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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last year was a tough year and my hives struggled with poor queens and drought. I didn't get any surplus honey, instead taking honey from the few producing hives to provide winter food for the poor producing hives.

This year, I have had much better luck with queens. Plus, we have had a wet Spring and relatively wet Summer. Accordingly, I thought my hives would be producing a beacoup honey crop.

Unfortunately, none of my hives have much of a surplus here in mid-August, and about half will need to be fed to get through Winter. Maybe there will be a strong Fall flow to save things near the wire, but I think that would be unusual for this area. I am not sure why the low honey production, but there it is.

How are other Denver area beeks doing with their honey production?

--shinbone
 

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i'm not denver but am an hour north of denver. i have struggled with queen issues in a few hives this year. with the late snows in spring and excess rain this summer, i expected a massive honey crop this year. my results are similar to yours: only 4 out of 9 hives have supers on them right now. it's strange to see. i've talked to a few other beeks in my area, and they all report similar conditions. i am seeing a lot of remnant alfalfa and clover popping out right now, along with a bunch of other flowers, so hopefully the next few weeks will improve the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply!

A coworker suggested maybe early hail storms caused enough damage to plants that the extra rain didn't make a difference?

Perplexing and disappointing!
 

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I got two medium supers mostly full on one hive and one super full on another. The other three hives are new this year, but they filled two deeps each so are good for the winter.

The honey production was very good up until sometime in July when we had the worst hail storm I have ever seen. 20 minutes of golf ball sized and bigger hail that obliterated any nearby forage. Usually there is a good alfalfa bloom near me right now, but not this year. We also had a late hard frost in April that got down to 18 F which killed some of the apple blossom.

After the hail, I didn't see hardly any new honey being put away so we extracted the supers and got 71 pounds of honey. I suspect it's mostly from the many acres of yellow clover that was blooming near me.

Tabby,
p.s. anyone going to the Mile Hive meeting tonight? Might be a good place to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right - add a late cold snap to the list of possible causes.

I lost two new nucs to that sub-freezing weather.
 

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I have hives in Larimer and Boulder County. It's definitely an odd year. Late cold snaps, abundant moisture with 18 inches of snow at 7000 feet on Mothers Day. More Sweet Clover than I have ever seen. I thought it would be a great honey crop- not. I have a couple of hives that filled most of 2 mediums and a few that filled 1 medium. I had a few that would not even draw out foundation in the supers. I'm going to try a few double queen hives next to see if I can get an increase in honey production. We can always hope for a better next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
MTN-Bees - Thanks for the additional info.

Hopefully, the mid-Summer rains means our Fall flow will be better than usual.
 

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Shinbone,

I too am disappointed with the production this year. I is the worst in the past 3 years. Presently spinning out honey from my home apiary. Cheked out my outyard near Salida yesterday and will likely harvest zero from there this year. Harvested two mediums/colony last year from that yard. Admittedly some experiments in the home yard this have reduced production.

There may be 20-30 beeks at a club bee yard inspection tomorrow and I will survey their experiences and post here if significantly different.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
BCS - thanks for your info. Please report back either way so we have a solid data point. Looking forward to hearing what your club members have to say.
 

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update: checked all 9 hives yesterday, and things look to be improving in most of them. had to add supers for 2 hives, and new wax is being drawn/filled in others. rabbitbrush has opened up in the last 10 days or so, and the alfalfa and clover must be putting it out. let's hope it keeps up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bring on the rabbitbrush!
 

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Thirty new and "aged" beeks attended the Pikes Peal Beekeepers Association bee yard visit in Woodland Park on Saturday. The majority of those I spoke with indicated that honey production so far this year has been disappointing and below previous years. The one exception was a beek from out east in the plains who had noted an increase in production this year.

In separate correspondence a beek north of Denver indicated a 75% decrease this year, but that was likely mostly related to flooding setback last year.

Steve
 

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Thirty new and "aged" beeks attended the Pikes Peal Beekeepers Association bee yard visit in Woodland Park on Saturday. The majority of those I spoke with indicated that honey production so far this year has been disappointing and below previous years. The one exception was a beek from out east in the plains who had noted an increase in production this year.

In separate correspondence a beek north of Denver indicated a 75% decrease this year, but that was likely mostly related to flooding setback last year.

Steve
was that beth?
 

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I'm experiencing low honey stores with my first-year hive. Using a top-bar hive; the queen in strong and the hive built up 24 bars of comb early in the season so I expected the honey to soon follow. As of last week, the hive was nearly half full. If the next couple of weeks are not productive I was advised to start feeding.
 

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Not too far south of you on the Palmer Divide north of Colorado Springs at about 7700'. We extracted yesterday. Using Langstroth hive, medium supers for honey. Each medium super frame averaged 3.25 pounds of extracted honey. I did find that there were some frames that had been robbed out either due to my couple of late season swarms or from robbing.

We have two new hives from captured swarms in the past few weeks. Already feeding them.
 

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I averaged about 21 pounds per hive. I am grateful I got that. Some areas I got no honey and I'm feeding now.
i think mine will be at or slightly less than that. i haven't pulled supers yet, but yesterday's inspections told me that i have maybe 3 supers of honey across 7 hives. some a couple of hives are in need of feeding in a bad way. one had absolutely no stores in the lower brood chambers. everything is in the supers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not too far south of you on the Palmer Divide north of Colorado Springs at about 7700'. We extracted yesterday. Using Langstroth hive, medium supers for honey. Each medium super frame averaged 3.25 pounds of extracted honey. I did find that there were some frames that had been robbed out either due to my couple of late season swarms or from robbing.
So how much was your yield per hive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I extracted 3 days ago. My yield was 10 lbs per hive. And that was with some pretty severe robbing by me, something I prefer not to do since I would rather the bees overwinter with honey rather than sugar syrup. I am now feeding like crazy.
 
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