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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    688

    Question coming up with the right solution

    I am so confused about what to do for moving hives for pollination next year it's just blowing my mind.
    If I wanted to move 100-200 hives less than 200 Km 1 way every year , what is the best way you all would do it?

    Example #1: trailer and a ramp with single hives and a wheeled dolly.
    #2 Skid steer and pay someone to move the SS on a trailer or flatbed , having a 4 palletized hive system . moving the hives on my own trailer .
    #3 Ezyloader mounted on a trailer in the (front /back /center?) 2 hive pallet system .
    #4 ???
    Etc ..

    I do know a local commercial Beekeeper who uses only a manual wheeled dolly with an electric/hydraulic tailgate on his truck , and moves around 175 hives , but he is closer to the blueberry fields than me.

    I would be happy if I could get some positive answers here.

    Thanks

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,527

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    What can you afford and how hard do you want to work?

    A straight truck with a 24' bed, hives on 4 or 6 way pallets and a trailer with a lift would be the easiest and fastest way
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,941

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    all depends on your budget Ben, if your working on a low budget, then a simple dolly and an electric tail gate would be the best option.

    skidsteer and trailer is the best option for moving bees around, quickest. All you see in the Almonds is as such.

    one man show, buy an ezyloader and make your pollination contracts pay for the machine,

    what ever way, our return on investment is the best with the dolly and electric tailgate working on 100-200 hive contracts, right? But if you factor in time, as I think you have a day job, then factor in how many years it will take for you to pay back the cost of buying assets to move your hives within a certain time frame. Let the figures do its work and decide whats is actually feasible. Cant run a show, just for show, gota make money
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    all depends on your budget Ben, if your working on a low budget, then a simple dolly and an electric tail gate would be the best option.

    what ever way, our return on investment is the best with the dolly and electric tailgate working on 100-200 hive contracts, right? then factor in how many years it will take for you to pay back the cost of buying assets to move your hives within a certain time frame. Let the figures do its work and decide whats is actually feasible. Cant run a show, just for show, gota make money
    Ian, well said.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,981

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    I problem solve a bit differently. I would look into discovering as many ways to get it done as possible. Then be looking for the opportunity to get it done frame a wider range of possibilities.

    Hire someone to move them it removes all the other details. Basically that is approaching the problem from the "I am not a trucker I am a beekeeper" viewpoint. To me the right way is the one that gets it accomplished. I don't usually take issue with the method.

    Locally I have the ability to combine my hive with others in the area and get all the hives sent together. Someone else solved the logistics. My transport concern is reduced to a few blocks rather than miles.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,329

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    I had a tailgate and wheeler set up some time back. I found it too slow. You probably do not have the budget to purchase a skidsteer to move your hives. EZE Loader could be an option but they are a little pricey. Mind you it would also be useful for pulling honey. Personally that leaves you with the option of hiring someone to move your palletized outfit or hiring someone to help you move them by hand. In your shoes hand loading would be my first choice. Labour is plentiful and cheap in your area, I think. Manual labour is cheaper than machines. Seeing as how you are starting out you want your money tied up in beehives that can generate revenue for you not in equipment that ties up a lot of capital.

    The challenge with hiring others is sometimes you have to work around their schedule. If you can find someone with a machine that can move your hives for a reasonable price, then when you have the budget to purchase your own machine , truck, trailer you do not have to change over to pallets. If you only do the one pollination, this can be an option.

    First get the hives, then the contract, then worry about moving them. Do the things you need to do first, then the other things will fall in place. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of this but by doing what you can today, tomorrow will take care of itself.

    Jean-Marc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,941

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    >>EZE Loader could be an option but they are a little pricey.<<

    Yup, got to sharpen the pencil to make that one work
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Bragg Lumber will unload for you on the other end if you build pallets compatible with their system. (Assuming that's who you're pollinating for?)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,981

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    I just did a search for EZE Loader and came up with boat trailers. I then searched for Ezyloader and the first link took me to a site that has a banner photo of a guy loading hives on a flat bed. So I am betting that Ezyloader is what is being mentioned in this thread.

    What I cannot find is any information on the sales of them.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    Well since I need to start from scratch for most of everything , like honey house , a trailer , a way to move hives in a field of blueberries . I am just exploring my options from more experienced beekeepers and relying on what to do or not to do

    I did see a "Super cart" in a video on youtube from Lewis and Sons ??? , it is a gas powered dolly with a single caster wheel on the back for turning that looked interesting, anyone know if they are for sale ? or a price ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQkCbOOXc-0

    There is a lot of IFs Ands or Buts in this type of farming (most farming lol) And I know there is no 1 right answer for everything .

    But I appreciate all of the ideas thrown out there for me.
    So Thank you all !

    Ben Little
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,941

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    I think they are a few hundred bucks,
    ya, that with an electric tail gate works
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    Any one want to throw a ballpark number on a Ezyloader. Cost wise For us that are Curious.
    David

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,119

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    From a different EZLoader thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I paid $23000 a few years back, but not they run for $30000
    (click the blue arrow to view the thread)
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,329

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    Ben:

    I was in much the same situation you were in when I first started. I had limited resources, but a strong desire to make it work. I live in an area where inflation allowed me to borrow against the perceived increase in the value of our house. That gave me a pool of money that was quickly spent building my numbers up. The KEY to remember is that the beehives generate the revenue. Extractors do not generate revenue (unless you get into a custom extracting situation), trucks don't (unless you become a truck driver), same thing can be said about forklifts and trailers.

    For sure these things will allow you to run more hives and make the job of running those hives easier, but they do not generate the cash that the business requires. In my case I had 200 doubles before I got a truck. To summarize, get some hives together, get them paid, then worry about forklift or eze loaders honey house.

    Good luck.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    I bought one of the 3 wheeled lift truck that goes on back a lumber truck for 1500. works pretty slick for the price.

    ebay is great if you take the time!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    the gas powered dolly in the above post by me is still available @ >>>>>>> 1850.00 +tx and freight <<<<<<<<
    A little pricey for me
    Since I am a small engine mechanic and I know engines , transmissions and I have a welder, I think I may be making my own LOL


    Here is a little true story from today, that I would like to share .

    I call it "The straw that broke Benjamins back"

    Today I blew out my back helping a customer get their lawn tractor out of a MINI VAN , It barely fit in it! I heard a pop and crunch , I couldn't move and at the time I was the only worker at the shop, the customer just stood there and complained that his grass was growing (which is the most annoying complaint, like I don't know that grass grows ? ) I won't tell you what I was thinking of saying , it is not very nice. Meanwhile I was getting dizzy from pain I managed to get back inside the shop and got his info and when I got back outside to put a repair tag on the tractor (took me about 3 minutes to get to it) I noticed some wires dangling from under the hood , I opened it and plugged them back into the volt meter and it started right up of course .....well the customer was happy as heck , so he wanted me to push it into his van and I said "not a chance in hell, you get on it and drive it in , and I will hold the rear Broken gate open on the van." It went in after a bit and he got in his van and drove off without a thank you or asking what he owed me, or a tip , nothing ! >>>>which happens often FYI <<<<<
    SO..... I went back inside and grabbed an ice pack from the freezer for my back and chewed about him to myself for about 30 minutes with the phone off the hook , it was a lovely day!
    The End ??

    I really don't like what I do anymore , the public has driven me to taking stress pills since 2009 and it hasn't gotten any better , The public is way too demanding , I work there injured and sick and still no appreciation from anyone, the pay is terrible , but I won't go there LOL (It's a Family business).

    And people ask me "What made you want to be a Beekeeper" well the Simplest way to put it is , I really can't stand the general public telling me what to do and not being appreciated for what I do.
    there is other reasons , but that's enough for my rant on here

    Sorry for ranting everyone ,
    I am sure someone has it worse somewhere else and has a better story.... etc , but I can't sit back and watch myself be unhappy doing what I do , so being a Commercial Beekeeper is what is my goal and no one is going to stop me
    The Bees don't tend to talk back that much , other than that one Bee that really doesn't want to leave you alone in every yard

    Have a good day all.
    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    webster county Iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    If you can figure out the general weight you are moving, government requirements and such you could build a trailer or two.
    I am a seriously determined self reliant type and that is what I would do if it was the least expensive. I LIKE to build stuff and weld so it would be kinda an excuse for me to do that...
    I would guess an easier thing might be find a small used semi flat bed trailer, load it and have it moved and if you don't need to move it again till fall or whatever just leave it. Used trailers aren't that expensive especially as you could probably use a shorter one.
    You did say one way each year so why unload them if they are not needed elsewhere ?
    I actually leave hives in trailers year round - sometimes I have to move them if they are spraying the area, also I have a small pollination contract about 30 miles from me. I take them down there in April and bring them back to my yard about Oct.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    One way 200 Km , meaning that I would need to travel around that distance to get to the pollination site for 3 weeks , then back home.

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,981

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    Not necessarily about bees but still related to this issue. I spent years doing home repairs. I would often run into situations that I needed equipment such as a bobcat. ditch witch fork lift Auger or other equipment I do not own and would be expensive to buy.

    I quickly learned that even if I managed to purchase these pieces. I would still not be capable of paying for their upkeep. with every new piece of equipment you are adding bills. I even got to the point of looking at a tractor with a loader and backhoe. it would have pretty much been the one size fits all solution. I was still not able to make it work when it came to the maintenance cost. I was working part time fore 2 to 3 thousand dollars a moth. in order to make equipment work I would have had to leap frog that to about 10 thousand a month. It would mean going from part time to full time.

    Keep in mind buying a tractor meant also buying a trailer and a truck that could haul it. and the maintenance of all three. Having a location to store it when it was not being used which for me meant renting a space in a lot.

    I simply rented equipment as I needed it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,093

    Default Re: coming up with the right solution

    I have two pollination jobs which are both 100 miles from where I have my hives when thge blueberries or apples need them. I have an F-450 w/ a 14'3" bed, so I can get 20 pallets of 4 Way pallets on the truck and 4 pallets on the trailer, along w/ the Bobcat skidsteer loader. So that's a total of 96 colonies per load.

    The blueberry grower will unload for me, so I can take a full load on the trailer if I want to. This past Spring I got a friend w/ a bigger truck to help move bees. We got 6 rows on his truck. That helped.

    When I have to move bees from SC to NY (to go into the apples) I contract a semi to haul them for me, but I still load and unload them. I like having a machine like a skidsteer so I can load, unload, and do other things w/ it, like move snow.

    Lots to think about. You'll have to figure out for yourself what is doable of course. I spent many years, by myself, loading and unloading two story hives by hand in an evening, driving 100 miles, sleeping in the truck for the night, waking up at 4AM and unloading in an apple orchard and then driving home to do it again until all the orchards had their bees. Don't do it that way anymore. Don't have to.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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