When you get to the big-time, like Bjorn is, then it makes more sense to spend a lot of time on it.
Just go with it and enjoy the wonder of the bees for a while first before making it into work.
Many many beekeepers actually pay (usually with honey) for a place to keep their hives.
First....I'm not "big-time".
Second, you'll never get close to "big-time" giving your honey away for sites, and providing pollination for FREE!
Third, There are many smaller sideline operations. They call themselves sideliners...which is for many, a substitute word for meaning...a "poor" beekeeper
I'm not suggesting that there are not many adequate sites for a beekeeper to place a few hives. But I have heard many times, from beekeepers who select an operation to place bees on, that is far from advantageous for what the beekeeper wants. How many times have you heard "I have a pumpkin grower who will let me keep bees on his place for exchange of pollination". Traditional farmers, orchards, and many other type farms are NOT the best place to keep bees. And why someone would seek these places, have an environment not conducive to having healthy bees or a great honey crop, then on top of that, PAYS for the site by giving away honey.....blows my mind.
It does not take a rocket scientist to read about pesticides, CCD, and the pitfalls of chemicals. And yet, many beekeepers seek out situations that are right in line, and goes against all the chatter of such problems. It's as if, all the potential problems are soon forgotten, because of some less than adequate place to keep bees if offered.
WORK is bangin your head from day one, with problems of a working farm, paying for a site, and wondering why your bees are doing so crappy.
MANY..are those that pay for sites. True. And there are just as many with problems every year, while sucking that next dollar from your wallet, while someone suggests that this is the best it can be, and this is the "fun" stage of your beekeeping experience. Well Duh!
(Dave) Did you offer to place bees on a site for free, and also pay for it? No. This idea of paying for a site is absurd! Your providing a service. they would not of responded if they did not want your bees. Selecting the BEST place your bees is one thing. Suggesting you PAY for it by GIVING your honey away, because other beekeepers do it, Blows my mind twice as much..
I know that some after calling out "HEY! I got bees! Who needs bees?" and having 14 people respond, may actually see a business opportunity. An opportunity that goes beyond asking yourself....."Ok, now which of these 14 people will I provide free pollination too, and also pay them a year-end payment of some of my honey? Hmmmm. Let me think this over....do not want to be stupid...don't want to put money in my families pocket.....I want this to be fun...
I realize a new beekeeper started this, and he is in step one. But nothing wrong with the conversation that will be read be many others. I'm just trying to point out the valuable service beekeepers provide, the demand for your bees, and the business opportunity for you and your family, regardless of the number of hives you maintain.