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Thread: How much honey?

  1. #1
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    Hopkinton, NH
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    Default How much honey?

    Me being new not quite sure where this should go but move the thread if need be.

    How much honey should I be able to get out of a first year hive? Just looking for an estimate.
    This is my first year and before I spend the money on everything I would like to know if I should be able to make money or at least break even the first year.

    Thanks, spencer

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    I used to keep bees right up the road from you in Warner N.H. The over-wintered hives usually made a crop to harvest depending on the weather etc. Like any other agricultural pursuit there are no guarantees. If your looking for a real money-maker you might want to consider another sideline other than keeping bees for honey (money). Most hobbyists keep bees because they find them fascinating and they provide a valuable source of pollination.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  3. #3

    Default Re: How much honey?

    I can’t speak for your part of the world but….my advice to beginning beekeepers in my area is not to expect any harvest the first season. The task for first season should be to make certain that the bees build a suitable nest and provision it for the upcoming winter. You may make a surplus….but I don’t advise counting on it.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Well I've already got a "money" maker cause I do sugaring in the spring, but i was thinking if it would be worth it to get bees and sell honey to, to add to the line of products. But I still might end of doing it as a hobby and selling what I make. Anyone have an estimate?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Gonna give you my honest answer... Making money your first year should be the least of your concerns, why don't you focus on learning to keep bees and the honeycrop will then handle itself. You must also define first year hive. Nuc, package, established hive you buy frome someone else??

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I can’t speak for your part of the world but….my advice to beginning beekeepers in my area is not to expect any harvest the first season. The task for first season should be to make certain that the bees build a suitable nest and provision it for the upcoming winter. You may make a surplus….but I don’t advise counting on it.
    So basically you let the, build p what they need to live through the winter the first year? Then harvest the honey the next year? That makes sence to me, what would you consider a small harvest, like in the first year?

    My first year hive would be a package I would guess? I would buy a new hive and then buy bees and put them in the hive, not sure what all the terms are yet but that sounds like a package to me

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    First year hive starting from scratch..... not much. The second year is when they start "kickin it".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    If you have good flows, 60-100lbs, maybe less if they have to build their own comb and drought etc.... Honeycrop is all about location sometimes.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    First year hive starting from scratch..... not much. The second year is when they start "kickin it".
    So I might make some th first year, basically a 2 year investment till you make your money back?

  10. #10
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    Boone County, IN, USA
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Listen to the wisdom above. It's usually not as easy as setting a hive out and getting the honey. A local club, mentor or association is almost necessary. Make money with only a few hives? Probably need to think bigger.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    IMO, the first year is focused on building not only the comb, but population as well this will set the hive back. Now... the second year everything is in place and on track for production.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    How many hives you planning and how are you going to extract? Will it pay for itself in a year? That depends on a lot of things going well and if you have nectar flows. You putting them on crops?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    How many hives you planning and how are you going to extract? Will it pay for itself in a year? That depends on a lot of things going well and if you have nectar flows. You putting them on crops?
    i just plan to have one for now till i get the hang of it, as for extracting i would probably build an extractor of some sort. but we are planning a big garden for the spring so i figured there would be a good place to have the hive near?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    The bees will be beneficial to your garden but your garden won't do much for honey production when you consider bees have to visit approximately 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey. This is why JR is asking if you are putting them on crops. I am not sure about your area but a good portion of the nation has been in drought conditions on and off for several years now and honey production has suffered for it.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Spencer, unless your bees have a truly fantastic first season, you'll get a taste or two. In our neck of the woods the first year honey is for the bees to eat for 7 long months of winter... You will get honey to take the second year. Did you find a local club and bee school yet?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Spencer, if you do indeed get a honey harvest form a first year hive, any proceeds from selling that honey should be set aside to buy your second hive. Assuming your lone hive makes it thru the winter, you will come to realize that your chances of success increase greatly when you have at least two hives. You can borrow resources from a strong hive to diagnose and fix a problem hive. If you only have one hive, there are few options - except buy more bees - when you have a problem.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Here's a link that gives some data for each state.
    http://edocs.dlis.state.fl.us/fldocs...ey/honey11.pdf

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    camprn, i have found them, but havent joined a club yet but im probably doing a bee school when it starts soon.

    thanks for all the info guys, looks like if i have the money to buy all the supplies i need for 1 hive i will and then get another with whatever amount i make off honey, or would i be better leaving it in the hive to increase the chance of them making it through the winter?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by spencer11 View Post
    So I might make some th first year, basically a 2 year investment till you make your money back?
    If you're looking for a quick return from bees with near zero investment, I suggest you get a job with a commercial operation. I expect return will be will be the fed minimum wage, up front cost limited to a good suit and the training will be enough to make up your mind.

  20. #20
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    Darlington, SC
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    Default Re: How much honey?

    My first year I got about 4 gallons from my hive. I'll second the recommendation to start with two hives.

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