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Author Topic: 30 Hives  (Read 4958 times)
Irwin
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« on: January 12, 2009, 10:35:25 AM »

This guy I know has 30 hives he wants to give me with all the stuff. Two extractor's two suite's and a bunch of box's and nuc's. He is a long haul trucker and doesn't have the time for them any more. The only thing he wants is half the honey for 3 years. I will know more this spring when I can look at all the stuff. I'm scared because this is my first year with bee's and this would be a giant steep for me. and I don't have the money for med's and all the other stuff I will need. But this may be god telling me they need my help. I might sell some of the stuff so I would have the money to get med's and what ever I need. He is a really nice guy that wants some body to have his bee's.
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 11:08:44 AM »

check out the Oregon state beekeepers association forum, i am sure you will find folks close to home who are more than willing to help you out.

http://orsba.proboards27.com/
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 11:18:19 AM »

Don't you bat an eye, smile and say yes. YOu can do it!! You can find places to put them in a heartbeat. . the rest will just fall in place. And don't forget you'll have a lot of suport here too. Smiley

Come spring the local bee inspector can help look, and see if he sees any problems in them hives.
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 11:24:18 AM »

Don't you bat an eye, smile and say yes. YOu can do it!! You can find places to put them in a heartbeat. . the rest will just fall in place. And don't forget you'll have a lot of suport here too. Smiley

Yep, it may seem intimidating, but you can do it. Medications aren't always necessary, either, there are other ways and solutions that are cheaper.

I wish someone would offer me that kind of deal.
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Irwin
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 11:27:41 AM »

Maybe I should posted in rapid beeyard growth Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 11:42:57 AM »

make sure you have a written agreement. if something happens, you don't want him demanding some other form of payment.......other than that, go for it.  hey...maybe this will be another source of income for you...and a reward for doing the right thing  grin
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 12:05:36 PM »

 I would'nt think twice about taking them. You can do it, the biggest change that you will have to adjust to is time management. That was the biggest adjustment for me. Last year, I ended the season with 40 hives, way more than I wanted. I ran into a couple of older guys getting out of beekeeping and several cut outs and a few swarm calls later, there I was. The older guys stop by from time to time and get a jar of honey and to shoot the breeze. But back to what I was getting to, what use to take 30 min. to do now takes a few hours. Good luck and enjoy your addition!
                                                    Marc
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 12:25:19 PM »

Irwin go for it like you said you could sell some if you had to.
Good luck

Keith
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 12:35:47 PM »

We would do it in a heartbeat!!
Some guys can step in it and come up smelling like roses.  You're one lucky guy! grin grin grin
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 12:36:13 PM »

Money for meds?  Half the honey?  Hey, skip the meds, and if you only get honey from two of the hives, half of  that goes to him!! rolleyes
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Rick
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 04:27:15 PM »

Hey Irwin!  Read Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping by Dewey M. Caron it is an extensive yet understandable book.

You really don't need to spend alot on meds.  If the stock is not resistant/hygenic to Varro you will have to treat regularly, this is your main issue.  Oxalic Acid drip is a one two punch for Varroa and is easy if you follow directions. 
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 04:42:41 PM »

Sounds like a sweet deal to me, but first things first, get an Inspection , make sure HE does not have American Foulbrood before YOU acquire the 30 hives. Good Luck, you can handle it.  grin
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 04:58:58 PM »

Go for it Irwin. We will give you all the support needed to get you through.
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 05:54:25 PM »

Sounds interesting, and I am sure you are up to it.  As for the agreement, I wholeheartedly agree with KathyP.  You need to be sure that if there is no honey, then you owe no money.  Good contracts make for good business and good friends.  Often folks who have gone into an agreement (usually a partnership) will tell me that they thought at the beginning that they had it all worked out.  This is often given as the reason that no written agreement was prepared.  Other times, the parties do prepare a written agreement but fail to address what happens in a given situation (typically the situation they now face).  All of this can be avoided by a good written agreement.  Remember, all is fine now when you are friends, but you will not need the agreement until the time that things have fallen apart and no one can agree.  That is when it is very nice to have a piece of paper where the parties have memorialized their expectations.  Typically, it is the uncommunicated expectation that leads to fights between people anyway.
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 07:54:41 PM »

Irwin...

Go for it Irwin. We will give you all the support needed to get you through.
 

Sounds interesting, and I am sure you are up to it.  As for the agreement, I wholeheartedly agree with KathyP.  You need to be sure that if there is no honey, then you owe no money.  Good contracts make for good business and good friends.  Often folks who have gone into an agreement (usually a partnership) will tell me that they thought at the beginning that they had it all worked out.  This is often given as the reason that no written agreement was prepared.  Other times, the parties do prepare a written agreement but fail to address what happens in a given situation (typically the situation they now face).  All of this can be avoided by a good written agreement.  Remember, all is fine now when you are friends, but you will not need the agreement until the time that things have fallen apart and no one can agree.  That is when it is very nice to have a piece of paper where the parties have memorialized their expectations.  Typically, it is the uncommunicated expectation that leads to fights between people anyway.

 
 I go for it if you get it in a written agreement. See you on Ventrilo

     

       BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley

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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2009, 09:10:40 PM »

Irwin,

If you want to start a business this could be a great way to get it going quickly.  I think you should put the cost of half the honey in perspective when evaluating the deal.  I would ask around to other local beekeepers who are in it as a business what kind of total yields they get in a year.  Calculate it out for 30 hives x 3 and then get a revenue value for half that (retail or bulk depending on how you want to sell it).  Then you will have a good idea of what it will cost you in dollars. 

In my first year my hives produced on average 60# per hive, and that was just starting out in early summer after missing citrus flow.  I think around here local honey sells for $5-6/lb retail.  That's $900 in 3 years or a total cost of $450 per hive, less 1/30th the value of the extractors and other equipment that's in the deal.  That of course is to be calculated after you see it all.  From where I sit, it sounds like pretty expensive hives.

On the other hand, you have ZERO cash out of pocket to get in the deal.  That's a huge positive term in your favor.  grin

Here's an idea.  Offer to take the hives off his hands and propose no honey split the first 2 years and then all honey the third year.  The argument is that you need to build cash reserves to get the business rolling - for new equipment, supplies, jars/packaging materials, marketing, accounting, legal, office supplies, repairs and maintenance, all those expenses you will incur to get started as a real business.  By year 3 you'll have expanded way beyond 30 hives, I would imagine, and will still be able to generate income from your newer hives while paying off the whole deal at that time.

If that doesn't work for him then I'd offer no honey the first year, half the second year, and then all the honey the third.  Then it's the same amount of honey just distributed differently...whatever you can negotiate you know.  It's just the idea of generating the largest amount of revenue up front for seeding.  Cash now is always better than cash tomorrow.

My point is, depending on what equipment is included, he isn't just giving away his bees, and you want to hit the ground running without being strapped for cash.  So whatever your ultimate goals are, whether it be just to keep doing it as a hobby (in a big way) or turning it into a real business, negotiate in a way that gets you more cash earlier.  It doesn't sound like he needs the cash immediately if he is offering to receive future honey.  Otherwise he's be on Craigslist trying to sell everything.

Good luck!

Tracy
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Irwin
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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2009, 02:34:11 PM »

I just talked to the guy's son he said they don't use med's. They haven't lost a hive in two years and they haven't extratced any honey this year. Well I think I'm going to jump in to the bee biz head first. I will be needing help support and most of a knowledge from all of you here.
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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2009, 06:01:44 PM »

Wow Irwin, this is pretty exciting! Congratulations!!
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2009, 11:15:28 PM »

If you feel overwhelmed the first year, just remember: each year you learn more and get more efficient.
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« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2009, 12:42:56 AM »

that's a really good deal. Besides honey look into pollination ,maybe ,cranberries or cherries or what ever they have where your at also like some of the other folks here suggested you better check for foulbrood ,mites and find out how old the queens are and no matter what happens just know that you can handle it also I wouldn't sell any of your equipment especially not your boxes or any wooden ware for that matter not being able to afford to buy more boxes is my biggest hold up but once you have the equipment your set also find out if he has access to other yards.   I wonder why his son didn't want to take them over ?   good luck!!!!!        metzelplex
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« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2009, 02:42:08 AM »

Irwin,

I am sure the guy is interesting you succeeding so he would probably point you in the right direction regarding pasture, locations and flows.  (I think someone hinted at this)  If you do think he is getting to good of deal you could always make divides or sell nukes.   evil
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« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2009, 07:03:53 AM »

Cool sounds like a good deal and I'm glad you decided to do it.  I have been watching this wanting to see what you did.  As someone said I wouldn't sell a thing you'll need it in time.  If you could get them to do it I would see if they would help robbing & extracting honey.  That way you get the help and they have the comfort you aren't ripping them off.  With 30 hives you'll need to increase a percentage each year just to maintain that hive count.  I would also give him his share in bulk containers saving yourself cost of bottles.  Half the honey is half no matter if it's in little bottles or 55 gallon drums.  And my advice is definitely have them inspected before you take them over.  You wouldn't want the inspector to make you destroy a few of the new ones because of something you  didn't know.  And during the inspection you can pick the inspectors brains to see what he thinks of the bees and your deal.  When you do rob honey make sure you leave plenty for over wintering these next few years that saves on feeding cost and you're giving half the honey to the trucker anyway. So he's picking up half the feed bill in a way. Here in the south I like to leave 1 or 2 supers on but our winters aren't that cold so they don't hold the cluster all winter like I think they do in other areas.   Another tip is to buy in bulk especially the stuff that will store well.  I find where the price break is an buy that way.  Like if I only need 1000 sheets of wax and the break is at 1500 I'll get the 1500 and store the other 500 for later.  That is if you have to space for storage.  I personally have bee stuff scattered all over my back 2 acres and dad has more stuff at his place in Florida as we run a commercial watermelon pollination service.

My question is do you have a place to extract and store your bee supplies.  And please don't say kitchen that's not going to cut it with 30 hives now.  Anyway have fun and as you know ask and somebody will answer.
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Irwin
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« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2009, 09:09:54 AM »

My question is do you have a place to extract and store your bee supplies.  And please don't say kitchen that's not going to cut it with 30 hives now.  Anyway have fun and as you know ask and somebody will answer.


The answer is no and no. My wife wont let me in the kitchen with frame's of honey I only get to make food for the bee's. I'm trying to find place's for storage and extracting.
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2009, 09:35:28 AM »

Irwin,

around here the churches have kitchens you can use if you clean them up afterward.  If you're a member of a church that's something to look into.  If not, perhaps there is a community building in the area you can rent for a small fee if you do the majority of your extracting at once. 

I think our local community building is $75 for a 12 hr day.  With 30+ hives that may be a worthwhile investment as well.
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Irwin
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« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2009, 08:34:04 PM »

The wife is having a problem NOW with me getting the bee's angry She says to much of my time and money. But when I have a day off she runs me out of the house huh I'm not giving up yet  grin
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« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2009, 08:49:06 PM »

The wife is having a problem NOW with me getting the bee's angry She says to much of my time and money. But when I have a day off she runs me out of the house huh I'm not giving up yet  grin

Tell her it's your way of giving her some space.  Then when she starts complaining about all the time you spend with the bees and not enough with her, hand her a veil.
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2009, 10:47:29 PM »

The wife is having a problem NOW with me getting the bee's angry She says to much of my time and money. But when I have a day off she runs me out of the house huh I'm not giving up yet  grin

Tell her it's your way of giving her some space.  Then when she starts complaining about all the time you spend with the bees and not enough with her, hand her a veil.

Hang in there.  I'm lucky I handed my wife a suit...no questions.

David
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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2009, 10:51:55 PM »

Just tell her how much you will be able to do for her with the new income. grin Maybe she would like to market honey, maybe she just needs to feel included.
Sometimes a hobby can work out for a couple. You could keep bees, and she could do honey sales.
Just wondering if thats something se would be interested in.
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« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2009, 11:17:25 PM »

tell her you are thinking of an alternate hobby like engine repair.  ask her to start saving the newspapers so that you can cover the living room floor and not get oil on the carpet.  bet she'll reconsider the bee thing  smiley   banana devil
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« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2009, 05:53:38 AM »

Way To Go IRWIN!!!

With 30 hives, I would start building or buying nuc's bodies and frames! The income from that will more than pay for your costs.

Candle making business for the little lady?

With the losses in the upper northwest we need Bees!
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« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2009, 09:16:39 AM »

Irwin,
     I agree with others.  You can do this.  Involve your wife as others have said, try to get her involved in candle-making or some other extra marketing, and see if there are others around that can help you too.  You local organization should include members who want to see you succeed and will help you out a little in the beginning years.  If you have another beek locally who's pretty good, see if you can form a good relationship with them, or possibly even a partnership.  You can make a little money at selling nucs sometime down the road as well.  If you even have to go the simple route and keep them somewhere locally, all you need do is find three people who will let you put 10 hives or so each at their location.  Many folks would be glad to do this just to get the free pollination.  After you're established, you can look at pollination contracts and ways of moving them around. 
     Make sure your wife knows that there are ways for you to do this without having to go at it alone.  I think folks have presented you with some absolutely great ideas, especially the one about using your church.  If you need help during the extracting process, enlist your church's youth group or even your sunday-school class, and tell them you'll donate a portion of your proceeds in return for them helping you with the extracting so you can get your business rolling - this would be a great educational opportunity, and may help you establish a local market as well.  If you were in dire need of help, others may even be willing to help you with the marketing, etc. as well.

     There's a lot that you can do with a little creativity to make this work.  Good luck
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2009, 12:19:43 PM »

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Candle making business for the little lady?


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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2009, 06:07:29 PM »

 grin First the good News I'm getting the bees if he sign's the contract with the honey trade thing. I talked to a guy that I work for and he said he would help with the money for stuff I need just pay him back when I get thing's going. And I got a place for extrackting the honey all it will cost is a fifth of CROWN ROYAL and when I'm done I'll have to have a drink with him. And I talked to this lady that will help get me set up in our local farmers market to sell the honey. Now the bad News found out why the wife has been in a bad mood she has osteoporoses a herniated disk in her neck and upper back and her doc said she is not to lift over 8 pounds.
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2009, 06:18:07 PM »

OWIEE Irwin, I would be cranky too!  Give her our best & she will be in my prayers.  Do the Dr.s have any ideas on what can be done to fix or eliminate some of the pain? Will surgery of some kind be an option?  Kinda hard not to lift the grandkids though I'm sure they would love to help her get better, little girls are great for taking care of you!  J
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2009, 06:21:40 PM »

   Now the bad News found out why the wife has been in a bad mood she has osteoporoses a herniated disk in her neck and upper back and her doc said she is not to lift over 8 pounds.

Irwin....

 Hope the doc can help the wife see you on Ventrilo


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2009, 07:33:38 PM »

Well, first off I am sorry to hear about your wife. Back and neck pain is tough to deal with, I have had neck pain and I do have back pain, so I know she is hurting.
I hope the doctors can do something for her before it does any nerve damage. When they tell her not to lift more than 8 pounds make darn sure that she doesn't.
I know its tough to adhere to those guidelines when you are raising kids, but she will pay for it later.
She is in my thoughts.
Now, so are you! Congratulations! See how everything fell into place? Excellent news. You must be a good person for everyone to be willing to help you out.
I wish both of you the best of luck.
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2009, 08:10:34 PM »

Ill say go for it, there are other ways to get your wife involved, you'll need a name and a logo for your business and some one to stick all those labels on the jars !

I'd also point out how much you could bring in to the house hold budget. This about it 80-100lbs of honey per hive and then at $5 a lb x 30 hives = $12000 - 15000 dollars from the sale of the Honey alone !
Then you got pollination, put a poster up in all your local Feed Stores, you'll get 80-140 dollars per month per hive from that.

I think your going to do very well and every one is routing for you !
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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2009, 08:35:14 PM »

Cool using that spot maybe good for a bit to extract.  That way you'll get the chance to decide what you actually need in a honey house.   Sorry to hear about the wife and her back problems.  I don't have any advice there that's not my specialty for sure.  Mine kind of married into beekeeping so she can't complain now.  Wondering now what else you are getting than just the 30 hives. 
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2009, 08:47:10 PM »

grin First the good News I'm getting the bees if he sign's the contract with the honey trade thing. I talked to a guy that I work for and he said he would help with the money for stuff I need just pay him back when I get thing's going. And I got a place for extrackting the honey all it will cost is a fifth of CROWN ROYAL and when I'm done I'll have to have a drink with him. And I talked to this lady that will help get me set up in our local farmers market to sell the honey. Now the bad News found out why the wife has been in a bad mood she has osteoporoses a herniated disk in her neck and upper back and her doc said she is not to lift over 8 pounds.

My doctor says my lifting limit is 5 lbs but when you have livestock you still have to wrestle those 80 lb hay bales and 50 lb feed sacks.  But that may be why my back has only gotten worse over the last 30 years.
I have an appointment tomorrow to get a shot of cortizone in my lower back so I can tolerate walking and lifting a bit more that the 50 lb sack of rabbit food I did today.  Can't say enough about the cortizone shots, they're what keeps me going.  I also take a regimine of Anti-inflamitories and Muscle relaxants along with Oxycontin. 
Your wife might want to look into some of those options as the osteoporosis is long term and the herniated disc can be.
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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2009, 07:52:35 AM »

Hey..why the boot for the little lady comment???

My lady IS little...but she can pack a wicked punch!
Sorry if I offended you..really..
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2009, 08:27:37 AM »

Hey..why the boot for the little lady comment???

My lady IS little...but she can pack a wicked punch!
Sorry if I offended you..really..
My wife is 5 foot tall and has a great punch. And she is the only person I know that can throw a curve ball with a coffee cup.
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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2009, 08:34:39 AM »

grin First the good News I'm getting the bees if he sign's the contract with the honey trade thing. I talked to a guy that I work for and he said he would help with the money for stuff I need just pay him back when I get thing's going. And I got a place for extrackting the honey all it will cost is a fifth of CROWN ROYAL and when I'm done I'll have to have a drink with him. And I talked to this lady that will help get me set up in our local farmers market to sell the honey. Now the bad News found out why the wife has been in a bad mood she has osteoporoses a herniated disk in her neck and upper back and her doc said she is not to lift over 8 pounds.

My doctor says my lifting limit is 5 lbs but when you have livestock you still have to wrestle those 80 lb hay bales and 50 lb feed sacks.  But that may be why my back has only gotten worse over the last 30 years.
I have an appointment tomorrow to get a shot of cortizone in my lower back so I can tolerate walking and lifting a bit more that the 50 lb sack of rabbit food I did today.  Can't say enough about the cortizone shots, they're what keeps me going.  I also take a regimine of Anti-inflamitories and Muscle relaxants along with Oxycontin. 
Your wife might want to look into some of those options as the osteoporosis is long term and the herniated disc can be.
Brian they got her on all that stuff and surgery is out of it soon as they said she might get paralyzed when they do it she said no surgery for me.
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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2009, 08:56:57 AM »

I want to thank you all for the support. And the wife Say's thank's too. It's just a little more work for me no big deal. Did you guy's know that vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. They got her on that to.
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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2009, 09:02:44 AM »

Cool using that spot maybe good for a bit to extract.  That way you'll get the chance to decide what you actually need in a honey house.   Sorry to hear about the wife and her back problems.  I don't have any advice there that's not my specialty for sure.  Mine kind of married into beekeeping so she can't complain now.  Wondering now what else you are getting than just the 30 hives. 
Every thing suites extractors and all grin
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« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2009, 07:34:00 AM »

Cool I thought you said everything he had.  How big is the extractor, did you get a wax melter, uncapping machine of some sort, how many supers and how many of them are ready and don't need repair.  I'm a nosey joker and some of these people have stuff you may not think they have.  Eighter way sounds like you have some work gathering things up and getting ready for the spring.  See if you can get the book The Queen and I by Edward A. Weiss it's an older beekeeping book the wife may enjoy.  Kind of a story of a first year beekeeper and his mentor.  The information is older but given in a format non beekeepers will read more.
 
Now you have it seems storage and extraction taken care of. My next problem is tranporting supers this spring and summer from you outyards.  Do you have a pickup truck and trailer of some sort?  I'm not trying to discourage you rather point out things before they become issues in the future.  A pick up works great and I assume you have one, but a trailer works better because you won't have to unload a pick up all the time before you go to work.  Depending on the extraction spot you may can back a trailer in unhook and go.

Have fun and keep us posted I'm enjoying reading these post.  I hope you do well and it seems you are on the right track.  There are times I would love to have a smaller operation like you are getting it would be so much fun again.  And I remember when we were making the same steps you are making now.   
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« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2009, 08:54:40 AM »

Cool I thought you said everything he had.  How big is the extractor, did you get a wax melter, uncapping machine of some sort, how many supers and how many of them are ready and don't need repair.  I'm a nosey joker and some of these people have stuff you may not think they have.  Eighter way sounds like you have some work gathering things up and getting ready for the spring.  See if you can get the book The Queen and I by Edward A. Weiss it's an older beekeeping book the wife may enjoy.  Kind of a story of a first year beekeeper and his mentor.  The information is older but given in a format non beekeepers will read more.
 
Now you have it seems storage and extraction taken care of. My next problem is tranporting supers this spring and summer from you outyards.  Do you have a pickup truck and trailer of some sort?  I'm not trying to discourage you rather point out things before they become issues in the future.  A pick up works great and I assume you have one, but a trailer works better because you won't have to unload a pick up all the time before you go to work.  Depending on the extraction spot you may can back a trailer in unhook and go.

Have fun and keep us posted I'm enjoying reading these post.  I hope you do well and it seems you are on the right track.  There are times I would love to have a smaller operation like you are getting it would be so much fun again.  And I remember when we were making the same steps you are making now.   
I got access to a one ton flat bed truck and trailer. And people that want me to put bee's at there place. But I'm looking for people that will pay for it.
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« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2009, 10:25:42 AM »

Quote
I got access to a one ton flat bed truck and trailer. And people that want me to put bee's at there place. But I'm looking for people that will pay for it.

Talk to your local bee supplie store. They may know of a broker who can find you places for pollination.
I noticed you live in OR. If anything knock on doors of apple growers.
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« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2009, 07:24:25 PM »

To get started pollination you may can try at the farm supply too.  The farmer buys his seeds, fertilizers, and sees your pollination service cards are there or little flyer on a board there.  A good few pollination spots can make some reliable income maybe use your increases for that would be a good idea there as you are to share the honey of 30 hives.  Lots of farmers don't want to pay because they think you are making honey off them too. After you fine the ones that do pay you can nearly depend on them each year very reliable. And the ones we have don't like to shop around they depend on you too. I like the pollination business because it's less of a gamble than the honey business. But if I took the same bees and put them in honey areas I could make more but also lose more if the crops fail.  What I try and do is use part of our bees for making honey and others to pollinate.  I have my bees in place now to make honey this spring.  As hives are called to pollinate I'll rob the honey and place half filled supers on other hives to be filled.  When the season is over I'll rob the hives left on honey yards and extract my bonus cash. My pollination pays the business bills and our income, while my honey pays for itself and the extra income we want.   I'm a pollinator so I think a honey operation would be opposite of mine.  I can't pull hives off pollination because I'm under a contract and those are needed in the pollination business now days too.
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