I feel like I am young enough to start making some mistakes and learning from them, as you said (I bolded.)
My dad has been a veneer salesman most his life. I have inquired about acquiring solid wood, of good quality for this project, he has informed me he has the connections I need to get a very affordable, regular supply of wood(s). My goal this winter is to build 100 hives, and not all will be used the following spring. I have the free time to invest, I guess I am just going to have ot figure out where to invest my time. I figured making the resources to house the bees was a good start. It will at least save me some start up cost and hopefully get me ahead in the coming years of growth.
There are some excellent queen rearers around here I am learning from, and plan on starting, for practice, next year, as most of my splits are going to need queens, obviously.
I do not think I ever want to get above much over 250 or so hives, 300 max. In theory, from what I have learned, this should provide me nucs to sell, as well as a small, manageable pollination outfit, and help cover losses. I have a screen printing business that I hope will help me cover bad years, and plan on starting an herb business as well.
I do not plan on really getting into honey sales, or woodenware sales. My focus will be on nucs and queens, and possibly pollination, depending on life circumstance and the logistics of such an endeavor. I still have much, much, much to learn about becoming an even small scale pollinator.
I figured around 70-120 hives starts becoming full time, which is why I'm trying to get to 100 +/- hives in the next two years, and decide what to do from there.
I am assuming, that by western super you mean a medium box. Why wouldn't I keep all the boxes the same for bee production? This would help aid in making splits, and selling nucs in deep frames, or keep it all mediums and making medium frame nucs? Wouldn't the more universal setup, keeping it all one size, make it easier to checkerboard as well?
Why wouldn't I just grow more slowly, and sell some splits and use some to grow, and have it more set up to pay for the materials to grow?
My son is two, I am divorced from his mother, which is why I only have him from thursdays until mondays. I hope that when he gets older, I will get him suited up and working with me. Right now, I am trying to develop a strategy to incorperate homeschooling into our way of life. Counting days of lifecycles, crunching finacial figures, and seasonal changes seem to be an interesting and applicable way to incorperate lessons into his day. He is not old enough for him to travel with me on contract work, but his mother has entertained the idea when he is old enough, so that he can travel a bit, and earn it, whilst learning and applying skills. We will see how that goes, and ultimately this will shape the direction I take with my business ventures.
I find myself, as others find me, fiercely tenacious, and hyper focused even. The ex says I focus so much she thinks I have the kind of focus that constitutes me having asperger's syndrome, I guess being focused and committed isn't as valued in my generation as before. But it has been in my experience that the focused and dedicated are the ones that excel and achieve.
What I am currently trying to figure out, aside from more advanced skills and practices, is exactly how many hives I would like to average, and what kind of income and time commitment each "tier" supports. For example, 10 hives is much different from managing 100 hives, which is different still from 300 hives. I'm trying to figure out what number is going to best work for me. 10 hives does not seem like enough, 500 seems like too much, but also opens doors. Trying to learn from other beekeepers with varying numbers of hives, and how they manage them, and their potential average income the number of hives support is where I am.
I simply do not know if 100 hives is enough to make more than supplemental income, or if I might as well have 200, andmake a decent living.
So realistically, do I want to be a hardcore sideliner, earning substantial income from 100+/- hives, selling cuttings from herbs and plants I grow, or do I want to go small scale commercial and have 200+/- and rely mainly (because of time restrictions) on bees for income?
Rain, not a problem. Mind over matter makes me a stronger person.