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Author Topic: Raising and selling Queens as a Hobby  (Read 1555 times)
Trainhound
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Location: Victorville,CA


« on: June 25, 2010, 02:24:38 AM »

Hi, I'm disabled and on a fixed budget so I'm looking into raising queens and selling them to supplement my income. I love beekeeping and using the honey to make Mead "honey wine"(too bad I can't sell that) I plan on grafting larvae and putting them in nucs. My question is, how many hives and nucs would i have to have to raise about 30-40 queens at a time? and what would be the best way to Store/Bank the queens till their sale? I live in the California High Desert near Victorville. Is this realistic or just a pipe dream?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 07:10:03 AM »

In theory a couple of strong hives would do.  In reality I keep upping my colony numbers to try to suppoprt my queen rearing and I never seem to have as many as I would like.  You end up break up a lot of hives for mating nucs (at least with my method) or stealing a little from a lot of hives.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 08:41:19 AM »

That depends on how you handle your mating nucs.  If you go with tiny ones with a cup of bees in them like the big producers use, less. If you go with 5 frame nucs, then you'll need 1 hive to make up 4 nucs.

So I'd guess probably 10 hives to raise the queens, and 10 hives to make up the mating nucs.

But you'd make just as much money selling 6 nucs @ $100 as selling 30 queens @ $20 and need less hives.
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Rick
BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 10:32:52 AM »

Consider yourself as a "Micro-breeder". a breeder that specializes in quality, personal service, and an asset to your customers.

With that said, do not use "baby" mating nucs. There is NO way you can evaluate a queen on a 5x5 piece of comb, with a cup of bees. Leave that to the big industry "producers". You want to be a "breeder". And there is a huge difference.  

Beekeepers WILL pay for service, quality, and your personal attention to doing things the right way. That means raising your queens on untainted comb, selling verified layers, and concentrating on customer service (My weakness  rolleyes ) You will build a following and with happy repeat customers, you do not even to have the overhead of advertising, etc.

If you want to raise 30-40 queens at a time, you will need enough nucs, one for every queen raised.
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Trainhound
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 01:05:16 PM »

Thanks for all the input. I never really thought about selling nucs but now I can see that really is the better idea. I also think that would be better for selling quality bees. I want to help the bee population not add to it's problems by breeding sub par queens.
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wd
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 01:48:39 PM »

I have the mind set of - 30 to 40 nucs, one per queen may equal 15 to 20 decent queens or so as the end result for one reason or another. My idea of queen yard would have 40 to 60 hives to work with.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2010, 09:53:18 PM »

I'd give it a go and see how it works out.  You can certainly raise a few queens with a couple of hives and it will be a fun experiment.  In the end it's your climate that will dictate a lot of it.  How fast, and how soon they build up, etc. is climate based and that drives how many hives it takes...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
wd
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 12:58:35 PM »

if you don't mind, let us know how it works out.
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Trainhound
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2010, 03:37:35 AM »

I'll definitely let you know how things work out.
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