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I am hoping that mr Bush will answer this as well as anyother experts out there I am planning on purchasing a quanity of hives is there a rule of thumb out there or an average of the amount of honey a 5 box hive will produce also does going to 4.9 help with the Mite problem Jim
 

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Im not an expert lol but, OUR observations show the 4.9 helps a ton we have 10 hives right now they are on 5.0 to 4.9 with no mite treatment. They are geting through the winter very nicely. The clusters are all good size but not too big. we also have 10 large cell hive that we treated with OA. They have very small clusters and just look weak.
In your first question if you mean a five box high hive like with 3 deeps of surplus honey figure that in one deep you get about 70-80pd so times that by three you get 240 which would be a lot of honey our hives never filled a deep up that full it does feel like it somtimes. I think in a medium you can get 50-60 pounds of honey per box. Also what are you buying in quanity the hives or boxes or foundation. regards Nick
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>I am hoping that mr Bush will answer this as well as anyother experts out there I am planning on purchasing a quanity of hives is there a rule of thumb out there or an average of the amount of honey a 5 box hive will produce also does going to 4.9 help with the Mite problem

I don't know if I'm a expert, but from my experience the 4.9 will resolve the mite problems once you have the bees regressed to 4.9mm or below in the center of the brood nest. The first regression of large bees will usually only get you to 5.1mm and that is not enough to resolve the issue.

How much honey you get from a strong established hive can run from none to 250 or even 300 pounds. I don't know if a "usual" number is even useful because it can vary so much because of things that aren't in your control and also because of things that are. The hives that are the most successful can quickly turn into disasters. They are the most likely to swarm the most likely to have more mites etc. Sometimes success is a curse.

Sometimes you get a drought at the wrong time, queenlessness at the wrong time, a swarm at the wrong time, a pesticide kill at the worst time (it's always a wrong time). So if you are asking what you can count on, then the answer is nothing. You might end up feeding a hive and getting nothing. You also might not even have to feed the hive and get 300 pounds of honey. But it is more likely you will get somewhere between 50 and 150 pounds of honey from a hive around here.
 

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I would like to thank Mr Bush and swarm trapper for their valuable help I am planning on buying all the equipment from Mann lake out of MN as their close all but the foundation as I want 4.9 as I have found a supplier of the 4.9 russian bees I just have to figure out how to get them to North Dakota as the supplier doesn't ship. I am placing the in a friends Organic field of sunflowers I have never had bees before so I am wondering how manny hives to start with suggestions? I am able to devote at least 3 days per week to this project I have a friend who has 6 hives and is willing to help me one day per week also

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Jim,

I believe that you would be best served to start with just a few (3 or 4) hives this year. Enjoy them and learn about them. Then next year go ahead and double the number of hives (6-8). The following year, double them again. keep doing this until you have the number of hives that works for you. If in year 1 you have more time to devote to keeping, look to work with someone else who is a keeper in your area. In my opinion, it's all about gaining some hands on experience for yourself before getting in too deep. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Thanks for the advice as I was thinking of getting 5 hives I am having trouble getting the bees I want shipped to me as they are in GA and I am in ND and the supplier doesn't ship any suggestions (2 cents is worth a lot on this forum)
 
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You might check with your Beekeeping associations in your state. If enough people get together, someone might be able to make the trip and pick them up. I used to drive for a living, ND to GA is a two day trip. Just a idea. Here in Indiana it is common, but we are closer too. Good luck.
 

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Five is a reasonable number to start with. I'd say no less than two and no more than five for starters until you get the hang of things. You can easily double each year if you want. I'd put no more than 25 at one location here (give or take a few nucs and splits). That seems to be a reasonable number in most locations.
 
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