Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Well lots has happened since I last updated the group. I have moved from Sarasota/Bradenton Florida to Davenport IA. I found someone down in florida to buy my bees so I didn't have to haul them up here, not that I really wanted to haul florida bred bees to iowa anyway. I used the money to buy initial lumber, and a commercial loan to buy the balance of lumber and bees and went to work starting in january building tons of beehives. I have pictures of my workshop, but they are on my camera and the only way to get them from camera to computer is through my pda which is now broken, but eventually i'll retrieve them one way or another (no help here please, I know every way one can do it, just not all that motivated at the moment).

    Anyway, took me about 3 months to build 500 beehives. 3 weeks ago I installed the bees and that took me 3 full days. Many of the beehives are incomplete and I have already decided on upgrades now that a big operation has new demands (like moving whole bee yards less than a week after installing them). Things I had to take shortcuts on like legs on many hives, and things like a back cleat used solely for carrying a hive. Luckily I have many extra hives now from the dead-outs and abscondings from the installation (we are having a real bad late wet/cold snap that sapped the bees resources and some starved before I could reach them again in time). So I have the resources to finish building the hives a yard at a time and moving them from old box to new box, then updating those old boxes into new for the next yard. Its a lot of work operating a larger operation. WOuldn't be bad at all workload wise if I didn't have to maintain a full time job in the interim to feed family and pay the bills. Looking to the fsa/usda to lend me a hand there maybe for 1 year's living expenses so I can focus all my time on the bees.

    Anyway that's where I am....Oh yeah, you might want to know all the hives are my tbh design.

    [size="1"][ May 14, 2006, 09:31 PM: Message edited by: Scot McPherson ][/size]
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59
    Wow, a commercial tbh operation in a midwest loction no less, that's impressive. Looking forward to seeing pics and following your progress when you have time. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    Hey Scot,
    Glad to hear things are working for you. I have finally installed a swarm in my Scot McPherson design observation hive.
    How are your new hives different from your old? One thought I had on commercializing the TBH was to allow a customer to purchase a comb of honey they pick out themselves. Liability would have to be figured out to see if it would be profitable.
    One change I am making on my next TBH will be a screened bottom board for mite reduction.
    I had planned on using two metal posts with a piece of angle iron screwed to the bottom of the box. This would allow sufficient height to eliminate bending over. I thought I would try pipe flanges instead and see how that works.
    Jon, N6VC/5

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    Scot,

    sounds like quite an adventure you're taking
    thanks for the update and keep us posted on how things go

    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Hi Scot Thanks for the update, good luck! Keep us posted in all your spare time!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Teh biggest issue here is flora. It happens in waves. I don't see any miscellaneous wild flowers around. Once the dandelions dried up, there's nothing except the odd mustard plant. So the bees almost didn't make it last week with all the rain and cold and not even being able to get a tiny bit of nectar from natural sources. Since these are three week old hives they don't have the resources to make it through a cold snap this time of year. Keeping them fed has been the hardest part in the time management scheme of things.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    Welcome to the midwest! This low pressure system has been here for what seems like a month. Still raining here! and more predicted until Saturday! Good news is that when it breaks the clover ought to be spectacular!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Post

    It is a strange time of year here too. Between the early fruit tree blooms and the locust blooms it seems like everything dried up. Now the black locust is blooming, but none close to me. Seems like I'm seeing some chickory blooming (need to take closer look to make sure). It's odd to see dearths in the spring though. I don't usually seem to see any once things start blooming in the spring unless there's a drought in the summer (like there has been the last five years).
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Post

    We had a late freeze that knocked the black locust right out of the box, i thought they were all dead. They are coming back now but I doubt if we get any bloom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    Our tart cherry bloom was early and therefore beat the cold snap, however some of our apple orchards had 90% losses. The ones that made it through are even questionable because of the lack of flying weather. The good news is we needed the rain and the black locust should be strong after hardly blooming here last year.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Sorry to hear about loosing your apple crops.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tampa Bay Area and Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Hey Scot. Congratulations on your move. I would assume that it was for personnal reasons, as I would assume, even with my miniscule knowledge, that the Sarasota/Bradenton Florida area should be a great area for Beekeeping. I live in Seminole, (Pinellas County) Florida. Pinellas County has a law not allowing Beekeeping so I help my brother-in-law with his hives in Port Charlotte, Florida, when he's gone (two to three months at a time). We are both 1st year beekeeper wannabees. I would think with the vast amount of mangroves and saw palmetto in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and the warm winter climate, that Sarasota/Bradenton would be a great area for beekeeping. I'd be interested in finding a place to place some hives in that area or meeting other beekeepers in that area, should you care to give me any leads.

    Good luck with your ventures in Iowa. I look forward to following your progress.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Jack Corely runs a 4,000 hive operation out of Manatee county, you can try him.

    I sold my colonies to James Burns who might chime in here and give you his phone number, you might be able to talk with him and see if he and the tree farm the bees are on would like to have a co-operative operation.

    There aren't a whole lot of beekeepers in the manatee/sarasota area. Most have gone out of business or stopped because of residential zoning amendments.

    A fellow named Mike Kwoka used to keep bees near ft. myers and on some barrier islands in that area. You can try to contact him. If he's still around he mostly switched to honey brokering and only has a few hives to play with.

    I really can't think of anyone else, but you should look into the tampa bay beekeeper's association. That's where all the beekeepers from pinellas would go, and also where manatee and sarasota beekeepers go also. You can also contact Jerry Hayes and see if he has any leads for you. He's a really nice guy and very helpful. He'll remember me well I think.


    As far as updating the group, don't count on a lot of material...As you can see from my history I sometimes disappear for a while, and just am not very reliable for continued communication. Its just a matter of time management. I get pretty busy and its only when I get bored do I get active on the email lists and forums.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tampa Bay Area and Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    27

    Post

    &lt;I get pretty busy and its only when I get bored do I get active on the email lists and forums.&gt;

    Scott, I'm glad I caught you at a time when you were bored. I really do appreciate your response and the leads you have given me. I will followup on some of the leads you've given me. James has already contacted me by PM and I will get back to him this evening after I get off work. I am aware of the Tampa Bay Beekeepers and plan on attending the next meeting.

    Again, thank's for you response and good luck in Iowa. Sorry to have gotten off topic.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads