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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to know about how much honey an average missouri beekeepers hive produces. This is my 3rd year, and I have been getting about 1 super per hive average some a little more some a little less. The most was 2 supers the first year on one hive the worst was 2009 with barely 1 super being the best. I've heard of beekeepers in ND SD pulling 9 and 10 supers off their hives.

This is somewhat a bummer considering I have about 2 more months of summer here. I know plants and temps make a big differance, thats why I would like some input from other misssourians, thanks in advance.
 

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Scottsbees, it isn't so much the number of supers you pull, but how full the supers are. Now, having said that, I have two hives in my back yard in town (Poplar Bluff). Both hives 3 years old. nada off one, 50 pounds in two supers on the other. But I had split both three ways in April.
I installed two nucs of Russians out in the country on a friend's place last April. nada off one. 40 pounds off the other. Wildflower.
I have 9 hives from splits made last April in the Mark Twain National Forest, on a friend's farm. He tells me he has over 100 acres there in clover pasture. nada off 8 of the splits, but 30 pounds off the 9th.
Next year will be better. :thumbsup:
Weather and location make all the difference in the world. When I lived in St. Louis, I had 16 hives on Laclede Gas Co.'s underground storage facility in north StL County. Up by the Missouri River. The surface was being farmed in alfalfa, if I remember correctly. I averaged 110 pounds per colony, year in, year out. In north StL county.
Hope this helps.
Steven
 

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Summer 08, starting with two packages and two swarms. Got nearly a super off each. two of four survived winter.

Summer 09, started with two hives, five packages, three swarms, total ten hives first of June. Got a whole total four frames of honey. Terrible year. I began feeding the middle of July and have been feeding since. Figure at this point it would have been cheaper to buy ten more packages. maybe I'm exaggerating, but I have bought ALOT of sugar. hundreds of pounds.

I'm currently down to seven hives.
 

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Here in Cape Girardeau County, rolling hills and modest crops (mostly pasture, hay and clover) I can reliably get 1 super, often up to two supers per hive but not consistently. Location varies and hive strength varies. Nectar flow starts in ernest right after Mother's Day (Blackberry Winter) and usually ends around the 4th of July.

I have hives in Scott County around Benton. Two supers around the fourth of July and another two supers by Labor Day. Flat, sandy soil and lots of soybeans. Some irrigation.

I don't think there is ever a "normal" hive nor an "average" year. I've also been very reluctant to estimate how much I can expect...just give lots of thanks when I harvest the honey!

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I feel a little better now. I thought I was the only one keeping the suger buisness alive. I wasn't sure if I was doing something wrong or if I just needed to find a better place to put them. A little of both is more like the problem. I definetly believe we had a bad year do to weather.

I'm going to work on finding better locations, I have 30 hives now, so I guess I'll spread them out over the county and find what works best. I think an average year here one could expect 30 pounds, 60 on a good year, 90 on a bumper year.

Thanks for your replys
 

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When I look for new locations, my preference is to find some place with water. Creeks, swampy woods, flood plains or bottom ground always seem to be productive.

Some of my best yards sit on farms that back up to I-55 where the sweet clover blooms in abundance: first the yellow, then the white. Pastures and hay fields often have an abudance of white dutch clover. Some CRP ground is weedy, and I sure don't despise the weeds when they bloom.

To the south, below Crowley's Ridge, the soil flattens out and soybeans bring in good harvests of honey.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I have a lot of friends and people I meet at the farmer's markets who want you to put bees on their farm. These aren't always the best spots, but they are spots that don't require a lot of persuasion to set up some hives.

Also, from a management point of view, don't let your hives swarm and be sure and give them plenty of supers to store that nectar. Every year is different, every location is different, every hive is different. That's what makes it interesting.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 
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