Alright, I'm needing someone to drag me over the coals on this to see if there are any mistakes that I'm making right off in my direction to become a commercial beekeeper.
Goal: Increase 7 of my hives into 28 by next year with splits and grafting queens.
- Kentucky location 3 miles from I-75 (Florida and Maine Transports access when future buildup is enough)
- 100 acres of rural land in one county and in adjacent county 50 acres for redundancy
- Currently have 12 hives (2 Italian 10 carniolans): Using double deeps and pure wax on each (Italians were last year 3lb and carnies were this years splits from local supplier. Considering 30% loss or around 7-8 hives to survive this time next year.
- Currently placing for "free" 2 hives on 2 different local farmers locations for pollination of fruit orchard and farm gardens for resume building
- Offered State Apiarist "free" assistance at my own expense for extra experience
- Member of two local beekeeping associations
- 2nd year "official" beekeeper, although put on first beekeeping suit at age 5
- Numerous beekeeping classes on queen rearing, splits, grafting as well as in depth study (Doolittle, Pellett, Alley etc).
- 2015 to take Master Beekeeper from EAS for self-gratification reasons.
- Work full-time as Network Engineer at local company
- Have "small scale" extraction/melters/storage tank equipment as well as about 30 shallow supers.
- Plan to overwinter hives in Kentucky for a few years.
- This years surplus (if any) is being bottled and donated to local shelters.
Need to purchase this week at local Dadant to make 28 extra hives:
- 56 Medium Economy supers (2 mediums x 28 new hives): $467.60
- 560 Medium Frames (using 10 frames per medium 56 x 10=560). Purchase of 600 medium wooden wedge top bar/grooved bottom bar: = $501.60
- 560 Medium brood foundation 100% beeswax (using hair pins to hold foundation): Purchase of 600 = $419.20
- 28 commercial covers (10fr): $309.40
- 28 standard wooden bottom boards: $373.10
- Total = $2070.90 plus tax and a few extra expenses.
Am I missing anything? Would you do something different (plastic, screened, telescoping covers, deeps)? Recommendations on if turning 7 into 28 is too much at one time? Any and all feedback (good or bad) is going to be extremely helpful for me before I start into this.
Ok, ready for the coals.