Nothing but expanding
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    125

    Default Nothing but expanding

    Currently have 5 hives that are overwintering good so far. Two of them I overwintered with three deeps and the other two with two deeps. Candy board on all five. Planning on starting syrup and pollen patties at the end of the month. Have three 5 frame nucs on reserve that are true Overwintered queens and nucs that I will pick up as soon as weather breaks for thorough inspections. I might end up buying more nucs still. Iím planning on expanding as hard as I can with no intentions of harvesting any honey. Iím debating splitting everything I can into as many splits as possible and continuing to do so up until about July and feeding this entire time up until winter preparations are done.
    Going to try grafting my first queens this year to do all of this. Iím debating if I should buy the first round of queens for my first initial split of all hives and then raising queens and making splits the rest of the year as queens are ready.
    My end goal is to start selling over wintered nucs and queens in three years maybe two.
    Any body have any advice or words of wisdom. If I eventually ended up with hives to start pollination rentals that wouldnít be bad either?
    But whereever I end up Iím growing into it instead of buying in. And decide where to continue as I go.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Pretty much mirrors our plans. Except we're going to leave a few as production hives so that we have enough "political honey" lol, neighbors, etc..
    Of course the bees will dictate the exact plans...

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Dothan, Alabama
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Any number of hives you are trying or expecting to reach this year?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Driggs, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    151

    Default

    I have 20 4x4 nucs going into winter. So far they are all alive and look good. I won't be able to start feeding until April so I still have a little winter to deal with. I am planning on turning my 20 nucs into 80 this summer. I will buy some queens but for the most part i will be raising my own.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    125

    Default

    >Any number of hives you are trying or expecting to reach this year?

    It would be nice to get to 40 production hives. Right now my plan is to establish apiaries with 40 full strength colonies each that I use each year to build nucs off of to overwinter and sell the following spring. Iím just gonna be my own customer for a few years until I get a feel of how many yards Iím comfortable with. And possibly build 50 nucs to overwinter in each yard from each of the 40 production hives. Iím not set on numbers yet but these are a baseline that Iím thinking. 40 production hives per yard might end up not feasible or 50 nucs from each yard might not be feasible. But itís somewhere to start thinking from and adjusting.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    125

    Default

    Yotebuster >I have 20 4x4 nucs going into winter. So far they are all alive and look good.

    Ok so did you actually split down everything you had and make as many 4x4 nucs that you could to overwinter? Thatís what I was thinking.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    125

    Default

    cbay >Pretty much mirrors our plans.

    How many hives are you gonna split down from?
    And what are you gonna split them down into, 3 framers, 5, 4x4ís?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,763

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    50 nucs is a massive amount of resources manged right
    look in to brood factory's
    "In the Spring of 2011, I set up 50 nice over wintered, four over four, two-story nucleus colonies in double nucleus boxes. Each nucleus was given a nucleus super with four additional combs, for a total of 12 combs each. Beginning in early May, I began removing sealed brood with adhering bees to strengthen my cell building colonies. Every four days, starting with the first nucleus, I removed two or three frames of brood from each nucleus until the dayís brood requirement was filled. Four days later, I repeated the process, harvesting brood from the nuclei next in line. My intention was to remove enough brood from each to fill my needs, but not enough to significantly weaken the colonies. I needed them to be strong enough to fill combs of brood quickly, but not so strong they would swarm before I returned for another harvest. From May 9 until June 19 I harvested 245 combs of brood to set up my 35 cell builders, each receiving seven combs of sealed brood and two of honey. Then, after the last cell builders had been set up, I switched the focus of my brood harvest to making the Summerís nucleus colonies. Those 50 nuclei gave me enough additional combs of brood and bees to establish 330 more nucleus colonies. Think of it! More than 900 combs of brood and bees harvested from only 50 over-wintered nucs."- http://hcbeekeepers.org/a-better-way-by-mike-palmer/

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,625

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    50 nucs is a massive amount of resources manged right
    look in to brood factory's ................
    Necessary to mention is MP did this with decades of experience running multiple hundreds of colonies in a good production area.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,255

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    You are pushing your bees out of their natural season by feeding. Are you going to have a bubble of brood before mating is possible? Your first QCs may be swarm not grafted.
    Without a big stack of empty drawn comb, (drawing new comb in the spring= not going to happen much), bought gives you time insurance and more time to work on grafting before you absolutely need good queens..
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Dade county, Mo.
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Quote Originally Posted by HBBF View Post
    cbay >Pretty much mirrors our plans.

    How many hives are you gonna split down from?
    And what are you gonna split them down into, 3 framers, 5, 4x4’s?
    Using 5 frame nucs and 10 frame, both deeps.
    Got a general idea what i can get by with based on last year (14 from 4 spring nucs).
    Just going to have to see how everything looks and go from there. Seems that strong hives begat strong hives so won't make them too weak.
    Not sure about the saying "frame of brood and frame of food". Used two frames of brood last year. Going to raise queens and plan to use all the equipment i made this winter...

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Winona MN USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    I'm not the one that should be giving advice, but that's never stopped me before.
    If it was me, I would buy my first round of queens as it takes a month more or less to get a new laying queen from scratch. This is time lost to do the things you want to do. I too think your next queens will come from forced queen cells as you learn to graft. Another problem I see is coming is a shortage of drawn comb. None of these things can not be over come, but are challenges.
    I may not be right, but it is what I would do if it was me. GOOD LUCK!!!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, ILL. USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    OP,
    your growth will depend on how you approach it. If you're looking to raise your own queens from overwintered stock to promote those genetics, then it'll take more time and resources to achieve that goal. If you're going to purchase mated laying queens, then you can split healthy populous hives into at least 3 additional colonies, probably more. If you're willing to feed the colonies regularly, then you can achieve more growth quicker. It's like everything else; the more you put into it at the beginning, the quicker you'll get to the goal. Weather, time and drawn comb will be your biggest obstacles. Keep us posted on your progress.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,763

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Necessary to mention is MP did this with decades of experience running multiple hundreds of colonies in a good production area.
    Even with simple methods like OTS or FBS (fly back splits) its not unreasonable for the average 2nd/3rd year beekeeper to take a overwintered nuc and have 6-8 strong nucs by fall.
    Sure that kind of grouth may take a lot of skill in MP's zone 3, but many of us are warmer, the OPs zone 5 likely gives them a month+ more brood rearing and that gives the bees more time to fix the keepers mistakes...

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Driggs, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HBBF View Post
    Yotebuster >I have 20 4x4 nucs going into winter. So far they are all alive and look good.

    Ok so did you actually split down everything you had and make as many 4x4 nucs that you could to overwinter? That’s what I was thinking.
    So I had 4 overwintered 4x4 nucs spring of 2017 that I pulled 16 frames of brood for raising a couple rounds of queens. At the same time I was raising queens I was able to pull enough brood to make a few more nucs. When I was done raising queens I broke the 4 overwintered nucs down and split the brood frames giving 2 to each new nucs and left 2 frames with the original nucs. This was done on July 17th. By the end of the season I had 20 nucs. 4 were overwintered, 4 were made from 2 packages I split and 12 were made from splitting the original 4. My 4 overwintered nucs ended up donating 40 frames of brood last summer. (16 for queens and 24 for nucs)

    I plan on doing something similar this year. I don't have as much drawn comb this year so I think turning 20 into 80 will push them but I still think it is possible. We will see.
    Last edited by yotebuster1200; 02-16-2018 at 10:59 AM. Reason: I cant do math!

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,452

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Necessary to mention is MP did this with decades of experience running multiple hundreds of colonies in a good production area.
    and they were 12 frame 'nucs'

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    898

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Quote Originally Posted by yotebuster1200 View Post
    So I had 4 overwintered 4x4 nucs spring of 2017 that I pulled 16 frames of brood for raising a couple rounds of queens. At the same time I was raising queens I was able to pull enough brood to make a few more nucs. When I was done raising queens I broke the 4 overwintered nucs down and split the brood frames giving 2 to each new nucs and left 2 frames with the original nucs. This was done on July 17th. By the end of the season I had 20 nucs. 4 were overwintered, 4 were made from 2 packages I split and 12 were made from splitting the original 4. My 4 overwintered nucs ended up donating 40 frames of brood last summer. (16 for queens and 24 for nucs)

    I plan on doing something similar this year. I don't have as much drawn comb this year so I think turning 20 into 80 will push them but I still think it is possible. We will see.
    So how did your plans turn out for 2018?
    Can you spell out how you turned ur 4 overwintering nucs into 20?
    I have 11 overwintering nucs 4/4/4 going at the moment and 15 double/triple 10F deep larger hives . Im hoping to graft 50 queens next year (2019) and between fly back splits/swarm captures etc am hoping to be at 40-50 total colonies in addition to selling 20 nucs in 2019. Dunno if thats feasible but thats my plan.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    drakesville, iowa
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Following for answers.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Quote Originally Posted by HBBF View Post
    >Any number of hives you are trying or expecting to reach this year?

    It would be nice to get to 40 production hives. Right now my plan is to establish apiaries with 40 full strength colonies each that I use each year to build nucs off of to overwinter and sell the following spring. I’m just gonna be my own customer for a few years until I get a feel of how many yards I’m comfortable with. And possibly build 50 nucs to overwinter in each yard from each of the 40 production hives. I’m not set on numbers yet but these are a baseline that I’m thinking. 40 production hives per yard might end up not feasible or 50 nucs from each yard might not be feasible. But it’s somewhere to start thinking from and adjusting.
    That's a huge step up. Learning to manage that many hives is a huge challenge even if you could somehow get to 40 production hives starting with 5 in a single season.

    Also, keep in mind we have a long way to go to get through the winter. I think the early spring is the toughest to get through. If mite counts are great, you have strong queens, and plenty of bees and stores you can make it through with no winter losses. I've done that before but I usually lose some.
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Nothing but expanding

    Adding in to see the updates
    Let us know how you progress

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