Like many beekeepers in the UK, 2014 turned out to be a very good season for honey. With a very wet start to the year, we had a near-ideal spring and summer.
Having a previous record of 150 lbs in previous years, this year we managed to take off 250 lbs form 4 hives. I’m sure other beekeepers have achieved more productivity per hive – but for us, it was a great year.
At the start of 2013 I took the advice from a seasoned beekeeper who posted on this site. He told me to use TWO National brood chambers per hive – not one. Having spent several seasons frustrated that the brood took at least one brood chamber and one super-as-brood chamber, I experimented in 2013. The system worked well. So in 2014, I gave each of my established hives the extra space. Combined with the fact that the hives recovered much more strongly after swarming, I can’t understand why
Faith (the first hive I ever installed) continues strongly having re-queened a number of times – and lives up to her name. She produced the best crop of honey with four supers (not all full). The more observant will see an additional concrete block on the top of the hive. I had problems with badgers tipping some of our hives over a few years back. The weight of the block on top of the hive seems to have stopped this particular problem.
Faith, with two brood chambers, ready for over-wintering.
I will write more about the other five hives in future posts.