Sweet Clover and Buckwheat
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Massac County, Illinois
    Posts
    174

    Default Sweet Clover and Buckwheat

    In zone 6, how much honey should be expected out of 20 hives with 10 acres of each title subject? Also have 100's of acres of woodland near this apairy.

    Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Sweet Clover and Buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by Geno View Post
    In zone 6, how much honey should be expected out of 20 hives with 10 acres of each title subject? Also have 100's of acres of woodland near this apairy.

    Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!
    All depends. Sweet clover is an every other year bloomer, so one year it will do well, the next you won't see it. An acre might push out 250-500lbs of honey in a terrific year. Buckwheat will also depend on when it is planted (if it self seeds then it will bloom early and depending on what else is blooming the bees may ignore it in favor of other plants...if is it planted so that it blooms during a nectar dearth then then the bees will vigorously work it). Our experience with buckwheat that blooms in the dearth is that we might be lucky to see 20-30lbs per acre that is stored by the bees..some years a lot more (we typically plant about 40 acres a year and time it for the dearth here). During the dearth the bees are using it to maintain brood rearing and aren't storing much of it as surplus for harvest. The woodlands it depends too. If there is 1 acre of decent sized basswood and/or black locust trees, that one acre will well out-perform 10 acres of sweet clover (by a multiple of 3 to 5 or more). There may be wild geraniums that bloom in the floor of the forest early on, maybe not. There may also be other woodland shrubs on the edges that provide some forage, so one has to get a sense of what is actually there. If it is all oaks, walnuts then there may not be much there. If it is pines, not much there..but if there is some decent basswood and black locust then that is worth sitting on. The Frank Pellet book of north american honey plants is a good starting reference to get an idea of potential yields.
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