Re: If Not Almonds...
First step? Learn how to keep the bees you have and how to get them to pay you to keep them. Pollination is attractively easy, but it's not easy at all.
At this point you may be seeing other beekeepers w/ envious eyes, seeing their trucks and machines and in your mind turning those things into dollars. Cha-ching. "Dang, there must be a lot of money in doing pollination, just look at the new truck and Loader." When, in fact, those things belong to the bank and the bank lends them to the beekeeper for a fee. And then the long hours, much of it at night. Days and nights away from home, family, girlfriend, dog. Though the dog may go w/ you, will the girl friend? Road food. Breakdowns w/ bees on board. Blow outs on the trailer when going across that bridge on the Richmond Bypass.
Pollination calls for 100 hives in April, you'd better have 150 to 200 going into Winter so you have in strong enough hives what the orchards want.
There's a lot more to doing pollination than meets the eye. I didn't mean to sugar coat it for you. It just came out that way.
Just because something is new to you, doesn't mean it is new, or revolutionary. Mark Berninghausen