Honey per Hive?
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Thread: Honey per Hive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Honey per Hive?

    I just started beekeeping, to the point where I don't actually have bees yet, and despite my looking I have seen many mixed reviews... So my question is in Washington State (it's in North-West U.S. if you were wondering) how much harvestable honey will my fresh bees produce, and in the next couple of years? I ask mostly out of curiosity, but also in wondering how many honey supers I might need?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    I do not live in your area but from experience. If you think you only need a few extra boxes? Triple it! The bees can build quickly and if you are not ready, they will swarm. The hard part is the foundation. Try to get them combing out all you can get them to. I had my strong overwintered hives swarm on me my second year because all I had to give them was foundation. The population expanded faster than they could build and swarmed.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    700

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    Welcome to beesource.
    You may want to contact Lauri with your questions she is in your part of the country.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/member.php?83621-Lauri
    Zone 6b 1400'

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Bergen County, NJ
    Posts
    907

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    Depends on LOT of things...

    "I asked each of them how much honey they figured they would get from a west Washington hive in an “average” year. Each one promptly said a study had shown the state average is 30 pounds of honey per hive.

    Bear in mind that average is for the state of Washington. The majority of Washington’s honey is produced east of the Cascade Range, a drier area than our wet area lodged between the Salish Sea and the towering mountains."


    http://pacificnorthwesthoney.com/how...oney-per-hive/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    Honey production varies pretty widely, depending upon weather patterns and (consequently) vegetation available. But I've seen roughly "tens of pounds" of harvestable honey per reasonably managed hive. Some places near me average three or four tens of pounds. Some get ten tens of pounds. Folks in the North and Great Plains or with specifically honey-targeted management may get twice even that. I'm hoping for a few tens of pounds per hive for myself. Well, I'm actually _expecting_ to be able to do encourage my bees to do _that_. I'm _hoping_ to get 7 tens of pounds from my local hives using some of the ideas I've been reading about here on beesource, although that's only smoke and mirrors at the moment. It sounds from what I've been reading like a few tens of pounds for your area is a defensible hope.

    [Addedum after Tenbears' following post: --> but I took zero honey from the hives all of last year as they were being established. They needed it more than I did, and for the cost of one nucleus colony I can purchase what I wanted from other, more-established local beekeepers. Pay more attention this year to getting the bees established. The honey is a longer-term item, however much a part of the picture it may be.]
    Last edited by DerTiefster; 03-25-2017 at 06:54 AM.
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    If you are seriously considering keeping bees I would first concentrate on that. Quite frequently the first year beekeeper ends up starting a new after the first winter. The only advantage they have is drawn comb. Until you clearly understand the needs of the bees and place them above all other beekeeping expectations. Can you become a successful beekeeper who can reliably expect any honey harvest. The primary goals for a hobbyist beekeeper should be successful management of resources. IMHO

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    Most new beekeepers think they will only have 1 or 2 hives. Bee colonies multiply when you do things right. So on an average year you may only have 2 - 3 super boxes per colony, on a good year you may have 4 - 5. First year you may only get your bees to draw out your brood chamber and no supers, so you may not have pressure to have supers on hand. A lot of the bee suppliers sell full hive kits with top, bottom boards and 2 brood boxes(deep) and 2 supers(medium). That's a good place to start.

    Good Luck.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    I'm with Tenbears on this. I'm just entering my second year. It's a steep learning curve. Learning how to keep your bees alive is job number one and that includes learning how to inspect, how to smoke, how to control varroa and other maladies, how to feed, and how to act around bees. I made plenty of noob mistakes last year, and will make some this year. Read, read, read, and if you can find a mentor, an experienced beekeeper. There are plenty here willing to share their knowledge if you're willing to listen.

    Learn how to keep your bees alive the first year, if you get honey it's a bonus but don't count on a quick payback on this hobby, you'll be disappointed. There is so very much more to it than I realized and for me, that's what makes it fun. Good luck.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rutherford Co. NC
    Posts
    549

    Default Re: Honey per Hive?

    Your first year you would want two supers per hive. The next year you woud want at least two and at minimum extra frames.

    Honey does not have to be harvested by the box if you use an extractor. You could for example trade four frames each from the supers and spin them out then trade the empty combs for four more full frames until you are done harvesting.

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