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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Norwood, Colorado
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    20

    Default Question about finding a mentor.

    I will be to the point as I understand time is money.

    I recently fell in love with beekeeping.

    I live in Western Colorado.

    Is there anyone who could mentor me in the ways of being a medium+ scale comercial beekeeper?
    I would like to learn the back end as well as the differences between keeping bees as a hobby and massive operations.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    When the student is ready, the right teacher will come along. The trick is realizing what is being taught.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,269

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Join a local bee club, Mentor = friend. Make a few you will find the one who clicks with you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    London, Kentucky
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Not many folks do it anymore, but offer to work for free doing "anything" they need you to do. I did this with someone and was able to learn tons of stuff already (but there is tons still to learn). Sometimes I would be transporting hives and extracting supers on a mass scale, other times I would be sweeping the shop up for hours just to show my worth. All I asked in return was the learning side. The beekeeper and I are now good friends, he actually helps me (for beer)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    When the student is ready, the right teacher will come along. The trick is realizing what is being taught.
    Would that be "beeswax on" or "beeswax off" master?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Nunya
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Norwood, Colorado
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Thanks angel but with my current work schedule I am not able to work for someone without a pre set prior arrangement and usually not more than for two weeks. I had hoped for more positive responses.

    I would like to add that I would be willing to pay for the "internship".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    When can you start? What are your qualifications beyond an interest? How much weight can you pick up? What's your past work history like? Gotta valid CDL? Got your own suit, veil, gloves, smoker, and hive tool? Transportation? Been stung before? How long can you stay away from home? Sorry if my first reply was not to your liking. Facts of life are oft times harsh. Best to be blunt. Actually Blunt is my middle name. Or should be. When can you start?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Take a week or two of your holidays and spread them out over the season volunteering with a commercial beekeeper or negotiate a small wage if you feel the need. Take Monday off every other week or something. This way you can pre-arrange it.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Norwood, Colorado
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    zhiv9 thanks for the great response. I would do that, however I am somewhat rural. So at least a two hour drive to the closest commercial beekeeper and 6-8 hours to any large city.

    Sqkcrk I have my own equipment. No CDL, my own transportation, many stings. And again I have a great job and I do not plan to quit to start a commercial operation, I just have a love for bees and business.

    I can start with around a two week window, I can stay for about two weeks. I would prefer someone to have at the very least 200 hives for a pollinating business, or for a queen producer around 200+ sold a year. I am also interested in large scale wax operations. At this time I am uninterested in commercial honey operations.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMosher View Post
    I would prefer someone to have at the very least 200 hives for a pollinating business, or for a queen producer around 200+ sold a year. I am also interested in large scale wax operations. At this time I am uninterested in commercial honey operations.
    You Posted this in the Commercial Forum, so I don't see any need to state 200 hives for a pollinating business. Commercial beekeepers who would let you work w/ them will have a lot more than that.

    What's your interest in and what do you mean by a "large scale wax operation"? Someone who renders a lot of comb? Are you considering becoming a wax renderer?

    Uninterested in commercial honey operations? Huh, interesting. Why are you limiting your scope? Seems like you would benefit from learning about all aspects of commercial beekeeping instead of limiting your scope. Besides, you may find it hard to find a commercial operation whose main source of income is not honey production. Or one which doesn't do a lot of honey production.

    I do know a large commercial beekeeper in NY who once told me that honey was a bother to him, a necessary evil to be dealt with. He'd rather that his bees made just enough honey to feed themselves through the Winter so they would be ready for pollination in the Spring. He still has the biggest Honey House in the State of NY. So I don't know how you are going to get away from that.

    I think your best bet would be to join the American Honey Producers Association and then save time and money for the annual meeting in January. Attend the meeting. Find out who the Beekeepers are who live w/in a reasonable driving distance of where you live and then find out if they would let you work for them as an Intern or as a Day Laborer every so often when you have the time. Ask until you've either asked them all or until you get a positive reply. What do you have to lose? Just attending the meeting will be an eyeopener. Check the website at ahpa.org.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Norwood, Colorado
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Thanks for wasting my time sqkcrk. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by JohnMosher; 07-10-2014 at 03:58 PM. Reason: removed innapropriate content

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMosher View Post
    Thanks for wasting my time sqkcrk. I really appreciate it.
    You're kidding, right?

    I think your best bet would be to join the American Honey Producers Association and then save time and money for the annual meeting in January. Attend the meeting. Find out who the Beekeepers are who live w/in a reasonable driving distance of where you live and then find out if they would let you work for them as an Intern or as a Day Laborer every so often when you have the time. Ask until you've either asked them all or until you get a positive reply. What do you have to lose? Just attending the meeting will be an eyeopener. Check the website at ahpa.org.
    This is some very sound advice from someone who has been around a long time and REALLY knows his stuff.

    Here's some more advice: grow a thicker skin. In this business you need it because commercial beeks are a VERY blunt bunch who say exactly what they think and feelings be danged. And be prepared to have your time wasted sometimes if only because you do not yet know enough for your time to be as valuable as the beek who is wasting it. Try not to come off as a know-it-all and most of these guys will go out of their way to help; be an arrogant sob and they may go out of their way to take you down a notch or two.

    No, I am not a commercial beek, but I have worked for a few. That's how I learned years ago. The guys I've met have been salt-of-the earth types who taught me a lot when they didn't have to. It is a very hard life and I respect the guys who do it!

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    971

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Our local bee club runs a bee school, and during that school a mentor is picked out for us from among the club members. The selection is based on willingness, proximity, experience, and hive type. But that's for beginning beekeepers.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,269

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    The world today wants it now, their way, and from the best available, at little or no charge. veterans of 40 plus years have offered reasonable advice for no other reason than they themselves have an abiding love for bees. and one of them wasted your time?

  16. #16
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMosher View Post
    Thanks for wasting my time sqkcrk. I really appreciate it.
    Really? Show me.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  17. #17
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    You're kidding, right?



    This is some very sound advice from someone who has been around a long time and REALLY knows his stuff.

    Here's some more advice: grow a thicker skin. In this business you need it because commercial beeks are a VERY blunt bunch who say exactly what they think and feelings be danged. And be prepared to have your time wasted sometimes if only because you do not yet know enough for your time to be as valuable as the beek who is wasting it. Try not to come off as a know-it-all and most of these guys will go out of their way to help; be an arrogant sob and they may go out of their way to take you down a notch or two.

    No, I am not a commercial beek, but I have worked for a few. That's how I learned years ago. The guys I've met have been salt-of-the earth types who taught me a lot when they didn't have to. It is a very hard life and I respect the guys who do it!

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty, Thanks.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Norwood, Colorado
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Why are you being so competitive on a beekeeping forum? You wasted my time by threadjacking and giving me advice that is exactly contradictory to what I was asking. You were not interested in mentoring me. Your posts are condescending.

    Whats strange is that in none of my posts did I ever attack or judge you. I never pretended to know more or that I was better in any way. Which means your antagonism was either derived from yourself, or in some way my question set it off.

    But really it doesnt matter, this will only fuel your strange competitive and antagonistic nature.


    Thanks to angel, zhiv9, and phoebee for the constructive advice. I will lookup my state bee clubs and head from there.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Yeah, you are right. My apologies. Best wishes.

    [did this thread start out in "Employment" or was it moved? I thought it was in "Commercial/Pollination"]
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lee County, Illinois
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Question about finding a mentor.

    Gee mark all the time taken to post you coulda had fifty boxes built. Lol

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