I am new to beekeeping and want to grow my operation. My plan to is double my hives until I reach around one hundred. This year through swarms, splits and nucs I am up to around forty five hives. Next year I would like to be at 80. I do move some of the hives into orchards for pollination, which brings me to my question.
At what point did you folks find that you had to have a forklift? This year I was able to borrow what I needed from an apple grower friend (the same person who helped me get my start) but I hated to do it. He is awful busy and came along to help. I want to be able to do it myself. This fellow has an older one ton flatbed that I am going to fix up and use next year, so that part is covered.
Yesterday I found out that a cherry grower that I work for is going to be selling a homemade forklift. The price is very reasonable and since I know this guy and his operation (I also bought a plow truck from him before) I believe it will be in good shape. While I don't feel that I need this now, I don't want to pass up a good deal that I may not be able to find again.
So, what do you folks think? Am I putting the cart before the horse? Or is this a good buy. He is asking $1750, but I know I could get it for $1500. I don't know if anyone here is familiar with Shockwave trunk shakers (made for cherries, almonds, etc.) but that is what this hi-lo is made from. They used Dodge chassis chopped up and turned around to make these things. Really they work pretty darn well.
Would love to get some opinions before I talk to him again,