I set the start of the year. I have had to decide if that is going to be January 1st or December 20th. I have pretty much just left it with some where during winter since nothing much happens during that time. There are good reasons to consider it December 20th. The number of hives I have on that date is the number I work with. Anything I do after that is the results of my management of that number of hives. I have managed to increase mid winter for two years in a row. I still do not count those colonies in the starting number. I got that as a result of my skills gained by keeping the hives I had on December 20th. The decision I made with those original colonies. If I double triple or quadruple them it is what I demonstrate X number of colonies at the start of the year can do. If one hive makes 100 lbs of honey as a single hive. or it makes 400 lbs as 4 hives it is nothing more than what I can do with 1 hive.How do you figure your average honey yield per colony? Do you count the number of hives at beginning of season or after you make your splits. What about swarms caught. Is there a standard or can I just make up my own rules for bragging rights?
As far as I am concerned it is still production from that original colony. the only time I adjust my hive number from the start of the year is if a purchase or otherwise acquire additional colonies outside the production of my original colonies. Production of honey from a single hive is not necessarily a direct bee gathering nectar and making honey situation. A single hive could be split and then that hives actual production will be the combined production of all splits. That gets a bit fuzzy since more queens more bees are produced etc. I don't care how anyone else counts it. I am tracking what I can do. So I can make plans for the next season with some informed choices. I have spent some time at associating meetings finding out how everyone else is doing it. I find it mainly a waste of time. they are not doing much that even resembles what I am doing. An example is this past spring. at the meeting they where describing how they where gettign ready to build up their colonies to two deeps and a medium with the use of two queens and a double screen board. Every hive I had by that time was 30 fraems with a single queen with a goal of eventually being 50. It was like I came into the room thinking I would hear about beekeeping and was listening to how to set on your butt until all possibilities had passed.So it looks like I can get away with using my lowest hive count before spring flow minus the number of colonies that don't produce. My averages just keep getting better and better