thanks for the link grozzie2
Ted and Mr. Lyon where accurate. IF you are expanding your hive numbers, the trick is knowing when to stop expanding hive counts, and start expanding hive populations, so that you arive at peak population at the beginning of the flow, not before or after. Years ago it was easier, but with the current weather conditions, it is tough to hit it.
The old timers would say that the hives have a momentum, and if they peak too soon, loose the momentum. As for supering, the oldtimers also claimed that a hive that was kept "empty" by always removing any full supers on a timely basis, would produce more than one that was given ample supers, but where allowed to stay on the hive after full.
We have production records that begin in the late 30's. I will try to find them again.
Roland that would be awesome for a basis of comparison if you could go all the way back to the 30's. Heck even back fifty years would be extremely interesting to read.