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  1. #81
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    >>I have enjoyed reading about the things others do to save time and money.

    ya keep it coming guys, or Ill start another thread like this one
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #82
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    His name is Brian. Acebird is his screen name/handle(?).

    If someone doesn't manage the bees they have, which Brian suggests is the proper way to keep bees, that's not what I consider being a beekeeper. Whether bee-haver is a degrogetory term or not depends on how the term is used and how it is taken by the person it is addressed to. There are people who are proud to be havers. Okay by me, but not very relevant to those of us who keep bees for the usual reasons.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #83
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Too bad Mark, I consider Brian as much a beekeeper or haver as the rest of us
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #84
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    what beekeeper does not think they rely on bought bees too much?
    what beekeeper does not think they rely on syrup too much?
    what beekeeper does not think they rely on medications too much?

    I think most beekeepers think this, and thats one point that Acey is trying to make, right?
    I don't think I rely on bought bees too much.
    I don't think I rely on syrup too much.
    I don't think I rely on medications too much.

    I think trying to figure out what Brian's point is is a futile exercise. I have, in the past, tried to figure out what he writes about only to have him tell me I was wrong.

    Let's stick to the Thread Topic and glean what is meaningful and practical and useful. Comments about brood sticks where they don't belong just don't belong on a Thread about "cost-saving methods".
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #85
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Too bad Mark, I consider Brian as much a beekeeper or haver as the rest of us
    Such is your Right. No skin off of my nose. I hope you take into consideration what he has written before taking his advice.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #86
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    >>I don't think I rely on bought bees too much.
    >>I don't think I rely on syrup too much.
    >>I don't think I rely on medications too much.

    I do, and its very expensive to manage bees in this fashion.

    I know a beekeeper near here that has tried to shift his commercial apiarie towards a more self sustaining operation. He is trying to manage off chemicals using alternative methods of mite control, successfully. He is also trying to produce bees and queens internally to wien off import queens and packages. He has not figured out the syrup problem yet, thats a hard one with the spread between sugar and honey.

    Im looking seriously at this business model
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #87
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    >>Such is your Right. No skin off of my nose. I hope you take into consideration what he has written before taking his advice.

    yes I know, I agree totally, but sometimes all that mud clouds our vission. Maybe he has a sliver of good stuff to give. The continual spinning argument turns into blabber after a while and that is where the good stuff gets missed
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #88
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Adam,
    For my operation, buying in queens is the most efficient method of supplying my operation to cover my splits. Its hard to get mated queens ready to go so early in our season so we buy them in and they are expensive. But the quality of the queens has been lacking recently. I dont know what it is, and the problem can be debated on another thread, but Im starting to think a more feasible management practice to supply my need for queens.
    Im thinking in stead of making splits, I should shift my focus on making nucs, to be queened by the use of queen cell, and have those nucs ready to produce honey the following year. This way I can cut down my need to make up split every year cutting one of my biggest beekeeping costs and have "Better" or more reliable queen performance year after year.

    Also, thinking out loud here, but I also think this is a oportune time to control mites. Why not treat for mites during this process of no or little brood and have mite free nucs set up and ready to produce the following year. A simple cheap oxalic drizzle during the broodless period of them nuc set up would control nearly all the mites, the nuc would build and be ready the following year healthy and ready to go.
    Just a thought
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #89
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    I've found that I can buy bargain grade deep boxes (the only size we use) for less than $9.50, and frames for less than $0.60/...I don't bother making these....if I had free wood I might make boxes...but at that price I can't afford to make frames from scratch. If you buy as full (or even partail) pallets, you save big $$$ over shipping in boxes (I think it was $80 in shipping for our last 100 deep boxes and 1000 frames, with a few other items thrown on top)...you can probably pay that much in shipping for 8-10 deeps if shipped in a box from a regular bee equipment supplier.

    Bottoms and tops are another thing altogether.

    I've been making bottom boards with wood from home depot (2x4 for the side rails and "ledger board" for the slats). An 8' 2x4 costs me about $2.50, and I can get the side rails for 8 bottom boards plus rails for at least 2 5 frame bottom boards.

    The ledger board costs about $9 for a 16' length, and I can get the slats for 3 10frame bottom boards out of each half of the 16' piece.

    Similar savings with telescoping top covers (when I do a run, I will report here the costs....haven't done them in over a year).

    Next step for me is to make custom sleds for the tablesaw for each cut so I can do them when I have a few minutes at a time, and to reduce my setup time overall (and my mistakes).

    We've been using the grain bag inner covers, but find they start to shed in year two....at $0.60/each, probably worth it to replace them each year.

    deknow

  10. #90
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    The continual spinning argument turns into blabber after a while and that is where the good stuff gets missed
    Who starts the spin? Who starts the argument? My Dad often said "Consider the source." The older I get the smarter my Dad becomes, even though he has been dead 12 years.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #91
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    what beekeeper does not think they rely on bought bees too much?
    what beekeeper does not think they rely on syrup too much?
    what beekeeper does not think they rely on medications too much?
    I dont rely on bee purchases as the only ones I have made in the past 10 years are breeding stock.
    My treatments have been quite minimal in recent years
    However I do, by choice, rely heavily on syrup purchases. I am not denigrating anyone who chooses to leave a lot of honey on their bees but for me the approximately 1.70 price difference between HFCS and honey is something too good to pass up. My point isnt that they do better with supplemental feeding but that our hives couldnt really be any better at the start of the main flow than they have been in recent years.

    Ian: Sincere apologies for taking the bait and any part I played in sidetracking your thread. In hindsight it would have been best to ignore and consider the source though one part that I wholeheartedly agree with is that we most definitely press the advantage of economy of scale in everything we do from pricing equipment to placing locations and setting up an extracting system with an efficient flow. As I stated earlier it is extremely difficult to place a direct value on efficiency, you just know you will come out better at the end of the year.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #92
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    >>sidetracking your thread

    you guys are too much,

    >>The older I get the smarter my Dad becomes, even though he has been dead 12 years.

    ha ha ha, aint that the truth.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #93
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    >>I do, by choice, rely heavily on syrup purchases.

    me too. Cant keep the hives going during without it. I also take all the honey at harvest and winter on cheap syrup.
    Its funny how a little bit of syrup will pay dividends of honey later on.
    I can see ways to manage around importing queens and bees, also medication, but I do not see a feasable way to manage around supplemental feeding
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #94
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
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    186

    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Other than starting out, I do not rely heavily on bought bees.
    I do rely heavily on syrup.
    I have yet to medicate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I can see ways to manage around importing queens and bees, also medication, but I do not see a feasible way to manage around supplemental feeding.
    The only way I see of being able to not do supplemental feeding them is to not harvest the honey.

    Simple math; If the bees require X amount of calories to survive the winter, and it is cheaper to provide that with syrup than with honey = harvest the honey and feed the bees syrup.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  15. #95
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    >sigh<

    ...another thread sinks into a murky pool of responses aimed at Acebird.
    Funny you would notice that, the moderator doesn't notice a blaton braking of the rules partly because every forum has a click.
    If you want to get everyone's ideas you use a forum and pick the ideas that suit you. If you want to get support from you buddies you use a selected chat room or I guess PM's.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #96
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Good stuff. Great information. DeKnow, where are you getting your gear?

    I'm already using feed bags for inner covers, and I'm looking at outer cover design and ways to make that simpler. I made simple SBB last winter, and now I think I'll abandon the sbb and simplify bottoms too.

    I painted all my hives dark, as our temps are not so high here (we rarely get over 85). That should get me more heat in the cooler months and saves me having to wrap for that benefit.

    Adam

  17. #97
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by seyc View Post
    Other than starting out, I do not rely heavily on bought bees.
    I do rely heavily on syrup.
    I have yet to medicate.



    The only way I see of being able to not do supplemental feeding them is to not harvest the honey.

    Simple math; If the bees require X amount of calories to survive the winter, and it is cheaper to provide that with syrup than with honey = harvest the honey and feed the bees syrup.
    I dont think the math is quite that simple as I will concede that bees will do better on honey (or at least honey that dosent granulate rock hard) and there is the matter of the labor involved in feeding but aside from that you are definitely pretty close to the mark, the dollar advantage is significant.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #98
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    I actually put boxes of honey on some hives this year because I am concerned whether I will be able to feed enough syrup at the right time when they need it, one thousand miles away from home. In hopes that the economics will work out.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #99
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I still listen to what beekeepers like Acebird (if that is really his name?) is saying even if it sound impractical.
    Ian, my name is Brian Cardinal, acebird is a screen name I selected many years ago. I have found only a few instances where acebird is use on the net (and there are others) but only a few.
    I find it odd that people in business would try to ridicule somebody in a public forum. You wonder if it is really a business, at least I do. I think the psychology in marketing would agree.

    Ian, I express what comes off the top of my head. Some people might like the ideas other may not and others take offence. I am sorry about that. I can't change who I am or how I express myself. I keep bees. I could care less whether I am a beehaver or a beekeeper in someone else's eye. Titles mean nothing to me.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #100
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    Default Re: What are some of your cost-saving methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    His name is Brian. Acebird is his screen name/handle(?).

    If someone doesn't manage the bees they have, which Brian suggests is the proper way to keep bees, that's not what I consider being a beekeeper.
    A too brutae, (whole bunch of spelling errors). Mark, you through me under the bus... I DO NOT suggest to anyone to keep bees the way I do. It is a personal preference and I think others are doing it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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