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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Cartersville, Gerogia, USA
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    61

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Josh W
    I have some experience with double nuc hives. I try to keep about 50 of them going year around. It is completely different then running 10 frame hives. Here are some of my experiences….a 5 frame nuc needs much more of your attention and time…when they hatch out two frames of brood and any honey is coming in they will start swarm cells and swarm…a swarmed out nuc puts your plans on hold for another month or so…when the honey flow starts the nuc is full in just a day…you can spend lots of time pulling out frames of honey and putting in foundation or you can put on an excluder and super them for more room but this needs done before they start swarm cells...I don’t like supering the double nucs because many times one side of the double nuc will go ahead and swarm out…a supered double nuc that swarms does not always draw swarm cells because of the second queen’s pheromones leaving you without a queen on one side….what I have learned that works best for me just before the honey flow is to cut the nucs back to just one frame of brood and bees and put in three or four foundation frames….I work a 40 hr week job and run my double nucs to raise nucs for sale in the spring and summer, so sometimes I have to get to them a day or two later then I want…just this spring the double nucs come thru the winter looking great, good brood and bees…the several days before I went to split them were extra warm and some good nectar was coming in so the day I am splitting them they were swarming with just an egg in a cup…when a nuc swarms they take more bees then they leave behind so I end up with 3 or 4 frames of brood and no queen or and a few bees…this fall for some reason unknown to me and my beekeeping buddies 1\2 of my double nucs are dwindling in bee population to just one and two frames now….if the dwindling stops maybe here in Georgia I can get them thru the winter?....but the loss of bees is already cutting into next spring’s nuc making….even with the extra time double nucs take and how quick they can be in trouble I do like them…they are like brood factories in the spring…I pull brood and leave the queen, come back in two weeks and it’s like you were never there, lots more brood…my 10 frame honey hives make good brood in the spring also and you can make lots of nucs with them, I just found for me personally I have a hard time finding the line between pulling nucs for sale and leaving brood for my honey hives…with the double nucs they are just for bees and brood no question, just easier for my simple mind….if I have any words of wisdom it would be “beekeeping always looks good on paper”……..

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,487

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by Makin' Honey View Post
    Josh W
    don’t like supering the double nucs because many times one side of the double nuc will go ahead and swarm out…a supered double nuc that swarms does not always draw swarm cells because of the second queen’s pheromones leaving you without a queen on one side….
    Thats the rub, this technique involves a bit of finesse
    I know of a guy that makes up tripple nuc hives. This kind of arrangement is a neat trick. These nucs can pull in just as much honey as producing colonies. For a guy expanding the operation, and has a bit of time on hand, its a good way to increasing hive numbers without putting any money out, and the way it pencils out, the double hive nuc will actually pay for all its building and maintenance costs plus plus plus!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,888

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    I have a long hive I built a few years ago. Died over the winter the first year. this year I'm going to modify it and make 4-5 nucs in it. I can then super it if I need to and should be relatively easy to work it.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    I think I would just explode those ten hives 4 ways and give them all a new young queen and then build them up to a double to go 4 ways later in the summer. It just doesn't seem that the old queens kept back are going to do you justice with honey production after taking half the bees and brood away and you'd probably fair better to market 25% of the last nucs you made. In the perfect world your ten hives could go to 40 on the first splitting and then to 160 on the second splitting. this is assuming you have the equipment to do that. the nucs could make to a single box for winter too. I did something similar to that about 12 years ago.
    Thanks for the advice,
    This is somewhat like what I did this year, I split singles 4 ways in double nucs and still made enough honey off them to cover my equipment costs.

    I am leaning towards doing what you said again this year, probably will not make a second split anymore.

    I will feed until May long weekend and then split all single deeps 4 ways and all hives that have worked up to doubles 8 ways. I should be able to get the same honey production that I would with the original hives or more with this strategy. This will help with covering the cost of drawn comb and equipment.

    I will not set a specific goal in how many hives I want to have next year so as not to be disappointed. That seems to be something that has been stressed on this thread. If someone asks me how many hives I want, I will say MORE.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Josh, building all these bees, what about your equipment? Is your plan to buy in some comb?
    If so, that is exactly how you do it. Build your bees, buy your equipment
    Yes I will be purchasing drawn comb, I do not plan to purchase bees again. Build the bees, buy the comb, just like you said.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    I wish to be honest and say I do not believe you have the right attitude or eduacation. A business mind is not what you need first to be a beekeeper. You must first be a Scientist. Understand Ecology(the interactions of different population groups), Epidemiology(spread of disease), Botany(your bees depend on plants), Meteorology(the plants depend on the weather), and last, Entomology. Most of those posting will have learned these at the School of Hard Knocks , but it sure helps to have the information handed down for generations.

    Your business background has probably been discussing rather shallow subjects, with little interconnected cause an effect. Be care full, beekeeping has many more factors that interreact at different levels. Last years weather may effect next years plants, which may effect mite levels due to different plants blooming(like Basswood) and therefore effect virus levels which effect overwintering which effects your nuc survival. And then there is CCD. How does your plan factor that in?

    At least you have a goal and apparent drive. Good luck, you will need it.

    Crazy Roland
    Common sense, research, drive and connections are also some things you should have mentioned.

    I believe you must also have studied Psychology as well as Career Psychometrics, as through my few posts on this site you have already determined my attitude what types of work I am suited for.

    You may have vast knowledge of the things you listed but if you asked other beeks I am sure many have learned just enough about those areas to get by doing what they do through the things I have mentioned. As for your knowledge in the areas you listed many people on this site will greatly appreciate your expertise and I am sure they are grateful. I will search and see what I can gather from your past posts. Many thanks!

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Thats the rub, this technique involves a bit of finesse
    I know of a guy that makes up tripple nuc hives. This kind of arrangement is a neat trick. These nucs can pull in just as much honey as producing colonies. For a guy expanding the operation, and has a bit of time on hand, its a good way to increasing hive numbers without putting any money out, and the way it pencils out, the double hive nuc will actually pay for all its building and maintenance costs plus plus plus!
    Right now I still have lots of time. Thanks Makin Honey for sharing how you do double nucs. It is interesting how there are so many ways to go about doing things with many right and wrong ways of doing them!

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,781

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    JoshW - you give me WAY too much credit. No, I do NOT dabble in psychology, I leave that to the ex-wife with the Pound Head Down degree. I have no doubt that many beekeepers have learned alot in there many years, but CCD fooled a beekeeper of 30 years, and a fourth generation beekeeper of 80 years. With all of the new pathogens, we all have alot to learn, and must do so constantly to stay ahead, or just even.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    Looking for comments on my strategy for growth next year from those that have already been through the growth stage.

    I will most likely have at least 10 hives to start the spring, allowing them to build up until the last weekend in May, they should be 2 deeps of brood by then. I will then split the colonies in half leaving the laying queens in 10 of the 20 singles. the other 10 queenless singles will each be broken down into four 4 frame nucs with feeders on immediately, no honey stores. (single deep with a divider creating 2 nucs).

    I am not looking for the nucs to produce anything for me except bees and want them to go through the winter as nucs. On July 15 I expect the nucs to be full of brood and the canola flow will be on. I will then take each of the 40 nucs and divide them into 2 nucs each. This should allow enough time for all nucs to be strong going into winter. I winter indoors.

    This should leave me with 80 nucs and 10 full producing hives going into winter after the first year of this strategy.

    Remember in our area we get between 150-200lbs of honey per hive. I can sell locally for $4 per pound, wholesale is about $2lb. Leaving me with between $4,000-8,000 to leverage for 20k plus. at which point I can repeat the process above on a much largers scale.

    If all else fails nucs are going for over $150 in my area.

    My end game is to have at least 500 hives, enough for me to work at it full time.
    I just want to make sure I am understanding you correctly. At the end of may you are hoping for 18-20 frames of bees? They are split in 2? So far so good me thinks. Then the queenless 9-10 frame single gets split into 4? This is how you want to come up with the initial 40 nucs? So you think 2 frames of bees will make 5 frames in 6 weeks (July 15) then you can split again?

    Jean-Marc

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    I just want to make sure I am understanding you correctly. At the end of may you are hoping for 18-20 frames of bees? They are split in 2? So far so good me thinks. Then the queenless 9-10 frame single gets split into 4? This is how you want to come up with the initial 40 nucs? So you think 2 frames of bees will make 5 frames in 6 weeks (July 15) then you can split again?

    Jean-Marc
    Yes if I were to use that strategy I would do just what you say and then I will put a laying queen in each one. Is that un-reasonable?

    The comb will already be drawn, I did this, this past year and they had 4 frames before the main flow started, I did not split them as I wanted a honey crop from them.
    Last edited by JoshW; 10-29-2013 at 08:07 AM. Reason: more info

  11. #51
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Unreasonable, no, perhaps optimistic. My criticism and concern is after the initial split the 4 nucs are left with 2 frames of bees. At this strength, they are highly vulnerable. Conditions would have to be ideal in order for this to work and obtain the desired results. Generally speaking at that time of year weather is ok but a cool night or two and those 2 frame nucs are in trouble. If it were my money I would probably prefer to overwinter everything as a single, because there is more margin of error for the bees. Based on that desire, I would likely split everything into 3 or 4 units at the end of may and again 6 weeks later split 3-4 ways. At a 4 frame strength bees have what I would call a minimum critical mass and can grow quickly, less than that and growth is slow. Essentially bees could go from one hive to nine and in a best case scenario one hive to sixteen. They would be overwintered as singles, increasing likelihood of survival. Under great conditions they could produce some surplus honey. My 2 cents.

    Jean-Marc

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
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    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    So Jean-Marc you are suggesting I abandon the double nucs and split everything in single deeps?

    Say for example I went with splitting each hive 4 ways. If 10 of my current hives make it through the winter, that would give me 40 hives if I even just split those in half 6 weeks later It would leave with 80 hives. I believe that this would leave them with enough strength to at least make 50% average production? correct me if this is flawed. Then at least the majority of my woodenware costs to get to this level would be covered within the year.

    I like your thinking here. Still looking for my best direction to take. If I could get to at least 50 strong hives going into winter then I could get overwinter mortality insurance, that is a large concern for me as large overwinter losses are known to happen in this area.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,347

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    As to the strength after the second split, I don't know if they would get you half a crop. Some years they might. It would be optimistic thinking to expect half a crop from them. Personally I would not budget for them to do that. I would be satisfied if I did not have to feed them to get thru the winter. Maybe a little bit to get fumigillin in them. If you get surplus great, if not you have 60-80 good singles for winter. Spend the money on feed, meds, queens , varroa control... then you do not need to spend it on mortality insurance. With young queens, varroa under control, plenty of weight the bees will be fine.

    I would also spend as much you could on sugar and patties as your budget can afford. This money is never lost. Depending the time of year bees either make more bees or they store it... it is not lost or wasted just transformed. Feed as much as you can or as fast as the bees will take it until you get to the 16-20 frame stage, split times 3-4, then keep feeding as much as they will take. At this point you are in dandelions. The more feed you give them the sooner they get to the next stage where you can split them. If at this point you divide in two , so from 30-40 you go to 60-80 keep them as heavy as you can so that at the point when they occupy a single any honey goes into the second box. Use an excluder. If you do this and the bees are a good single by July 25 then maybe you will get surplus. This of course depends on the year. Will they get access to second cut alfalfa or maybe buckwheat? Do you get lucky and the flow goes into September?

    On another note if you wish to be a beekeeper focus on beekeeping. If you want to be a honey seller/distributor focus on that. The two do not really mix that well together. Look at it this way, honey in the drum is about $2.10/lb. Either you sell it in the drum at that price or you can buy it at that price if you are short. Beekeeping efforts generate honey valued at $2.10/lb. Peddling honey generate the other $2.00/lb on that same honey. Peddling honey takes time away from the bees cause you need to be at that farmers market, and beekeeping takes time away from the opportunity to peddle the honey. If you have a day job then focus on beekeeping, until you get to the 500 hives. In my opinion peddling takes focus away from the bees. Unfortunately in that approach you do not create demand for your fine honey, but you can make more of it. It is just a choice.

    Personally I choose to pollinate, sell bees and make a little honey. If my children would want to set up a honey peddling network or a retail store or a packing plant then their dear old daddy would consider digging in his pocket to see what we could come up with. In the meantime I will keep selling bees, pollinating make a little honey. The point being I can focus on areas of expertise without spreading myself thin on areas that do not especially appeal to me. However a trusted person could persuade me to go along a new path if little effort would come from me, so as to not loose focus.

    Jean-Marc

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,067

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Josh,
    If you have a hive survive the Winter, how many frames of brood covered w/ bees do you think you will have when you wish to split it? How many frames of honey will it have?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  15. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
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    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Jean-Marc, this has been some great advice, not much money around here for pollination, the money comes from the large amount of honey. Staying focused on the area of expertise is very important. There is too much local honey around to make a living in this area trying to be a seller. Wholesale is the way to go here. Bee mortality insurance is only about $3 per hive so as far as that goes I think it is smart to get regardless of how healthy you think your hives are and it gives you a guarantee, less stress over winter. My focus as a business will be on honey production.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Josh,
    If you have a hive survive the Winter, how many frames of brood covered w/ bees do you think you will have when you wish to split it? How many frames of honey will it have?
    Hoping to have at least 12-15 frames of bees per hive by may 25th, if it doesn't happen I guess I get less splits out of them. frames of honey are not too important to me as I will be putting syrup on immediately. Sugar is cheaper than honey, and the honey will come yet, pollin patties on the hive as well to promote brood rearing.

  17. #57
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    What r u going to do to have that much brood in your hives by then? Twelve to 15 frames of brood? How will you keep them from swarming?

    Once you split that hive from 12 frames of brood down to 4 nucs w/ 3 frames of brood, how much brood do you expect in 6 weeks?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  18. #58
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    Feb 2013
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    Manitoba, Canada
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    125

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    What r u going to do to have that much brood in your hives by then? Twelve to 15 frames of brood? How will you keep them from swarming?

    Once you split that hive from 12 frames of brood down to 4 nucs w/ 3 frames of brood, how much brood do you expect in 6 weeks?
    I know this year I purchased singles that had 8 frames of brood on May 25th and we had a very late winter and very cold spring. I would expect considerably better than that if the weather is any better. It will depend on many factors I cannot control. Maybe Ian will put me in my place if my numbers are off for this area as he is quite near to me and has been in the business for a while. If they are off it would be interesting to know what I can expect, I don't think I am far off.

    In 6 weeks I would expect 2 brood cycles to have occurred, Maybe 8 frames??? Just guessing here. What would you expect in your area?

  19. #59
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    I'm not sure, but I would not expect 3 frames of brood and bees to turn into 8 frames in 6 weeks. Six maybe. But I really don't know. I've never tried doing what you plan to try.

    What do others think will happen?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  20. #60
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    887

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post

    What do others think will happen?
    if you can do this on a regular basis I would really be interested in getting some of your genetics. especially if they could survive Manitoba winters

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