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  1. #181
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Randolph, NC, USA
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    92

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Oh, I was reading that like, "go get some loans man"

    I have a few credit cards, as in two. I have one I have used quite a bit like a debit card, only to wait some time to repay it, to try and build credit. I have paid off 3 car loans over the last few years the same way. Im trying to build it! lol I don't really know how many I would need to get?

  2. #182
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,374

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Credit cards when used properly are excellent business tools. I set them up to automatically deduct the full amount from my checking account each month and pocket the 1 to (in some cases) over 3% savings. Each hired man has a card with a set monthly spending limit and I receive a monthly itemization for spending by each card holder. These credit card reports can be set up to automatically load data into an accounting program like Quick Books.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #183
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
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    92

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Credit cards when used properly are excellent business tools. .... Each hired man has a card with a set monthly spending limit and I receive a monthly itemization for spending by each card holder. These credit card reports can be set up to automatically load data into an accounting program like Quick Books.
    That's crazy, I didn't know you could upload the info like that.

    After re-reading his post, I still don't understand how I would use a student loan? I have never dealt with student loans, as there hasn't been a need in my (fortunate) situation. I was under the impression it was to help pay tuition, am I missing something?

  4. #184
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    You usually have to start repaying them as soon as you graduate.

    However, they can be used for other things a well besides tuition.

    Just ask them for $200k.

  5. #185
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,724

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    You usually have to start repaying them as soon as you graduate.
    6 month grace period built in on all student loans.

  6. #186
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,099

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Just ask them for $200k.
    Yeah, that is funny. But, when I was looking into going Commercial I wish I had started out w/ a $200,000.00 loan, so I could get a building up, have a decent truck, a trailer and a skidsteer loader. Extracting equipment and money for beehives. But who has that sort of collateral when starting out? Not me.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #187
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    He's got a good story to tell the loan officer, and he can use the same reasons why he wants to get into commercial beekeeping.

    He should tell them about that as well.

    Look at it this way, if you get enough to buy everything you need ASAP, you can come through next spring with enough nucs to sell, and have what you need left over to do your queen thing.

  8. #188
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    2,996

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Is Wood Working a skill a commercial beekeeper needs? I never knew one that had these skills. Seems like it would take a lot of time away from the essentials. Buying hives might even be cheaper.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  9. #189
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    He's got a good story to tell the loan officer, and he can use the same reasons why he wants to get into commercial beekeeping.

    He should tell them about that as well.

    Look at it this way, if you get enough to buy everything you need ASAP, you can come through next spring with enough nucs to sell, and have what you need left over to do your queen thing.
    How often have you actually seen life work out that way?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #190
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Plymouth County, MA, USA
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    123

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Assuming you're using the cloake board method, the biggest bottle-neck for raising queens is going to be nurse bees for the mating nucs. You can easily have...say...2 hives going with breeder queens and cloake boards...and as the fresh larvae in queen cups are already at day 3.5 in their development cycle, it syncs up pretty well with the 2 week schedule (week 1 first hive's queens, week 2, second hive's queens, week 3, first hive's queens, etc). But, each queen that comes out is going to need a week or so in a mating nuc. So, really, the limiting factor of how quickly you can start up your queen operation in the spring and how reliably you can run it all summer is going to be the nurse bee population for those mating nucs. THAT'S what you're going to have to build up. And roughly 30% of queens don't return from their mating flights, so figure to get 20 queens, you'll need 30+ nucs, minimum, running all the time...probably double that, given the time it takes to get a queen settled in a mating nuc and mated (of course these nucs can have 2-3 frames in them).

    Others will probably correct me, I'm just going on the experience I've had in our chapter's queen rearing initiative.

  11. #191
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    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Thus the loan.

    While there's nothing bad about making your own wooden ware when there is no alternative, it's better to focus on your primary business.

    Making bees.

    The worst that they could tell him at the bank is no.

    But, since he has some pretty good reasons, has a plan for paying back the loan (a small business), and could come up with supporting references, I think that he should qualify for enough to get himself up and running.

  12. #192
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Plymouth County, MA, USA
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    123

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Many states offer agricultural loans at low interest for specialty crops and starting farmers. Also, low interest loans for buying agricultural land, usually (from what I've read) in the form of matching some percentage of what you already have to invest in it with a low interest loan. I think you could even potentially get a low interest loan from some part of the farm bill for it.

    A few places even have straight-up grants for beginning farmers, but it's certainly much rarer. It's worth checking out the government's informational portal for your area to see what IS available and if there's anything you can take advantage of.

  13. #193
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
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    92

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by hedges View Post
    Assuming you're using the cloake board method, the biggest bottle-neck for raising queens is going to be nurse bees for the mating nucs. You can easily have...say...2 hives going with breeder queens and cloake boards...and as the fresh larvae in queen cups are already at day 3.5 in their development cycle, it syncs up pretty well with the 2 week schedule (week 1 first hive's queens, week 2, second hive's queens, week 3, first hive's queens, etc). ...... you'll need 30+ nucs, minimum, running all the time...probably double that, given the time it takes to get a queen settled in a mating nuc and mated (of course these nucs can have 2-3 frames in them).

    Others will probably correct me, I'm just going on the experience I've had in our chapter's queen rearing initiative.
    I was going to run numbers tonight, factoring 40% queens failing. I did plan on running the 20+ nucs I would need, I would let the queens come back, begin to lay, and hopefully this will roughly happen around each "batch" of queens, once they lay and I know they are good, then and only then, send them off and start over. Hopefully, in this way, i can replenish some nurse stock in between runs. Otherwise, Ill be changing out frames all the time in order to replenish the nurse stock, right?
    I figured I would buy the nucs, and keep them in a nuc box. Problem is, this doesn't really give me room to grow. I'll need at least 2 additional hives to raise drones, if my understanding is correct, and doesn't allow me to build a colony up very much with all the queen changing out and all. So it looks even if I bought 30 nucs, I would have to keep a few aside, to build up and split off or just keep a few (5?) around, and pull brood frame every so often, and consolidate before overwintering.

    Or so I think. I have until spring to figure out what I want to do, and how to do it.

  14. #194
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,594

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post

    Look at it this way, if you get enough to buy everything you need ASAP, you can come through next spring with enough nucs to sell, and have what you need left over to do your queen thing.
    Imaginations seem to be running wild....

    The OP has three hives.

    Please explain where all of the bee resources come from... to have "enough nucs to sell, and have what you need left over to do your queen thing" in the Spring.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  15. #195
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
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    92

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by hedges View Post
    Many states offer agricultural loans at low interest for specialty crops and starting farmers. Also, low interest loans for buying agricultural land, usually (from what I've read) in the form of matching some percentage of what you already have to invest in it with a low interest loan. I think you could even potentially get a low interest loan from some part of the farm bill for it.

    A few places even have straight-up grants for beginning farmers, but it's certainly much rarer. It's worth checking out the government's informational portal for your area to see what IS available and if there's anything you can take advantage of.
    Excellent idea, really. I recently found out that the VA home loans will also cover farms and such, with minor stipulations, so I'll be researching that as well. Would be nice to find a grant, wouldn't it?

  16. #196
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    sqkcrk:

    If he gets enough to start now...
    he's going to have to take his chances like everyone else.

    He will have to overwinter, then split hives, to grow anyhow.

    He just needs to find out how from his mentor.

    Summer splits are here, now.

  17. #197
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Plymouth County, MA, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Most grants are associated with education or improving the state of the distribution or viability of a crop. The USDA Specialty Crop Block Grants are concerned with this (honey is considered a specialty crop). There are usually low-interest loans for starting farmers, however, through the farm bill and other state agricultural agencies. I also read in another thread that some part of KY, for example, has money set aside from tobacco settlements to grant out to farmers in other productive crops to help steer away from tobacco.

  18. #198
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,099

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Imaginations seem to be running wild....

    The OP has three hives.

    Please explain where all of the bee resources come from... to have "enough nucs to sell, and have what you need left over to do your queen thing" in the Spring.


    As someone who has had financed a beekeeping operation let me tell you how it worked for me. I had two FSA loans to buy a cpl of bee outfits back in the late 1980s. Then in 1987 the night before the Loan Officers were scheduled to come see me about a Loan to build a building my extracting plant, a construction site office trailer w/ all of my extracting equipment burned to the ground.

    The FSA guys came to see me and said that the insurance money would be held in escrow for me to use. But I had to use it for equipment not a building. Which made no sense to me. What would I do w/ extracting equipment w/out a bldg to set it up in? Extract in a tent?

    They sat at my kitchen table and told me they had a Building Loan Category but there was no money in it. So much for financing. But that's just one story.

    If you can get financing, do so. Then work your butt off making your payments. Don't get anywhere w/out hard work.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 08-14-2013 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Play nice, Mark
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #199
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    sqkcrk:

    Summer splits are here, now.
    Maybe in NY, but not here. Robbing is our issue, as this is our dearth before the practically non existent fall flow, which is rarely productive enough to count on as much, from what i have learned. Otherwise, i'll be feeding them copiously, without much hope of them overwintering. It can be done, I'm just not comfortable enough to worry about it right now, as I have the 3 hives and not much room for error without starting from scratch next year. I'd rather go into spring with 2-3 established colonies, and spend the money building up what's available to me then, rather than spending my money now, and gamble on what happens during the winter. Just my thought process if you were wondering.

  20. #200
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    2,724

    Default Re: I would like to be a commercial beek

    As far as 20 queens a week goes, 30 mating nucs is far off, by far. The limiting factor is the nurse bees, for sure. But the numbers run a little harder. It goes more like:

    1. To end with 20 mated queens, you should account for a 35% fail rate. Start with 30 mating nuts. But that's PER WEEK. From plant date to pluck date, you're usually 3 weeks off. It's a good idea to wait at least 4, that way you can fully evaluate the queens laying ability, and let her replace some of the nurse bees. So if you want 20 a week, and you need 30 to get 20 queens in one week, and they are on a 4 week schedule, that puts you at 120 mating nucs, minimum.

    2. Stocking those mating nucs is tricky. I've heard commercials say one booming hive can stock 4 mating nucs. I'd be willing to go a little further, say around 6 on average, if you feed the crud out of those production colonies in the late winter. So that means you'll need a minimum of 20 production colonies to support your 120 nucs.

    3. You'll need breeder colonies. At least one, but that will produce some genetic bottlenecking. Best to have a few to work with, and select the best of your minimum 20 production colonies.

    4. Drone colonies. You'll need at least 1 drone colony for each 10-20 mating nucs. I'd suggest closer to the lower end here. These shouldn't be the same as your "nurse bee" hives, as you don't want to rob nurse bees from your drone hives. It will end badly. So that means another 12 drone colonies for your 120 mating nucs.

    5. You'll need cell builder and cell finisher colonies for your cells. At 40 cells per week (considering there is a cell failure rate), it would be best to have at least two builders and two finishers for each week. This way you can cycle them in and out, and let them rest. So that would make 4 per week, or 16 total extra colonies.

    So, to have 20 queens a week, you'll need 120 mating nucs, 20 production colonies, 4 breeder colonies, 12 drone colonies, and 16 builder/finisher colonies. For a total of 52 hives. That's your minimum.

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