Not new as I have posted here before but that was years ago but I thought I would say hello again and introduce myself gain as I am going to be asking questions in various forums (I have spent the last few weeks lurking, searching and reading).
A little about me. I am a former beek from the blissful pre-mite days, 83-87. This was my highschool days and prior to that I was a beelouse/strongback/beeliner for an older neighbor, the late Raymond Estis of Rock Creek, Alabama. His hives were passed to me upon his death by his widow. Unfortunately when I went into the service the hives were left to fend for themselves and rapidly declined (mites I assume) and I have not had a box since. Through the years I have tried to stay abreast of what's happening in the beekeeping world and would like to think I am current in the literature if not practice. All the while toying with the idea of getting more boxes in the yard. Several years back I thought I was ready but a new job and subsequent transfer to Georgia prevented that (about the time I found this site and registered) now that job is no more and I am stable (as much as a small business owner can be in this economy) I am interested in getting some boxes again. Also the line of work I am in, Nuisance Wildlife Control Operations, fits hand in hand with beekeeping as I also offer stinging insect control services. My past employment and transfer was also in this field and also offered these services though like most of those were not the most bee friendly, something that I am not proud of even though I tried to integrate a more bee friendly approach while there in a management capacity.
Well now as the owner of my own operation I can do as I please in that regard and will not offer service that does not first seek to protect the ladies while at the same time educating the public. I also want to establish my boxes with the feral stock that I am seeing in the field and hopefully be able to offer this stock to other beeks so interested. Not that I intend to established some sort of large scale bee operation but merely a means of salvation for ferals and possible additional income for the corporation, not that I would ever hope to get rich but if the stinging insect side of the house is to function it must support itself and return enough to continue operations. Basically, I want more than the hose 'em and pocket the money approach as IMO that is not sustainable plus I desire a chemical free operation from a twofold approach. One, I do not like chemicals and do not want the liability and second I do not want the Dept of Ag involved in any way with the corporation, three seperate licenses plus company registration open to inspection and subject to fines for being able to provide chemical services.
So here goes my first question;
Should I offer LIVE HONEYBEE REMOVAL I fear I face the prospect of beehaving that is akin to cat having. To **** many, not that that is a bad thing if one is prepared for it. Over the course of the last few years cutouts averaged 8-10 per season and swarms were equal or greater if I were to market this service as LIVE REMOVAL can very easily double this number. Now considering that I have only 3/4 acre for my home/garden/yard and shop plus the demands of the rest of my business, I am a full service operation offering capture/removal/exclusion of all species over all of central Georgia plus statewide service for bats and birds, I am not prepared to establish a beeyard consisting of much more than six colonies, four is more to my liking.
So the question is; is there a market for these ferals as I remove them?
I know that I may have to house these ferals (and may actually be able to select from them) so I have taken into account the added cost of equipment and would possibly be able to move them as nucs or even whole brood boxes (with costs of equipment factored in). For my own use I would like to experiment with top bars or warres (I like to learn from tinkering).
Is there also a market there as well?
Ooops, two questions. I guess I will hit the other forums to ask more, I specifically have a slough of them related to SHB and top entrances and quilts.
Thank you in advance for any responses.
Georgia Wildlife Services, Inc