I started with one, then as everyone tells you that you need at least two this spring I bought two packages then caught four swarms, I now have seven hives and the swarms are by far the best. I built five swarm traps (bait hives), they worked real well this year. Next year I plan to build enough boxes to got 15 hives. I am going to put all of them next year in to mediums verses deeps. I have no problem manages these seven and figure another eight will be not much more time. Why? Not realy sure. I do love honey and love giving it as gifts. Others sure love getting it too! After 15 hives then where do I go? 20, 25? Start selling nucs? Don't know right now but will tell ya in a couple of years. Have fun.