If you start as a new with 20 hives, they will escape to sky.
Well, if they do, Ryan can learn a lot about capturing swarms!
It does sound ambitious, but Ryan, if you're will to spend the time, read the books, and learn from others, at worst, you'll make mistakes and lose some colonies. and maybe that's not the worst--we all learn from our mistakes.
I had two colonies last year; I could have handled five, easily. That's why I'm getting five packages for spring, and I may split my current colony. And I do have a full time job. What will be time consuming (and expensive...) will be extracting--and finding a good extractor, setting up my extracting "station."
Over the last year, I've learned a lot from the books I've read--including some over 100 years old, from the others in my beekeeping club, and from foums like this one.
I'm fortunate that I live in an area with a long history of beekeeping, and a long history of beekeeping research. For instance, you may sometimes see a bee brush referred to as a "Coggshall brush," or see the definitive book on beeswax processing by Coggshall and Morse. Well, the Coggshalls started the first commerical beekeeping in this area about 3 generations ago--and as it happens, I know William Coggshall's daughter!
Roger Morse, who died in 2000, also lived and worked in this area at Cornell University, a stone's throw from where I live. Cornell University still does quite a bit of research, so I get the low down on local bee info.
While my experience is limited to a year, all of these resources mean that I have a heck of a lot of theoretical knowledge that I can work into my own practices, and test in my own backyard. [/i]