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Author Topic: Growing  (Read 5697 times)
Monie
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« on: July 16, 2010, 01:11:58 PM »

Well, I've been putzing with a few hives for a few years. This year, after obtaining some land to use as an apiary, I decided to aggressively manage the girls. I made splits, requeened and waited. Some of the hives brought in good amounts of nectar. Hmm... I wonder if I can sell this? So, I placed an ad here and there, and sure enough, people bought the cut comb. Well, that's doing good. I wonder if I could sell some nucs? I have plenty to share. I placed some more ads and sure enough, people bought. I had too many orders and not enough bees!

Next year, I plan to make the jump to sideliner. I'll expand to about 50 hives and see where that takes me. Who knows, I may have 100 hives by the end of the year. Smiley
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 08:10:15 PM »

Just be sure the foundation will support the house......
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
Jim 134
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 08:33:31 PM »

Just be sure the foundation will support the house......

 
                           LOL



      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Monie
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 11:05:26 PM »

I know I can always count on you for sage advice, Iddee. Smiley
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 11:27:31 PM »

Seriously, I just watched a 3 or 4 year beek buy a queen rearing outfit of 3 or 4 hundred hives this year. He was working every hour he could stay on his feet. His wife, too. Had swarms by the truckload, as he couldn't work them fast enough.

Just be careful and don't get in over your head and drown.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
Monie
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010, 10:58:05 AM »

Wow! That's a huge jump! I'm too chicken to do that right now. This year, is the planning stage for next year. Each time I visit the apiary, I watch my time and try to get everything done just a little bit faster than the last time. It's getting easier with each visit. Honestly, 50 hives is the max that I think I can effectively handle at this point. I think I'd pull my hair out if I had to try to run 3-400 hives right now.
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CountryBee
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2010, 01:20:47 PM »

That is a lot of hives, more than I could effectively manage.  20-50 max I think.  I work another job, only have so much time.  I do like the read lazy beekeeper, it taught me a lot, now have more time for more hives.  Best of Luck!  You can do anything you put your mind to in this world, most people forget that for some reason.  Go work your 100 hives and get rich! grin  Just remember us! grin
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Monie
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2010, 08:54:31 PM »

LOL! Yeah, with 100 hives, I think I'd be busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest!

Right now, 100 is way out there. I'm sure I will actually get to that point, just not in the next year, even though it's fun to talk about.  grin

If I can manage 50 with no majors problems, I'll likely consider adding more hives. It should be a fun adventure. Now, I just need to remember not to work them when a storm is moving in! DOH! Why do they go for the inner thighs??? *sigh* That was yet another education.  shocked
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CountryBee
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010, 08:58:39 PM »

I ware shorts and veil and gloves.  They usually leave me alone.  Good luck!  There is a lot of $ in 50.  Think of all the extracting or cut comb.  All fun! Smiley  Just keep going, I think you will get up to 100 eventually if you want to.
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specialkayme
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 11:03:59 PM »

Keep the growth pace you are at right now. Try the waters and go where the cash reward is.

I'd be wary of jumping into any venture in this economy without testing the waters.
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harvey
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2010, 09:54:10 AM »

In my neck of the woods, I wanted to buy a queen this spring and had to drive two hours each way for a 20 dollar queen,  bought a nuc that was almost an hour away each way.  I wanted it and that was as close as I could find one.  Might be more of a market than some realize.  I know three other friends that got into keeping bees this year.  My first year I had one hive, this year seven so far and am thinking as many as 20 next year.  I will build my own boxes and am counting on ferral swarms and splits to grow with so it will be up to the weather and mother nature how much and if I expand, right now just want to make sure these 7 go into winter strong.  Good luck,  Very addictive hobby.
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Monie
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2010, 09:16:16 PM »

Yes, it is very addictive. I really enjoy having the girls around. I keep a couple of hives in my backyard, just so I can sit with a cup of coffee and watch them work. I enjoy everything about them; the buzz, the way they look, the way they feel when they're walking on my arm, the smell of bee bread, even the stings. So, even if I can't make a go of the business side, I'll still have all those girls to enjoy. I think that's really important; to enjoy what you're doing whether you're making money or not.

Indeed, there is a lot of money in 50. I've been running the numbers. The only thing that I will buy is frames. Everthing else, I'll make. Because I don't want to go in debt to do this, I'm buying a little at a time, so that when the times comes, I'll have everthing ready.

As far as going where the cash is, I think it best to cover several bases. While I did sell all my honey and wax this year, I made more money by selling nucs. If I had just focused on honey and wax, I'd have lost out on nuc sales and vice-versa. BTW, I did have folks coming from out of state for nucs, so the opportunity is there. As long as exceptional customer service is provided, I don't see a problem with repeat customers. However, the rule of 10 still applies here.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 01:04:31 PM »

I love my bees!  Most of the time, working them is just plain meditative, even with the cranky hives. 

I'm trying my hand in the honey business so grew from 7 hives to over 20 this year.  Some of those were new nucs, some were splits and swarm catches.  I thought I was so smart with all my formulas for time management in my head, then the icky weather hit the PNW this spring. 

We had a second cold snap and my queens all slowed down again resulting in many supersedures and the need to requeen a few queenless hives.  Inspections only happened on days that it was warm enough, resulting in trying to inspect all 17 (at the time) hives in one day because the forecast was so poor for the next.  I watched swarms fly in opposition to my best efforts and most of the time I was frustrated to the point of tears.

I think, though, that beekeepers must be just on the short side of crazy because I still came out of it optimistic, my sense of humor still intact, and hopeful that I can make this fly (ha, ha).  I still have an overall goal of 50 hives, but I chuckle (albeit, still a bit hysterically) every time I think of it. 

I think I'm going to need to learn to make mead!
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Monie
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 06:31:18 PM »

ROTFLMAO!! Amen, sister!  cheer
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CountryBee
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 09:03:40 PM »

That is all you need, good attitude and optimism no matter what and you can accomplish anything!  Keep going!  Good luck and wishes to you both. Smiley
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Jim 134
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2010, 07:51:30 AM »

I love my bees!  Most of the time, working them is just plain meditative, even with the cranky hives. 

I'm trying my hand in the honey business so grew from 7 hives to over 20 this year.  Some of those were new nucs, some were splits and swarm catches. I thought  I was so smart with all my formulas for time management in
my head,
  then the icky weather hit the PNW this spring. 

We had a second cold snap and my queens all slowed down again resulting in many supersedures and the need to requeen a few queenless hives.  Inspections only happened on days that it was warm enough, resulting in trying to inspect all 17 (at the time) hives in one day because the forecast was so poor for the next.  I watched swarms fly in opposition to my best efforts and most of the time I was frustrated to the point of tears.

 I think, though, that beekeepers must be just on the short side of crazy because I still came out of it optimistic, my sense of humor still intact, and hopeful that I can make this fly (ha, ha).  I still have an overall goal of 50 hives, but I chuckle (albeit, still a bit hysterically) every time I think of it. 

I think, I'm going to need to learn to make mead!


   AliciaH.......           


      Don't think you may hurt your head 

            LOL


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
bugleman
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2010, 03:14:47 AM »

I thought I was so smart with all my formulas for time management in my head, then the icky weather hit the PNW this spring.  

We had a second cold snap and my queens all slowed down again resulting in many supersedures and the need to requeen a few queenless hives.  

AliciaH If you have static hives Walter Wright's writings are king.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2010, 01:30:39 PM »

Thanks, Bugleman!  Now that Fall is here and I can return to "study mode", I'll be sure to include that in my reading!

Monie:  How did your season finish up?
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tecumseh
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2010, 07:16:15 AM »

monie writes:
Next year, I plan to make the jump to sideliner. I'll expand to about 50 hives and see where that takes me. Who knows, I may have 100 hives by the end of the year.

tecumseh:
I am not certain of how many hives you have now but you expectation sounds reasonable to me.  My bro's Iddee's advice should never be overlooked.  I suspect what he and I would warn you against is that excessively rapid expansion is quite likely to leave your burned out or broke in a fairly short period of time. 

for myself small steps are always better since a lot of the enjoyment and the adventure is in 'the trip' and not in 'the arrival'.

and good luck... 
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I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.
Mister Tim
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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2010, 02:51:19 PM »


I think I'm going to need to learn to make mead!

There's one of the best ideas; check out the laws and permit/licensing applications. You'd have and automatic huge niche market advantage using your own honey!

But you probably already knew that! Smiley
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