So…how much honey does a beehive produce?

photo 1 (9)It’s about the eight-month anniversary of this blog.  Hooray!  And since that time, one thing has been very consistent. I get a LOT of search traffic from the terms:

  • “How much honey does a hive make?”
  • “Beginner Beekeeping Guide”
  • “How much does honey weigh?”
  • “Backyard beehive setup”
  • “Laws and restrictions backyard beekeeping”
  • “How hard is beekeeping?”

So, I figured I’d set up a little FAQ to keep the search engines happy while also providing some good ol’ fashioned education.

1.  What’s our beekeeping setup?

We have a pretty standard backyard beekeeper setup – two brood boxes, two honey supers.  We got the bees as a “nuc” mean “nuclear family” – essentially we bought a smaller group of bees that could, with the help of a productive queen, build a very large hive if given the right amount of time and resources. We hope that by next year, our hive is big enough that we can do a split and/or catch a swarm to set up a second hive.

(Click “continue reading” to see more beekeeping FAQs!)

2. What are the laws and restrictions on backyard beekeeping?

I don’t know the laws everywhere. But I do know that unless a nosy neighborhood busybody was to actively look in your backyard and see you tending your bees, there’s almost no chance anyone would even realize you were keeping bees. (Except of course for the fact that beekeeping is really cool, and you’ll probably want to talk about it.)  Obviously follow whatever laws may exist in your area, but so long as you are keeping docile European honeybees, there’s really no reason anyone – state, municipality, or HOA should have an issue with it.

photo 2 (14)3. How much honey do we get a year?

In central Texas, we’re generally able to harvest honey twice a year.  If it was an especially productive year where the summer isn’t too blisteringly hot, maybe three. The amount you get per harvest is dependent on how big your hive is.  With two honey supers, we got just shy of three gallons in our first harvest.  If you have a large, established hive, you could easily get 2.5x that in a harvest.  It really just depends on your bees.

4.  How much does honey weigh?

A lot.  It’s really heavy.  You’ll generally need two people to move a full honey super.

5. How hard is beekeeping?

Not that hard. We probably spend about 6-10 hours per month inspecting, repairing, harvesting, or maintaining our hive, during the warmer months of the year. We don’t mess with the hive at all from roughly November – early March, as we don’t want to disturb the bees and the wax seals they’ve built up to keep out the cold. Mainly, you just have to want to do it and remain interested in your bees.

6.  Do we have a beginner beekeeping guide?

Nope.  But, you can look at some of our older articles from the Backyard Beekeeping 101 series, (part 1, 2, 3 and 4 so far).  We went to a training program through Round Rock Honey to get started, and also watch a lot of FatBeeMan on YouTube.

So, good luck!  And let us know in the comments how you’re own beekeeping experiments progress.

Whitney