Southerns Beekeeping Association

Amount of honey produced by South African honey bees

So we got asked this question and I am sure a few people think it. How many South African honey bees does a single bee hive carry and the amount of honey produced by that single beehive?

How many bees per bee hive will it take to produce five tons of Honey?

There is no one simple answer to this question.

A full production strength beehive can contain 60 000 bees.
The amount of honey produced by that hive is entirely dependent on

a) quantity, quality & duration of nectar flow
b) strength of the colony going into the nectar flow
c) laying ability of the queen
d) pollen resources available to feed the growing larvae
e) strength and health of the colony
f) availability of space within the beehive to accommodate growing colony AND store food reserves
g) pests and diseases within the hive
h) security of the site to eliminate potential theft and/or vandalism
i) …. etc etc

There is no one simple answer to this question.

One individual hive on a specific site could produce 15kg of honey one season, and nothing the next.

It all boils down to management and experience.

No beekeeper in South Africa can guarantee x no hives will produce 5 tons honey in a specific year.


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