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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
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    923

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    dcross, it takes what it takes.

    I'm 50 and spent 33 years as a functioning alcoholic chasing the American Dream until I got so bad I couldn't function any more for me to decide to live rather than exist...and a big part of living was giving up the stupid notion that bigger houses and fancier cars made for "living".

    She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO for short)and I laugh about how we had to get into our fifties to become hippies finally...politically conservative hippies, that is.

    As for what I said that you quoted...Alcoholics Anonymous teaches a person a lot more than just how to not drink, and that is just one example.

    BubbaBob

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

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    <<a big part of living was giving up the stupid notion that bigger houses and fancier cars made for "living".>>

    I traded in my convertible less than a month ago

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I think someone upstairs is telling me to quit complaining so much. I went to visit my high school chemistry teacher between classes today, and he was really happy to see me. He was by far my favorite teacher, and it was a lot of fun to see him. A couple of weeks ago I sent him an email to ask if the rest of the science dept. would like an observation hive and that all they had to do was buy the stuff and I'd take care of it for them. I really expected a no because the admin. is really uptight and I figured they'd be screaming "lawsuit!!". Well, while I was there the whole science dept. came into his room and were jumping all over each other trying to convince me that "my room's the best for the bees!". Turns out the admin loves the idea and I'm going to get my first experience with an observation hive. Also, I dropped some stray comment about using OA for bees, and being a very chemistry oriented mind (that's my major) we got into a conversation about using it, he goes into the chemical room and comes out with a huge bottle of lab-grade OA crystals and says "we never use this and the EPA is going to take it in a week to dispose of it, just don't tell anyone I gave it to you." So now I have a large quantity of lab-grade crystals that I don't have to buy. Life is sweet. On that note, I can't find anywhere (maybe I haven't looked hard enough) how big of an entrance a 1 deep and 1 shallow ob. hive needs. There's already a hole that they want to use that's about 3/4 of an inch in diameter, and I told them that if they could talk the admin into drilling two more on top of it and cutting the sides to a rectangle shape I thought it would be big enough. The science wing is new, and they don't want holes in the glass on the windows or anything like that.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Oh, also, I was pointing them in the direction of Dadant's ob. hive because it's under $100 and they don't have a huge budget for this project. If any of you know of any better deals (other than me building one for them... I have already decided not to do that) please let me know.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  5. #45

    Post

    Hey Bubba, thanks for sharing. Seems to me that posting questions on a net forum is a way of asking for feedback. I hope if I ask for help you will give it to me.

    My experience with bees right now is that at times they require quite a bit of time. Commercial beekeeping might mean working in the rain, in the cold. For many it means seeing hives once a week to treat with Terramycin or even fogging. My experience with medical school is that it is serious business that does not regularly aloow checking bees once a week. My experience watching residents is that they are sleep deprived. They have serious problems like working 100+ hours a week. They take call based upon the demands of others and schedules offer little flexibility. If you need to treat bees, split, extract, build, paint, bottle, sell, etc... on the scale that profitable folks do, then this is really tough.

    Perhaps my frame of reference for some of this is a little off. Sideliners I know have or have had a 40 hour a week job. Larger folks do bees full-time with hundreds or more hives. THis is not what a medical student or resident can do (unless the exceptional genius). The time commitment is simply too much.

    I expect that most beekeepers grew through paying the bills some other way. My slight participation in the "rat race" affords my hobbies.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
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    923

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    A couple of points nursebee...

    <<Hey Bubba, thanks for sharing. Seems to me that posting questions on a net forum is a way of asking for feedback. I hope if I ask for help you will give it to me.>>

    Right...and he has asked numerous intelligent questions regarding the "how to" part of commercial beekeeping. I don't recall his asking anything remotely like, "I'm studying to be a doctor...do I have time to keep bees too?" If he did, I might have an opinion to offer, and I might not, but I definitely would NOT say, "You have no business going into beekeeping." Laying out information is our job if we are asked. What is, or is not, HIS business is just that, HIS business.

    <<My experience with bees right now is that at times they require quite a bit of time. Commercial beekeeping might mean working in the rain, in the cold. For many it means seeing hives once a week to treat with Terramycin or even fogging. My experience with medical school is that it is serious business that does not regularly aloow checking bees once a week. My experience watching residents is that they are sleep deprived. They have serious problems like working 100+ hours a week. They take call based upon the demands of others and schedules offer little flexibility. If you need to treat bees, split, extract, build, paint, bottle, sell, etc... on the scale that profitable folks do, then this is really tough.>>

    All valid points, and, again, if he asked if he would have time to be a commercial beekeeper, pointing out the time requirements would be valid, but first he didn't ask, and second he stated he AND A RELATIVE were considering doing it together.

    As I said, I have a full time job taking care of what IS my business. I have NO business telling someone else what is their business.

    And yes...if you or anyone else asked my opinion or advice I'd give it, but I have found that there are few things in life that are appreciated less than unsolicited advice.

    BubbaBob

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

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    Year #1) I started 9 years ago with (1) hive, and a few used boxes, bottoms, inner covers, and tops from a hobby keeper who passed and his equipment was given to me.

    Year #2) The next year I bought a colony and split it. ($100.00) 3 – hives

    After the first (2) years, where I spent about $100.00 out of pocket, I have used the money I made from selling honey to buy whatever was needed.

    Year #3) 5 hives

    Year #4) 6 hives - Then I bought the equipment from a small sideliner going out of business. I got a 4-frame hand crank Woodman, uncapping tank, bottling tank, Deeps, mediums, comb supers, double hive mover, hive tools, electric knives, (13) cases of 2# jars, etc. ($800.00)

    Year #5) 10 hives

    Year #6) 10 hives

    Year #7) 14 hives - Then I bought a (2) frame Kelly motorized extractor, electric knives, hive tools, etc. ($200.00)

    Year #8) 20 hives

    Year #9) 22 hives - Then I bought the 9-frame reel for the Kelly. ($150.00)

    Year #10) So, this year I will be going from 21 hives to 45 hives. The increase will cost me $180.00 for (3) packages, about $400.00 for new frames, and about $250.00 for the additional hive components. I already have the rough cut lumber to make whatever else I need. I will be making 21 splits that will raise their own queens.
    This year I am buying the extra equipment from another keeper who is scaling back. (working on price and equipment list)

    I have averaged 100# of honey per over wintered hive over the years. So, at $4.00 / lb this year each of the 21 hives has the potential to bring in $400.00.

    Beekeeping can be profitable if you plan right and take it slow. Don’t jump in and get in over your head. Always keep your ears and eyes open for opportunities that may come your way. Put your name out as someone who is looking for swarms, extra equipment, and even placed to set up yards. You might be pleasantly surprised at what comes your way and what you find.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I got one of those calls. "We had to put Mom in the care home, and now we have all this equipment piled up and wonder if you want to come and take it away?"

    So I went and got a trailor load of stuff, hauled it 75 miles and had a good bon fire.

    All I really got was a box of unassembled shallow frames and a couple of screens. Oh yeah, and really dirty.

    I did once buy some used stuff from a retired beekeeper. By the time I burned the frames, scraped, torched, tightened, primed, and painted the boxes, I realized that buying new would have been cheaper and last longer.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,324

    Post

    >and had a good bon fire.
    Yep, been there.But I have gotten some good stuff too,that was actually assembled properly and still had some life.But nowdays I feel the same as you- used woodenware isnt worth the trouble.But there was a time when I would go get anything free.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    Let's see...3 years ago, I caught a swarm. I had to buy a hive, so I figure I spent about $200 or so for a new veil, hive, frames, etc. I already had a hive tool and smoker. Then those bees went queenless,so I bought another colony for $65.00 and united them. Then last year I spent another $500 on woodenware, etc. This year, I've already spent $1000 for new woodenware, foundation etc., and lost a colony to starvation so subtract another $75.00 for bees plus potential income. I have 4 hives, and will spend $240 for 4 nucs in April. If my 8 hives produce enough honey to break even on equipment, let alone pay for my labor I'd be surprised. I guess that's why it's a hobby. My plan is to build up to at least 60 hives so I can rent out some hives for pollination. I figure I'd have to have 400-500 hives to make a meager living. It's easier to keep on working for real $$ and play with the bees for fun. It reminds me of the guys who were buying watermelons in Florida for $1.00 and trucking them to NY City and selling them for $1.00. When they saw they didn't make any money, they decided they needed to buy a bigger truck.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >When they saw they didn't make any money, they decided they needed to buy a bigger truck.

    That's me, I need a bigger truck.

    For all the stuff I have been buying the last couple of years, I'm doing good to just break even. My investment plan is to do as good of a job making my woodenware as possible so it last the test of time. I don't want it retireing before I do.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    >When they saw they didn't make any money, they decided they needed to buy a bigger truck. <

    You've got it all wrong. Everybody knows they were buying hay in the Dakotas and hauling it to Wisconsin.
    [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Posts
    311

    Post

    It's funny, because the money comes eventualy.
    Not a lot, mind you but I agree with the general concensus that after 35-40 colonys, the red ink dries up.
    If I sat down to do the math, everything I've spent, and all the time invested, I'd most likely have a stroke.
    But in all honesty this isnt the buisness to do that in. The chief atractor is not the cash, or even the potential. It's to do somthing you love, that pays for itself, a way of life, and perhaps a drop or two extra.

    If money was that important to me, I'd go to law school.

    J.Russell

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Stingray, you and I BOTH want to get into business, and we both have the same 2 problems: Not enough money and a limited amount of time.

    You must put classes at the head of your priorities list, and I have Multiple Sclerosis. Right now, I can only stand for 30 minutes without a rest so my time outside is DEFINATELY limited! [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    As for the lack of money: out here, you can have your hives extracted for $5 to $10 a box. That works out to 5-10 cents a pound or so. I haven't done this yet (My hives are 1 year old this spring). But, this June I intend to attend a bee keepers meeting and ASK! Surely SOMEONE out there will either extract for me or tell me who does?

    As an alternative I COULD crush the combs, filter the honey, and just bottle it, but that would mean loosing all that LOVELY drawn comb. But, it COULD be done!

    So much for honey handling equipment. All done, for now.

    This year, if at all possible, I will have it extracted for me. So I won't need honey equipment yet.

    As for bees. I ordered a couple of packages and I really need more wooden ware to put them in. ONE box, a bottom, frames with foundation, and a lid are bare minimum. That gives me a couple of months to get a proper set up. I also intend to split my 3 established hives, so that means I need the woodenware for 5 complete hives.

    I can do that. It might take a little bit, but I still have a few months. I

    n a pinch, if I was stronger, I would go to a constuction site after the workmen went home and take a couple of boards out of the dumpster. A screwed-together box won't last as long as a dove-tailed one, but it will work for now. Later, of course, I will have an income from honey to start replacing anything that is falling apart. A screwed-togeterh box works great short term: I have 2. They are shallows, and I don't like dealing with 2 sizes of frames, but they work just fine. I don't like them but the bees do.

    Also, there is an on-line "stuff" exchange called freecycle. You don't pay for the freecycle goods, you just haul them away. You can get on-line and request bee stuff, and you might get bee things for free.

    Or, you can put up posts on a feed store bulletin board that you would like to buy bee things. You might get a bite: you might not.

    As for expanding beyond the hobby stage: I have 3 hives wich might produce 190 pounds of honey (Kansas is not a great honey state). A net of $2 a pound will get me $360. I will buy a couple of more packages. (Winter loss in my area runs about 10%, and a few more packages helps build the number of hives anyways). I will split my 3 established hives.

    Next year I will have 8 established hives which should produce (with good weather) about 500 pounds of honey. The net should be about $1000. I will buy a couple of more packages.

    The year after that, I intend to have 20 hives at my bee yard. 20 hives at one spot is as much as one spot here can support, and 20 might be too much. However, 20 hives times 65 pounds honey per hive (average for Kansas) = 1,300 pounds = $2,600 net. That will get me started for equipment. *IF* I decide I have enough hives, I can take off nucs for $60 each X 20 hives = $1200 gross or probably $1000 net.

    At this stage I might look into a business loan. A honey house would be wonderfull, and the lack of one will by now be putting me in a bind. The honey will have provided enough for a downpayment. I might help pay for it by extracting for others. A second bee yard would be worth considering, and by now I should already have a lift in the back of the pickup.

    At this stage I should have sold enough honey to know the ins and outs of selling honey and perhaps be able to do a better job marketing. Perhaps on the net.

    I intend to limp along with just the bare necessities for as long as I can to avoid getting over extended. At worst, I should be able to net $100 per hive as a hobby, starting next year. At best, I would grow enough to get in my own equipment, and have enough hives to justify having it.

    In Farm Management and Business management courses, there are 5 steps to making a decision.

    1. Define the problem. You and your Dad wish to make a profit on bees.
    2. brainstorm potential solutions, write them down even if they sound silly. (Build up and let the bees pay for some of the expenses as they produse, mortgage and build now, advertize for an older man who might want your Fathers relative strength and form a 3 way partnership, build more, scrounge more and make it do, make your focus on nucs instead of honey as less equipment is needed, buy used, etc etc)
    3. Choose the best-sounding solution (You have decided to buy used stuff)
    4. implement. (You contacted one man)
    5. evaluate(It didn't work)

    Fine. Now, as was taught in the business classes, you either make a second try at implementing (Run an ad, try freecycle, check out bee magazines or bee supply store bulletin boards, post a notice on every buletin board you can find but especially feed stores and farm stores), or, you can go back to step 2, choose another potential solution, and try to make THAT one work!

    As for myself, I was building boxes from boards (I had given up on used stuff) when I heard of used bee stuff. It turned out to be boxes and frames with no outer covers and only 3 bases, but there were a LOT! of boxes. Filled half the garage. I paid the asking price of $100.

    As for my disability, I was only diagnoed 6 months ago and there is a lot they haven't tried yet. I am going ahead with things, and hope for the best. If push comes to shove I will make lots of nucs instead of stressing honey production. A person can do a lot on a scooter, but even with a small lift it would be a stretch to handle 1000 pounds of honey. And, to hire MUCH help would take half the fun out of it! *I* want to do it!

    Be flexible. Flexibility is a virtue in a business man.

    And, before you spend a dime, ask yourself if the business MUST have it? How many hours will it save you, and are those hours NEEDED for a business advancing job?

    If you want it, go for it. IF you lack the energy to start a business during school, then perhaps your Father should be the main mover and shaker.

    THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT. THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT SOULUTIONS TO EVERY PROBLEM. IF THIS IS IMPORTANT TO YOU, YOU WILL FIND A WAY.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    While planning is important, it IS possible to overthink a problem.

    BubbaBob

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    claremont,n.h.
    Posts
    45

    Post

    Bubbabob, i am a fifty something hippi and have been attending AA for 26 years and still chasing that dream ..........What fun it is.......

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    manbee, you are smarter than me...I had be drunk for 33 years...till I was 49...to get sick and tired of being sick and tired. It sure is great living rather than existing.

    BubbaBob

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Another sober bee boy here........ Got sober in 1985 at the age of 30. Been looking forward ever since.....

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Terri- thanks so much for the words of advice. On a positive note for you, I'm almost positive that bee-sting therapy has been used successfully to take back some ground with MS. It is really refreshing to see someone lay it out like that. Oh, and you got a GREAT deal on those boxes assuming they're not just falling apart.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    Not only does bee sting therapy show promise with MS, it's benefit is something not currently available from pharmica products...regression of symptoms rather than simply arresting the problem. It also shows promise in nerve regeneration in situations like diabetic neuropathy. That tickles the heck out of me since I have moderate to severe neuropathy problems and all modern medicine can do at this point is slow or stop nerve cell death, rather than nerve regeneration.

    BubbaBob

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