Backyard beekeeping – 120 pounds of honey


treasure stolen gold
low the sun and busy bees
prepare for winter

We collected honey from our two backyard hives this fall and I’ve finally finished jarring it. The new hive, split from last year’s hive, produced over 20 pounds of honey. This is more than our first hive produced last year, but the older hive was not to be outdone.

Queen Ann, in the second year of her reign, ran a very productive operation. Her daughters produced some of the lightest, most delightful honey I’ve ever had. The water content is so low that it pours out like a sheet of glass, folding at the bottom like you might expect from taffy.


From Ann’s hive, we collected 100 pounds of honey, making the grand total 120 pounds between the two hives. This is the part we harvested. We leave enough behind for the bees to survive on during the long Minnesota winter, which amounts to another 80-100 pounds.

What’s incredible is that all of this honey is produced from the flowers, trees, and vegetable gardens within a 2-3 mile radius of the hives. Two years ago, before I began this hobby, I wouldn’t have thought this was possible in the city.


If you’re interested in starting a backyard hive next spring, this is what you can look forward to. The real challenge of this urban agricultural experiment is to figure out what to do with the harvest.

Backyard beekeeping – splitting a hive

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