As a kid my Dad had bees as a hobby. I have distant memories of smokers, extracting honey and collecting swarms The equipment is long gone
My goal is to establish adequate numbers to qualify for farm status. That is based on annual sales ($2,500.00) not the number of bees or hives.
I have started with 2 New Zealand packages (Mar 31) and have 3 nucs arriving mid May. If all goes well I hope to add another 5 hives next year.
This year is a steep learning curve! My eldest daughter is also keen on this adventure. She has built most of the boxes and frames. We did purchase screened bottom boards. We have 2 deeps and 2 medium supers for each hive and will construct more supers if needs be. I think she has calculated that she gets 75 frame side pieces from each 2x4 ...that is about $3!
We are experimenting with how we manage the frames. The 2 package hives are foundationless and have frame feeders. It is amazing how quickly the bees built out the foundation....this week I think we will need to add the next deep. For the nuc hives one is all yellow plastic cell foundation (deeps and supers), one is black plastic foundation in the deeps and wax foundation in the supers. My daughter will leave the 3rd foundationless. These hives will have top feeders. We currently are using a 2:1 sugar syrup and when we first fed I added an emulsion with Tee tree and eucalyptus essential oils. We also put a piece of protein patty on top of the frames. Water is in a rock filled pan below each hive stand.
All hives are along a south facing wall of the house. I plan on top seeding some of the fields with white clover but it seems that is a biennial so will need to be done periodically.
We will need to purchase extracting equipment (presuming the bees produce honey) and will need to figure out the best place to get jars (bottles) for the honey.
Any and all advice and direction from those that know what they are doing will be much appreciated
Are any other Vancouver bee keepers on this forum?