This is how I plan to build my sideline SC business.

Please feel free to question, criticize, or offer advice anywhere you like.

First last year,

2011 Summary:

$10,465 gross revenue – about $5,000 net (after equipment, gas, misc., & wife tax)
$9,110 from removals (14)
$475 from swarm captures (13)
$375 from bee sales (3)
$505 from farmed out removals (removals sold by me but done by thers)

16 Hives going into winter

Next Year’s goals:

$15,000 gross revenues - $7,500 net
$12,000 from removals (20)
$750 from swarm captures (20)
$1,500 from bee sales (10)
$750.00 from honey sales (250 Lbs.)

End the year with around 40 hives and 20 nucs

Long Term Goals:

Build up to about 400 – 500 colonies over the next 10 years till retirement

Our basic overall plan is to use the revenue and bees from removals and feral swarm captures to build our small sideline business over the next 10 years till we retire from our regular jobs.

All our hives are foundationless 8 frame mediums. Our goal is to be treatment free, but we will treat if necessary. Any hives treated will have the queen replaced as soon as possible.

Management Changes from last year:

Have 40 new hives and accessories ready to go by April 1st. (I make all my own equipment and last year I was caught completely by surprise and struggled to keep up with all the bees coming in from removals and swarms.)

This winter I will prospect more for removals and swarms so I can cheery pick the higher paying jobs better. Farm out or trading the cheap removals to others.

Don’t pass on any swarm calls before June 1st (primary swarms really take off fast).

Sell all swarms caught that miss our spring flow, or set them up to overwinter as nucs to cut down on winter feeding.

Boxes
1st box will always be foundationless frames. (bees seldom abscond from foundationless and generally draw the 1st box of frames straight)
2nd box will be PF 100’s in order to have straighter drawn combs for laddering up latter.
3rd and additional boxes, will be foundationless frames interspersed with laddered up straight comb from lower boxes.

Raise and bank about a dozen queens in May.

Last year most of the queens from cut outs were super-seeded within 2 months. Used Michael Bush’s panacea technique to allow the hives to raise a new queen but invariably lost 5 weeks of egg laying, which really set the hives back. This year I plan to either introduce a new queen if I have one at day 10 if eggs are absent, or start the panacea technique at day 3 if I don't.

Input from you commercial guys would really be appreciated.

Thanks,

Don