Hauling bees with gooseneck trailer
Does anyone here have any pros and cons on hauling bees with a flatbed gooseneck trailer?
If I'm successful with my spring splits this year I'm going to need to be able to move those hives to a location in late summer that is approximate 500 miles away. I keep double deeps and guess at an average weight of 100 lbs each (what's the recommended weight going into a TX winter?). I'm hoping to end the spring flow with 200 double deep hives completely drawn out and with honey stores. I expect that hive quantity plus creating some late summer splits for spring replacement hives to be the size of my operation going into the future.
The only time I'd move all 200 would be January, March, July, and September. My plan is to buy a loader, trailer, net, straps, and vehicle to handle that capacity. I'm wondering if a flatbed gooseneck trailer and truck would suffice for just handling the hives? Am I better off hiring trucking to handle the hives always and just handle the loader myself?
I currently have no problem handling 30 hives at a time with just a truck and utility trailer. I move my hives and/or supers by myself with just a dolly and I'm able to do everything in a few hours. However, I could not handle 200 hives that way in one day (and still be ok the next if I did). Also, I've never moved hives into a place like the almonds where they would have to be placed over a large area and in places I couldn't get the truck up to (my utility trailer has a ramp). I've never had to haul around a loader either which presents the problem of two trucks requiring two people or more.
The other option was partnering with other beeks around here who want to get together for economy of scale. But, I've been warned that partnerships don't always perform as expected.
If the recommendation is to go with the gooseneck trailer, truck, and loader? Any recommendations on what to get? And where do I get a net to fit the trailer? Even though I always move my hives with a hive cover that allows ventilation for the bees I don't think I'd have the time to do that with 200 hives and I am concerned about someone who is allergic getting stung when I have to stop for fuel, etc. Also, what about licensing? is a CDL required? Once a year I'd be going out of state and then coming back.