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How Long Does It Take To Get Honey From A New Hive?
If you are a new beekeeper, then you would surely be eager to taste some of the honey from your own beehives. It is natural for beekeepers to look forward to their first harvest. But before you decide to take away honey from a new hive, you must make sure that the colony has sufficient honey. This is why most beekeepers do not harvest honey from a new hive for the first year.
The Bees Have to Set Up their New Home
Once you have a new swarm or you’ve received your recent shipment of bees, they will start setting up their home. The bees will work hard the first year to attach a natural comb to the frames. This means that a lot of wax needs to be produced. As a result, the bees work very hard and need more energy and food for this period of time when they are still in the settling period.
They Start Storing Honey
With the wax drawn out, the bees will have enough place to store the nectar and for the queen to start laying so that the colony can grow. If your bees get a good start, then you may be able to take honey from the hive without any damage to the colony. Factors that affect the amount of honey the bees can make are:
· Sunny regions will see better progress while cold areas will see sluggish growth
· Bees should have easy access to flower patches
· Comfortable frames
· Less disturbance
If these factors are kept in mind, then the process will be quicker and your first batch of honey could be ready within four to six months for harvest.
But the colony is still weak and the bees are still adapting to the environment. If you wait for the next season, then your bee colony would be stronger and would have excess honey for you to take away. Once the colony is properly established, future harvest will be quicker.
Survival Kicks in As Winter Draws Close
Keeping in mind that the climate would have grown colder by now, your bees will need the honey to survive the winter. If you take away honey from a new hive in the first year, then there is a chance of colony losses. The bees may end up in distress if they feel that they are left with less food for the winter. Then you would end up feeding your bees to make sure that the colony survives the winter.
The second season is ideal for you to start taking honey from your hives without noticing distress in the colonies. With the wax drawn out, the colony is stronger and is capable of making surplus honey. But like I mentioned earlier in this article, the flow of nectar will depend on several factors. As a new beekeeper, you will find it easy to consult other beekeepers in your region to find the best time to harvest honey from a new hive.