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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    635

    Default Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    First off I would like to say that we have had a rather successfull year this year having come into the spring with a 5% loss, reared our own queens and requeened all hives, doubled up on our increase, sold extra nucs, and had a 100lb average this year. I didn't make as much honey as I had hoped but I'm still happy with the way everything turned out.

    Now, I would like to get your opinions on figuring out the average lb/hive in a year when increase is made. I'll give an example:

    Lets say you start the year off with 50 hives and mid season you pull a nuc from each one and double your numbers. You may or may not get honey from those nucs. Now at the end of the season you got 7,500lbs of honey and lets say that 5,000 of that came from the original hives and 2,500lbs came from the nucs. If you were to figure the average from the number of hives at the start of the season (50 hives) that would be an average of 150lbs. But, if you figure the average from the number of hives at the end of the season (100 hives) then your average would be 75lbs.

    I would tend to lean towards using the number of hives at the start of the season for a couple of reasons. they are-

    1) The hives at the start of the season are the princable hive from which everthing that is achieved through the season, came from those hives.

    2) Increase that came from the princable hives could still be considered an extention from number of hives at the start of the season.

    3) Being able to say that you've gotten a 150lb average and doubled your hives just sounds better then 75lb average.

    An argument could be made that if nucs were not made from the princable hives, that the honey crop would of been just as large or larger giving you the 150lb or more average anyway. I would like to think that the increase is seperate from those calculations and considered, like the honey crop, an achievement from that season.

    So, let your opinions fly. What are your thoughts on this?
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,646

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Sounds like a great year for you congratulations...

    I would add 2 other complicateing factors. How many deeps? and do you include what you left for the bees?? I personaly don't think its right to calculate say a 3 deep hive, and compare that to singles.... makes the math all wrong. Say a commercial guy runs singles and averages 100 lbs, how did he really do when the neighbor says he got 150, but he was running double deeps??

    Also I find that most small timers are discarding the dink/cull hives when calculating.....
    I have been pondering this all spring/summer. so much garbage floating out here based on how you count...... makes it tricky.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Portland, Oregon
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    965

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    I'd keep it simple:
    Count the number of colonies you harvest from.
    Divide the yield by that number, and you have you average.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hässleholm, Sweden
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    51

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    I only count my hives once a year and that is when mixing winter feed. In the spring I count my losses and count the number of hives I sell. Wintered minus Losses minus Sold will give me number of production hives which total harvest is divided by. I don't count changes during the summer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    635

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Sounds like a great year for you congratulations...

    I would add 2 other complicateing factors. How many deeps? and do you include what you left for the bees?? I personaly don't think its right to calculate say a 3 deep hive, and compare that to singles.... makes the math all wrong. Say a commercial guy runs singles and averages 100 lbs, how did he really do when the neighbor says he got 150, but he was running double deeps??

    Also I find that most small timers are discarding the dink/cull hives when calculating.....
    I have been pondering this all spring/summer. so much garbage floating out here based on how you count...... makes it tricky.
    I'm only counting surplus honey since it is the only honey making it to market.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    635

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    I would count those that overwintered and weren't producers too. we try to keep every hive in top notch but there always seems to be the odd hive that just can't get it going until it's to late. But it still cost just as much to build up that hive (or at least try to) as it did the best producing hive.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    ...And another way to look at it, if you will. lets say a beek came into spring with 200 hives and planed on using half to make increase and the other half for honey. lets say he broke the 100 hives down 4 ways in spring and build them up to break them down 2 ways in late summer. lets say you had a 10,000lb year on the hundred hives that were producers. That would give you your 100lb average but if you would of included the increase, 100 x 4 x 2 = 800 + 100 (producers) for a total of 900 hives, your average would be 11lbs. Thats why I kind of like including the increase in addition to the honey in that honey is sold and increase can be sold too. it's just a different way of making income.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,224

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    I'd keep it simple:
    Count the number of colonies you harvest from.
    Divide the yield by that number, and you have you average.
    Amen. Ditto.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,245

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    ...And another way to look at it, if you will. lets say a beek came into spring with 200 hives and planed on using half to make increase and the other half for honey. lets say he broke the 100 hives down 4 ways in spring and build them up to break them down 2 ways in late summer. lets say you had a 10,000lb year on the hundred hives that were producers. That would give you your 100lb average but if you would of included the increase, 100 x 4 x 2 = 800 + 100 (producers) for a total of 900 hives, your average would be 11lbs. Thats why I kind of like including the increase in addition to the honey in that honey is sold and increase can be sold too. it's just a different way of making income.
    Agreed. Its all about how much income you receive from the resources that you have. Per colony averages can be figured a number of different ways, each one only telling part of the story. Per colony average is a number that some beekeepers like to trot out to impress but one that I always take with a "grain of salt". I prefer to think more in terms of lbs. per location, or better yet, total production rather than pounds per hive but at the end of the year the most meaningful number is net profit and as Will pointed out honey may not be your only income source. Some may spend more time on marketing and less on beekeeping and come out far better than someone with a high per colony yield.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
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    839

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    I take the number of hives that go to the honey flow if its in the honey yard it is a hive (took the same amount of feed fuel time and effort to get it their as every other one). Take that number and divide the lbs of honey harvested. Example if i take 64 hives to the orange flow and extract 6400 lbs of honey i made a 100 lb average, even if at the end of the flow i only have 60 hives. Makes it easy to figure for me.

  11. #11
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by swarm_trapper View Post
    I take the number of hives that go to the honey flow if its in the honey yard it is a hive (took the same amount of feed fuel time and effort to get it their as every other one). Take that number and divide the lbs of honey harvested. Example if i take 64 hives to the orange flow and extract 6400 lbs of honey i made a 100 lb average, even if at the end of the flow i only have 60 hives. Makes it easy to figure for me.
    If I had to give a number that is the most realistic way to calculate it and the one that I use. If you put time and money into a hive that goes bad then you shouldnt be "rewarded" with a higher per colony average when you lose some, particularly since the boxes and what honey they contain usually just get piled up on top of the queenright hives.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    3,161

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Well out west here.... we like to look at it this way, how many gallons of syrup did you have to feed to make it to the next year.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    858

    Smile Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    If I start with 600 packages and then split 275-300 of those. I count that as 875-900 hive worked. Then if you product 140,000 lbs., That would give be 155 APH (avg per hive)

    This year we worked 855-870 and produced 43,000, which gave me a 49 APH which was the second worst year in 38 years in the family business. Really nothing to brag about this year. Maybe next year.

    I take it all, and give none back if I can help it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Ron, quit reminding me how bad it was this year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    I'd keep it simple:
    Count the number of colonies you harvest from.
    Divide the yield by that number, and you have you average.
    ya, I agree, simple is best.
    then you can qualify your yield with all the other fluff
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,327

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    So Keith, the total gallons should be subtracted from the final honey yield?
    Regards, Barry

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3,161

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    honey yield?
    Honey yield....lol
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    1,920

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    I bet over on the fishing forums they have a thread on how to measure fish!

    To choose the correct formula to calculate average hive yield you first have to answer two questions. Who is asking? and Why do they want to know?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Sidney, Montana
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    37

    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Number of hives set on location divided by your end production. I usually kick out 10%+/- throughout the flow for a number of reasons but always go with the starting number. How about whatever makes you sleep at night? Lol

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Averaging honey yeild opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by busy bee apiary View Post
    I usually kick out 10%+/- throughout the flow for a number of reasons but always go with the starting number.
    same here
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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