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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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You make up your own rules. Some like to exaggerate, others like to understate. I use the number of queen right hives at the beginning of the flow......and THEN start making stuff up. :D
 

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Ive never got enough to brag about here in cow pasture country. What I count is the hives I actually pulled honey from.
Since I'm more interested in growing bees than making honey some hives I don't pull anything from.
 

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Depends who the answers is for :)

If you want some one to understand you have to explain how you got your # per hive.
 

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I double whatever Charlie B. brags to me.....
 

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I got considering about this seriously, and I'm thinking that the most useful metric for deriving average apiary/beekeeper performance might be total honey crop averaged over how many hives you started into winter with last fall. It's going to be the least impressive number most of the time, but it should most accurately reflect what you invested in your crop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
>average apiary/beekeeper performance might be total honey crop averaged over how many hives you started into winter with last fall.

Those of us that do fall splits, would show a disproportionate number of losses. Also, I believe at least one of us here sells all of their bees in the fall and starts with packages in the spring. Personally, the number of hives at the beginning of the flow, before increase, sounds best to me, and also easiest to remember. But as others have stated it sounds like you are free to make up your own rules.
 

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I believe that when USDA ARS calls me they ask me how many hives I have, how many hives I took honey from, and how many pounds of honey I harvested from how many hives in which States.

So the USDA ARS standard is how many pounds of honey did you harvest from how many hives that produced that honey, not all of the hives you had in total.

I am finding myself less and less interested in such things. There are so many variables, such as apiary location, weather, microclimates, beekeeper skill and abilities, etc. And many people I hear talking about hive averages talk about the average amount of honey that they got off of one hive. In other words they don't know what an average is or means.
 

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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?
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
>So the USDA ARS standard is how many pounds of honey did you harvest from how many hives that produced that honey

So this explains rediculously low state averages. Some hives I may only pull one frame from, just because it was split late or a swarm that didn't have time to build up.
 

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The State averages would be lower figured any other way.

The importance of this data is in the long term view and in getting funding from Congress. All based on incomplete information, reported by biased individuals. But, what else is there to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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 :)
 

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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 :)
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.
 

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I double whatever Charlie B. brags to me.....
You're comparing apples to apricots. My Golden Gate Park honey is like a very fine expensive wine compared to your crappy San Mateo mud!
 
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