I will be starting my first year as a beekeeper and am trying to do lots of research. And I have a question. It seems common to hear the refrain “Don’t harvest honey your first year”. Sadly people don’t seem to qualify or expand on this, and it seems like an incomplete thought.
Is that statement predicated on the assumption that the colony will not be able to produce an excess amount of honey? I totally understand not taking any honey that the bees NEED. However, let’s just say that a first year colony does exceptionally well and fills double deep brood boxes, as well as two medium supers of honey. If people overwinter colonies in just double deeps or even a deep and a medium, why would you not be able to harvest any honey from those two mediums on a first year colony?
Initially I didn’t think it mattered, because you could just harvest excess honey in the spring, whatever the bees didn’t need, but if you are going to treat against varroa in the fall you wouldn’t be able to consume the honey from the supers because the were on the colony at the time of treatment.
Why do people say not to harvest honey the first year?