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New to Honey Production


#1

Hello everybody :slight_smile:

I am very new to the world of bees and wanted to get as much information as I can on commercial bee keeping before I start, here in Hyderabad, India there aren’t many places that can give me the necessary insight into this matter…

I wanted to know

  1. How much honey can a healthy bee hive produce in year?
  2. I have approximately 2 acres of land (I have a fruit tree orchard and plenty of wild vegetation and
    flowers on the property) which is surrounded by other farms located in an agricultural area on
    the out skirts of the city I live in… Would this space be sufficient to keep 20 - 30 hives?
  3. Would it be a good Idea to start with 20 - 30 hives or should I start with a smaller/larger number?
  4. Is it ok to order bees online? and is it safe for the bees to be transported overseas, in case i
    have to order them from another country?
  5. Which month would be the best to set up my bee hives and how soon can I expect my first
    harvest from the time I have set up my hives?

#2

Hi Maxim, first of all you’ll need to study all you can about bee culture & bee keeping. Looking after bees is not everyone’s cup of tea.

How much honey per hive per anum can vary from just a few kilos to 150+ kilos.

What you’re describing sounds ideal for 20-30 hives.

I think you need to start off small & work your way up once you become comfortable with keeping bees.

A quick google search indicates that India has a thriving bee industry. You shouldn’t need to import bees from overseas.

The best time to start beekeeping would be the start of spring, unless you purchase some established hives.

Good luck with your endeavors, cheers


#3

Thank you for the info JeffH

and yes I will definitely invest more time to study the bees… still plenty of time till spring :smiley:


#4

Could I also add
If you can find a commercial beekeeper to shadow or maybe even work for (probably for nothing in wages but you would be more than rewarded by experience) you will save yourself many mistakes and set yourself up for a profitable enterprise. Be aware that it is hard work making a living out of bees and most commercial beekeepers make a lot of their money by actually selling bees as well as honey.
A skill in woodwork is a good thing to have too.
Good luck


#5

Thank you Dee,

It would be great if you could share some pictures of different cells to help me Identify and differentiate between the drones, workers and the queen cells.


#6

I also wanted to ask,

If i have empty bee hives will a mature hive be interested in populating the empty one?


#7

Lots on google

Yes you might be lucky to attract a swarm

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/baithives.htm


#8

My understanding is that too many hives together is not a good thing.
They compete with food too much and may have trouble coming back to the same hive.

I have 30 acres and have 3 hives and they do well when there is a lot of flower on.
Beekeeping is a learning experience and I’ve come to realise
"its the bees first then honey second"

What about pesticides in your area?
I’ve been to Hyderabad and its a busy place.

Best to put them were there is lots of flowers. Somebodies orchard is a good place.
Could you go somewhere and work for somebody for free to learn beekeeping.
In the north near Shimla are many apple orchards who have bees there.


#9

How much honey can a healthy bee hive produce in year?

Somewhere between -75 pounds and +400 pounds. But somewhere between 40 and 200 pounds is more likely.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesexpectations.htm#honeycrop
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#howmuchhoney

I have approximately 2 acres of land (I have a fruit tree orchard and plenty of wild vegetation and
flowers on the property) which is surrounded by other farms located in an agricultural area on
the out skirts of the city I live in… Would this space be sufficient to keep 20 - 30 hives?

Bees forage the 8,000 acres around you. If the hives will fit they will likely do fine. Different forage can change things a lot, but most places around here 20 - 30 hives works fine.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesexpectations.htm#oneplace
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#howmanyhivesoneacre

Would it be a good Idea to start with 20 - 30 hives or should I start with a smaller/larger number?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#howmanybeginner

Is it ok to order bees online? and is it safe for the bees to be transported overseas, in case i
have to order them from another country?

Most countries have very strict import policies to try to prevent spreading more pests and diseases.

Which month would be the best to set up my bee hives and how soon can I expect my first
harvest from the time I have set up my hives?

That is entirely dependent on where you are.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslocality.htm

It would be great if you could share some pictures of different cells to help me Identify and differentiate between the drones, workers and the queen cells.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbasics.htm


#10

Thank you Michael_Bush

In the case of swarming, do all the bees leave the original hive?
if the original queen leaves with a majority of the colony does the new virgin queen get to keep the old hive?
and if I have a colony that has matured and is ready for a split or a swarm, is there a chance that the mature colony would populate one of my empty hives through swarming?


#11

Not Michael
No, about a third or a half
Yes one of them will
Swarming bees usually move away from the apiary.
Split them yourself and put them in one of your empty hives.
Could I repeat without upsetting you…you can’t learn all this from the internet. Shadow a beekeeper that knows what he is doing. You need to be able to recognise disease as well as learn all the manipulations


#12

In the case of swarming, do all the bees leave the original hive?

No.

if the original queen leaves with a majority of the colony does the new virgin queen get to keep the old hive?

She usually doesn’t leave with the majority. Just a portion. Yes, the virgin queen takes over.

and if I have a colony that has matured and is ready for a split or a swarm, is there a chance that the mature colony would populate one of my empty hives through swarming?

Yes. About a 1 in 50 chance… unless you bait it with lemongrass essential oil and put it about 1/4 mile away upwind. Then maybe a 1 in 5 chance… It’s a much better bet to catch it before a swarm and do a split.