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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    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.
    To be honest, when looking over another beekeepers detailed plan makes me a bit bug eyed, and I usually skim over most of it get the jist of things.
    12-15 frames of brood by May 25th? Well, if your Tim Ives, then yes, but I would suggest that's a bit much. Id say 4-6-8 frames of brood is what I'm usually working through about that time of year, taking them all to 4 brood frames. ( I count my frames of brood as a frame being 3/4 covered with CAPPED brood)
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #62
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    When taking my hives down into nucs, 2 brood frames one honey, I usually work with a 1to4 ratio on average.

    I think you said your splitting them down a second time,

    One point I would make about making up nucs during the hoeny flow is here on the Canadian prairies anyway, your going have trouble keeping the honey out of the nest and plugging things up. This is one of the reason why we like to build nucs beginning of June, as there is a bit of a dearth to give the queen time to establish her nest and then roll them into honey production mode to take the massive crop. Otherwise your pulling frames all through the honey pull when you should be pulling boxes of honey instead.
    Last edited by Ian; 10-29-2013 at 05:47 PM.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,621

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    JoshW, although I do not know your climate/plant patterns, your numbers seem optimistic. You may have a few hives that are at your expectations, but no where have I seen allowances made for the failed queen, drone layer, or just plain under performing hive.

    As pointed out earlier, your spitting to near critical mass is rather risky. I think if you do a pure mathematical analysis of the exponential rise, linear growth, and approach to an upper limit pattern of population growth, you may find that there is a more optimal and less risky way to gain population. I ussualy ask "what is the limiting factor now" , and work to minimize it's impact. If it was as easy as your numbers say, everyone would be doing it that way.

    Be aware of the dangers of fighting a two front war. You loose focus on one front and you are done. Just ask the Germans how it worked for them. A man has got to know his limitations.

    Crazy Roland the German

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,323

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    If it was as easy as your numbers say, everyone would be doing it that way.
    Now that's not crazy!
    Regards, Barry

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,219

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    All things being equal, which of course they never are, what percentage of growth is reasonable? Fifty percent each year?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #66
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    I guess that depends on how much honey is expected to be collected. On a good "average" year, coming off a good winter I will increase my colony numbers by 30%. But then on a bad winter I eat those gains and end up having to buy in stock.
    Without expecting a good honey crop , nucing everything out, I'd say a 400% colony increase is reasonable . Then you better buy in those boxes

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Ukraine Kharkiv
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    14

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    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).
    Have you taken into account risks such as swarming, late spring, lack of food and so fourth? What is the general risk strategy fro this project?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    My end game is to have at least 500 hives, enough for me to work at it full time.
    Really cool! I think you will need a direct and powerful system to manage all processes at your apiary.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    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.
    The number can be different from year to year. Also you should always correct your forecast at the end of the season because some colonies will need more honey for the wintering
    Automate your apiary with Apiary Manager - increase efficiency and systematize your work
    http://apiary-manager.net

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Nesbitt,Manitoba,Canada
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    I have followed this thread and a couple things came to my mind - anyone else can feel free to comment on this as well:
    1. You can make as many nucs as you wish but eventually you will have to deal with these becoming full, producing hives, even nucs produce alot of honey. (and you need this honey to pay for future expansion plans) At what point do you plan on dealing with all these colonies? A large amount of nucs like that could be a time bomb if you time something wrong.
    2. 'You can always sell to the Co-op' - I'm not sure if they still have a waiting list or not to become a member. They do have a minimum hive # that you have to have (50). You may be stuck selling as a non-member for awhile- which would be at a slightly discounted price as well as with the new food safety rules in place you may be subject to honey testing fees if you are not registered with CFIA (which is not a fast process)
    3. Bee mortality insurance is an option that you mentioned, but doing the math with premiums, deductible etc it is does not necessarily make good financial sense. My opinion is that there are more cost effective, beneficial ways to deal with losses

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,219

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by HiveOnTheHill View Post
    anyone else can feel free to comment on this as well:
    Of course. This is a discussion forum after all.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #70
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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

    JoshW,
    What sort of Income to Profit ratio are you anticipating? How many years do you anticipate your accountant income carrying your bee venture?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,621

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    sqkcrk asked:

    All things being equal, which of course they never are, what percentage of growth is reasonable? Fifty percent each year?

    For our area, the range is generally from 50 to 100 percent increase, WITHOUT significant reduction in honey production. About 4 years ago. we where able to split packages from Sheri the first week of June, leaving behind the old queen and one frame of eggs. The other half was 7-8 frames of brood, and we let them make a new queen. This year was not so good. We stole one frame from every hive(over a period of time), and made 5 from 3. Historically, the 3 from 2 is usually possible, it is referenced in a 1924 article about my Great Grandfather replacing winter losses.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    1. If I made the nucs I would deal with them in spring after they had over wintered, this would give me time to get the financial part of it together. Then I would have to re-evaluate my position for the next year. I realize that once I got to the point of say 100 hives to split that 4 ways within one year without having planned it out correctly would create a mess not only that but it would cost a lot. I am trying not to concern myself with that at this time as ones strategy and position must continuously be re-evaluated, and I will need to make those decisions when the time comes.

    2. I have been in contact with the Co-op and was not advised on any waiting list. My understanding is you do need to work your way up over the years with pool A pricing. I am in the process of applying for the non-member contract at this time for next year, to sell surplus honey that is not sold locally. I will work towards the member contract when the time comes that I am able to fulfill the requirements.

    3. Mortality insurance will cover any losses over approx. 30%. A loss of 30% can be recovered without much effect on honey production and is near the Manitoba mortality rate. on 100 colonies it would cost $373 to insure at the high rate. That cost is less than having to purchase 2 new colonies in spring, or the honey crop from 1 hive. I don't think giving up 1-2% of your honey production to purchase a guarantee that you will not be completely crippled the next year is a bad idea. You may never get anything out of it but your not paying enough to hurt either.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
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    113

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    JoshW,
    What sort of Income to Profit ratio are you anticipating? How many years do you anticipate your accountant income carrying your bee venture?
    approx. 70/30 profit/expense in this area for commercial producers not aggressively expanding, and maintaining hive numbers.

    In actuality I wont make any money until I quit expanding, accounting will supplement beekeeping until honey production will provide enough to live off of it.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,219

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    1. If I made the nucs I would deal with them in spring after they had over wintered, this would give me time to get the financial part of it together. Then I would have to re-evaluate my position for the next year. I realize that once I got to the point of say 100 hives to split that 4 ways within one year without having planned it out correctly would create a mess not only that but it would cost a lot. I am trying not to concern myself with that at this time as ones strategy and position must continuously be re-evaluated, and I will need to make those decisions when the time comes.

    2. I have been in contact with the Co-op and was not advised on any waiting list. My understanding is you do need to work your way up over the years with pool A pricing. I am in the process of applying for the non-member contract at this time for next year, to sell surplus honey that is not sold locally. I will work towards the member contract when the time comes that I am able to fulfill the requirements.

    3. Mortality insurance will cover any losses over approx. 30%. A loss of 30% can be recovered without much effect on honey production and is near the Manitoba mortality rate. on 100 colonies it would cost $373 to insure at the high rate. That cost is less than having to purchase 2 new colonies in spring, or the honey crop from 1 hive. I don't think giving up 1-2% of your honey production to purchase a guarantee that you will not be completely crippled the next year is a bad idea. You may never get anything out of it but your not paying enough to hurt either.
    Mortality insurance? What's that and what does it cover and what does it cost?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #75
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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

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshW View Post
    approx. 70/30 profit/expense in this area for commercial producers not aggressively expanding, and maintaining hive numbers.
    I'm confused. I asked about Income to Profit, not Profit over Expenses. What you replied w/ seems to be that you expect 70 parts profit against 30 parts expenses. Do I misunderstand something here?

    If you generate $100,000.00 in income, what sort of profit do you think reasonable to expect?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I'm confused. I asked about Income to Profit, not Profit over Expenses. What you replied w/ seems to be that you expect 70 parts profit against 30 parts expenses. Do I misunderstand something here?

    If you generate $100,000.00 in income, what sort of profit do you think reasonable to expect?
    I apologize, the profit over expense ratio I gave has exactly the same information you are looking for. If there is 100,000 in income I would expect 70,000 of that to be profit. Under the assumption that you have all the equipment needed and are not expanding, just general maintenance and repairs required. Before you tell me I may be wrong, allow me to tell you I did the books for a commercial beekeeper in my area and he was at 80% profit on average the past 8 years.

  17. #77
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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 have always know I was doing something wrong. I have never had those ratios. Some years are losses. Maybe I should be working for you.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I have always know I was doing something wrong. I have never had those ratios. Some years are losses. Maybe I should be working for you.
    What is your average yield per hive? Manitoba average is 155lbs but many producers average closer to 175 and some even higher by my understanding. If you are having losses on those numbers then maybe you could be doing something wrong.... I am going to assume your average yield is much lower in the New York area, maybe pollination transportation costs are eating it up, not sure. But that is what happens here, with canola around every corner, transportation costs will not be as high for prairie beekeepers.

  19. #79
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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

    Production averages here are comparetively piss poor. Fourtyfour pounds per hive this year from my hives.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Growth on limited budget/ waiting on financing

    Our disadvantage up here is the high cost and availability of replacement bees. A few bad winters can quickly eat up the gains from the better years, not to mention poor summer production years. The trick is to get through those poor years without going broke, so we can reap the bount from the better years. Nothing more frustrating than not being able to take the crop that sits right in front of you because of some other un controllable cercumstance

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