nothing like the honey harvest you might obtain at your location.
I haven't calculated honey harvest per hive in quite some time since half my bees are there to produce more bees and queens. I would guess in a good year 40# is a good goal in bad years 20# to nothing. even in bad years I do sell bees and queens... it just requires more syrup.
Ballpark is 25# per hive averaged, extracted. I left a super on about every 4th hive to divide up as needed. Some hives did zilch, some made 3 supers. This was only a spring flow, Blackberry and citrus.
When you are doing splits, catching swarms, ETC., NO, you won't get a super off each hive. I keep 5 to 20 hives about all the time, but different hives at different times. At one time this year I had 18 hives. I only robbed 1 hive all season. I now have 5. I am feeding 1 of them to get through the winter. Your confusion is in thinking we keep the same hives year after year, never losing any or starting new ones. Also, some areas are lucky to get 1 super from a hive, and other areas may get 4 or 5. There is no "normal expectation" harvest per hive for the industry, which I think is what you are asking.
This is my second year. The first year I got a little off each hive, spring for 1 and fall for both.
This year I got 57# from 1 hive, but none from the other: the queen went missing and I had to requeen and let them do their thing. They're fine now, but as an average of 2 hives, I got 28.5# per hive.
Let's compound this a bit more: I split the strong hive 3:1, so now I have 2 hives and 2 Nucs. I expect no fall honey, but, if all goes well, I should have some strong hives for the spring. We'll see how it goes.
Tcchris, your question shows that you are thinking and have been reading. That's great, keep it up. When I said some hives did zilch, they made enough for themselves.
But, some made lots of bees and not enough honey to rob. These are the hives I split (along with others),I did not let them make their own queens. I used queen cells to change the genetics to hopefully honey producing hives. These hives have value to me for queen cell production and nucs.
Also, citrus is poor nectar producer, very finicky. A 40# average would be considered great.
Thanks for the clarification , everyone .
I have two hives at present , surrounded by about 8 acres overgrown with blackberries and goldenrod so I kind of expect to do well on production . On the other hand , I will crush and strain , so I'm sure that will reduce my production some .
this is year 4 and I finally had enough to take 12 gallons off of my 7 hives. It took awhille for them to build comb off of the swarms I've collected. Like Iddee says. I never have all the hives at once. Some die off or I lose a queen etc so I collect more swarms. Our weather in the past 2 years have been very hard to collect stores so I left the bee's all they had. I think next year might pay off better now, I have alot of supers w/ drawn comb and all my deeps are drawn too. It takes alot of energy (ie honey) to draw comb.
part of post by tcchris
"""""I will crush and strain , so I'm sure that will reduce my production some . """"""
Both protein (pollen) and carbohydrates (honey) are required to produce beeswax; 1 lb
beeswax, which contains about 450,000 wax scales, will provide enough wax to make 35,000 hexagonal
cells that can store 10 kg (22 lb) honey. Thus bees consume part of their food (pollen and honey) for the
purpose of converting it into nest structure -specifically cells for food storage and brood rearing. It takes
2.7 to 4.5 kg (6 to 10 lb) honey to produce 0.45 kg (1 lb) wax.
this means with crush and strain , for every 22 pounds of honey we get ,, the girls had to make 28 to 32
pounds of honey,, yea I crush and strain to ..
I know ,, say 8 pounds of honey to make wax to store 22 pounds ,,, so if we get 110 pounds of honey
from a hive ,,, that means it took 40 pounds of honey to make wax to store the 110 pounds of honey ...
Now if we say you sell your honey for lets say 2 dollars a pound ( I know thats cheap ) we spend 80 dollars
to get 110 pounds of honey ...so if an extractor cost 300 dollars ,, for each 410 pounds of honey we sell ,
we lost 300 dollars that could have paid for a extractor... but you need the 300 all up front to buy it
35 productive hives made 25 five gal. buckets of strained honey and four shallow supers of comb honey.Some of these hives made 1 med. super of honey, some two,some 1 med. and a shallow of comb honey and some made 4 med. supers of honey. I also made new hives, splits and nuc's from some of these hives. All in all, i've had a good year. Jack
Started with 1 hive last year. I got 2 1/2 gallons of honey my first year and was very happy because it was such a rough year. Split that hive this spring. The split is very strong, but no excess honey. This year the original hive yielded about 3 gallons ( harvested yesterday). So I'm happy. That 's enough for friends and family.