Realistic Expectations for Your Honey Harvest
In your first year, don’t expect too much of a honey harvest. Sorry, but a newly established colony doesn’t have the benefit of a full season of foraging. Nor has it had an opportunity to build its maximum population. Be patient. Next year will be a bonanza!
Beekeeping is like farming. The actual yield depends upon the weather. Many warm, sunny days with ample rain result in more flowers and greater nectar flows. When gardens flourish, so do bees. If Mother Nature works in your favor, a hive can produce 60 and even up to100 pounds of surplus honey (that’s the honey you can take from the bees).
If you live in a warm climate (like Florida or Southern California) you can expect multiple harvests each year. But remember that your bees need you to leave some honey for their own use. In cold climates, leave them 60 pounds, in climates with no winter, leave 20 to 30 pounds.
For a hive to produce that much surplus honey is amazing when you consider that honey bees fly more than 50,000 miles and visit more than 2 million flowers to gather enough nectar to make a pound of honey.