Any new beekeeper is excited once the hive is colonized, and soon wonders how long before they can taste some honey. To that end, many Kenyan beekeepers always ask how many times in a year they can harvest honey from their bee hives. (Honey Harvesting Methods)

When the first honey crop can be harvested depends on when the hive was colonized by bees, strength of the individual colony, climate as well as surrounding plant life. When the conditions are all met and favorable a healthy colony can easily be harvested 2-3 times per year and must be harvested regularly to afford space for the next honey crop

When to avoid harvesting honey from your beehive

  • During drastic weather changes such as drought seasons. You run the risk of taking too much and leaving your bees with little to feed on during the barren dry months.
  • When the hive is new, you are not likely to be able to harvest much honey. The reason for this is because your colony will need to grow in size to be able to produce surplus honey. In the first year, the bees will be busy building combs and filling it with honey to feed the colony. If you try to take honey for yourself, you might leave the bees with insufficient amounts to feed themselves as their population grows.
New colony constructing honeycomb. Not for honey harvesting
New colony constructing honeycomb
  • When the percentage of capped honey frames is less than 80%. Harvesting uncapped honey has the risk of water content in the honey being a lot higher than normal and would ferment from natural sugars in the honey. Read also about honey crystallization HERE
semi-capped honey on bee frame. Nearly ready for honey harvesting
nearly-capped honey on bee frame

7 replies on “Best times Kenyan beekeepers can harvest honey from beehives”

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September 2022