bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Friday, April 29, 2005

Biggest single-queen honey haul

How much honey do you harvest from each colony? I'm not precisely sure because my bees always have to be managed for swarming, so with the splitting of hives, a figure for a single colony is hard to calculate. I usually average between 60 and 90 lbs (25 and 40 kgs) per colony. Without oil seed rape, my figure would probably be 45 to 60 lbs (20 to 25 kgs).

But a reader has alerted me to the world record holder Ormand Eibi who harvested an astonishing 404 lbs (184 kgs) from a single-queen colony in one season (you can get higher figures by 'cheating' with multiple queen colonies). I reckon that could be as many as 16 or more Langstroth supers!

Apparently Mr Aebi lives in Santa Cruz, California where his bees can forage eucalyptus from January to June, and then an even bigger flow of blackberry & clover in June and July. I bet it's fine tasting honey too. Enough to keep his neighbours happy!


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