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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Bay Minette, AL. USA
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    225

    Default Five to thirty five

    So how possible do u think it is to go from five to thirty five hives in one year without buying any? My goal for next year is this. I am going to buy some buckfast and a few nucs from northern Alabama. How feasible do u think this goal is?
    Let bees be bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,247

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Pretty Aggressive. Check Michael Palmers website he has section on this I think. www.bushfarms.com

    I went from 40-150 in a year but, I bought Nuc's and packages. If you split so aggressively you will have no honey. So it is honey or bee's can do both very well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    I'm confused, you said you weren't buying bees but then you're buying nucs???? Or is it, you're buying this year, then going to try for 35 next year??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pickaway/Fairfield Cty, OH
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    will you catch swarms?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,009

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    Check Michael Palmers website he has section on this I think. www.bushfarms.com
    The website that EastSideBuzz provided the link to above is Michael Bush's, not Mike Palmer's. If Mike Palmer has a website, it is certainly hard to find!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Five to thirty five hives............I believe it's very possible, but I don't think by splitting, but I could be wrong. The best way to achieve your goal is to get with your animal control center and be the go to person for swarms! Do cut outs, swarm trapping and split your hives. If I wanted to, I could have easily went from four hives last spring to at least fifty by June just on swarm calls alone.

    If you only split your own hives I think you would spend a fortune in bred queens, sugar syrup and you would need perfect conditions!

    Like what was mentioned, Michael Palmer would be the person to chime in on this thread as he has some great insight on this aspect of beekeeping for sure!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,247

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    The website that EastSideBuzz provided the link to above is Michael Bush's, not Mike Palmer's. If Mike Palmer has a website, it is certainly hard to find!
    oops.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,606

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    I tend to think that more queens make more bees. So just hypothetically if 5 queens can fill 6 hives with be4s. why can't 35 queens fill 35 hives. Or another way to look at it. If you where going to buy 35 packages. Could you just make 35 packages from your 5 hives?

    In reality I started 2 5 fame nucs this past summer from just one hive. My limiting factor was frames that where ready. It was late summer and I was not able to count on my bees drawing comb. Maybe if I started as early as possible in the spring I could split one hive into 5 nucs. but I woudl be giving up any hope of harvesting honey. I woudl still have worked my tail off and gotten nothing but hives for it. Which is more expensive. buying nucs at $100 a pop or making splits and loosing all production. I figure a lost harvest of 50 lbs can be worth as much as $300. There are lots of ways to look at it. some require performance. others are good enough with whatever you get.

    I have seen hives started with a cup full of bees and a queen in a box not much bigger than your fist. You can make them by the dozens that way. they also take a lot of care. So can you produce 35 queens give each one a bare minimum of queens and get them going? probably. I woudl probably make more like 50 queens for a 50% safety margin myself though.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    I went from 12 to 40 + just by catching swarms and doing removals this last year.

    Left my original 12 hives alone to be production hives.

    Stock up on equipment early.

    Don

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I'm confused, you said you weren't buying bees but then you're buying nucs???? Or is it, you're buying this year, then going to try for 35 next year??
    Yes I said I wasn't going to buy any but I am going to buy a few from a local on here and I want to get some buckfast from Canada. So if I take account for those I could have fourty.
    Let bees be bees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Thanks for the replies. I am going to be aggressively splitting early spring as all my hives at this moment are three deep as of yesterday. I am hoping to get some swarms also next year so I can have a diversity of drones to start queen rearing next year also. I got enough deeps to start out in the spring probly splitting each hive three to four times plus the swarms. This spring I started with two and split those three times this year and got a good honey crop that I haven't taken yet. I am going to let them get the rest filled since they are all foundationless and treatment free. They are booming like the storm coming up the eastern coast.
    Let bees be bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,013

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Having attempted something like this, let me weigh in from my experience.

    Last year, I went from 10 to something like forty at one point, but considering the actual conditions and the actual production of queenright hives, it's more like 7 to 33.

    I would say it can be done, if done properly, but the probability is slim on actually ending up with exactly what you're wanting.

    Here's how I did it:

    Using the queenright cell builder technique http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/benhardenmethod.html http://parkerfarms.biz/experiments.html and using two hives, I made a total of 28 successfully raised and capped queen cells. Using those hives and 6 others, I made three frame mating nucs (one frame brood, one stores, one empty) and placed them in queen castles http://parkerfarms.biz/queens.html#Mating_Nucs Successfully hatched and mated queens (~85%) were placed in five or ten frame nucs (where they increased rapidly to fill the empty space) or used to requeen a couple of dinker hives I had.

    Caveats: While it can be done (I believe), you are relying upon a roll of the dice and it is very important that you have enough frames of brood (your five hives must be very healthy) to make mating nucs. You can make all the queens in the world, but they're not all going to come back from their mating flights and they're not all going to lay eggs. According to Michael Palmer, a third are going to be dinks anyway. The process will always be ongoing. You will also need the equipment. I built mine over last winter, 10 3x3 queen castles, and something like a dozen plywood mating nucs, and I have one hive that is 4 five-frame nucs in one big box.

    Having attempted something very similar to what you, I say it could be done. Your limiting factor will be the amount of brood your five hives have and I'm just not sure you'll succeed on that count. It all depends on the hives. Perhaps you should plan conservatively for 20-25 and get what you can. It's up to you.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
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    225

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Thanks Solomon. I am building my own equipment now since this year I put more money in tools then I did the hives. I can make two full hives with one 16x12 one inch pine and screen for the bottom board. All together one full hive runs me about twenty dollars with SBB hive body and insulated cover. I will still buy the frames since they are cheaper to buy then to try to make. Plus I like to just put them together when they come in. I am making all deeps at this moment to insure I have frames to start out in a good position next year. The winter here is short and they have probly 60 to 80 lbs. of surplus honey on each hive. I have two breeder queens that are still laying frames of brood this late. The hives are very healthy and slammed of bees.
    Let bees be bees.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Very interesting Solomon, thanks for your insight!

    Beecrazy, I wish you the best if luck with this expansion, I really do, and I also would like to see updates in the spring as to how your process is going. I have eight hives right now myself and would like to be up to at least twenty going into next summer, should be easy enough, but I also don't know how many will make it through winter. I also plan on catching more swarms in the spring as 7 of my 8 hives are swarms from last spring and they are troopers!

    Good luck and don't forget to make some swarm traps and set a line of them as well! Free bees and they are sure to draw out the foundation less frames quickly!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,286

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Odfrank goes from 40 to 0 then back up to 80 catching swarms!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    5 to 35 is not hard. You will need all equipment ready and some time. You won't get much honey and you will feed more than average. If you raise queens then it will be tough because one hive has to raise queens. Buying queens is much easier because they are mated but it costs more.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Rak. My plans are not to buy the queens except for the buckfast from Canada for my hives next year. I am going to start early and run as late as I can with making up the hives. I am going as inexpensive as possible since I am looking to spend some money on II equipment next year. I am venturing head on into queen rearing and expansion. I am going to be pushing the envelope to see what can be done with my bees next year. By the time spring hits I will have all hives ready and nucs for the expansion process. This is going to be a sideline since I do work an average of 70 hours a week at a shipyard. But my thing is I keep busy do many things. I also cleared my two acres behind the house to put in a herb garden designed just for my bees. So many herbs that can be planted to maintain pollen and nectar almost year round.
    Let bees be bees.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    We will see what one can do. Like this forum everyone says u can't do treatment free but we do and it works and so far has worked great for my hives. I am just a fanatic to see what I can do when I get into something I enjoy. This is something I plan on doing for a long time. I will definitely keep everyone informed on my progress next year for I enjoy chatting with others on here even if only for a few.
    Let bees be bees.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    You work 70 hours a week and still find time to want to expand your bees, that's dedication!

    I know timing is everything with bees as queens hatch at exact times and so on and so forth, when your capped queen cells are ready to emerge, will work allow you to be ready for the queens? I would hate to hear that your bees raised 20 queen cells only to have one emerge early and kill the others.

    I'm no expert, but I only work 40 hours a week and still find it hard to find time for my measly eight hives, and I haven't even got into serious queen rearing methods!

    I'm not putting you down, just wondering if you have a plan in place to be able to get out if your day job to take care of your sideliner ideas. And perhaps a back up plan?

    My plan for next spring is to split the hives that make it and then catch swarms to reach my goal of twenty hives, and make enough good splits to sell some nucs to help pay for some equipment. I would like to try and raise some queens for fun as well.

    I also plan on having a permanent yard within 10 minutes of my house instead of the current 40 minutes so I can be more attentive to them.

    I do wish you luck and hope you don't get burned out trying to keep up with your current job and expanding your bees!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Five to thirty five

    Thanks beeghost. Yes I do work a lot 12 hours a day and sometimes up to 59 days or nights before a day off. Luckily my job allows me some time to do what I enjoy even though I do work long hours and sometimes long months. Swing shift is good. I have always been a work-a-holic as my wife and parents would say. This year I have gotten a lot in place for next year like mentioned I cleared two acres which was fun and tilled it up by hand just to be ready to plant it in the spring to. I sometimes overdue it but always manage to accomplish what my goals are. It will take some planning when I start rearing my own queens to make sure they don't kill them all but I am pretty good with time. Work never stops even when one punch's the clock. Lol
    Let bees be bees.

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