My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :) - Page 6
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  1. #101
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    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Note that Soarwitheagles is in California, so his climate and growing season is different from even the warmest parts of Connecticut.

    Nancy

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  3. #102
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Corp_T View Post
    How long has this taken you? I've got 2 hives right now, with a minimum goal of 80-100 by the time I'm done. However, without flat out buying them I'm not certain the timeframe I should be expecting.
    A lot depends on how successfully you overwinter your hives. With a lot of planning and hard work, you could probably reach your goal in 2-3 years. Woodenware and drawn comb are the bottlenecks. Get as much drawn as you can and keep it all the same size for now. Spend your winters making nucs, hives, and frames with foundation so you are prepared. It goes really fast when things get hopping. My climate is similar and I am over twenty hives from three this spring so I suspect you could also grow by a factor of eight. As the flow ends, growth slows way down, so plan on overwintering a lot of nucs. MP style resource hives might be a good choice.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #103
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    Apr 2005
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    Salem, Oregon
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    1,800

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    The easiest thing to do is get bees.
    Keeping them alive and healthy is an entirely different story.
    That is beekeeping.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  5. #104
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Corp_T View Post
    How long has this taken you? I've got 2 hives right now, with a minimum goal of 80-100 by the time I'm done. However, without flat out buying them I'm not certain the timeframe I should be expecting.
    Corp,

    We purchased our one and only honeybee 'package" two springs ago. So it was a handful of bees and a caged queen. We lost our very first colony [a swarm] due to massive non-stop nocturnal ant attacks.

    The next year we expanded up to 12+ colonies but dropped down to 7 colonies by springtime. Last year we expanded up to 30+, but due to lack of experience and lack of inspections, we dropped down to less than 20 this spring.

    Presently we are at 100+ colonies, so we multiplied by a factor of 5 since spring. Not bad, but we could have done much, much better.

    As mentioned earlier, we focused upon swarm catching and splitting existing colonies. Most of our limited growth occurred due to the following reasons:

    1. We did not have enough wooden ware [boxes, covers, bottoms, etc.] built and ready. We literally had to leave dozens of swarms simply because we had no boxes built for em'.
    2. We lost many colonies due to ignorance and lack of excellent management skills.
    3. We lost some colonies due to lack of varroa mite treatments.

    Most of our success can be attributed to JRG [he often came over and showed us how to work bees such as splitting, queen finding, inspecting, and many, many other management skills]. Also, we attribute our successes to many of the people here at Beesource who have been very patient with us and given us massive amounts of desperately needed advice.

  6. #105
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillybees View Post
    Come on in the waters fine but be warned its choppy at times to the point of near drowning. Hang onto your boat.

    I truly hope you make it but if there are any takers I'll put up a $1000 says you don't make your plan work to the first 1000. Just too good of odds to pass up. Buy all the queens you want but not bees. Just follow your plan as stated. 1000 colonies ready to go at the beginning of 2020 season.
    It all hinges on next year. 2019 will show what I have. If I am at 250-500 by years end, I can hit 1000 easy. The money from pollination, and nuc sales will have me at 1000 quickly. Of course nuc sales could also make me enough money that I choose not to go beyond 500 until the end of the year in time for pollination. Once I hit 100, finding land will be the next big step I have 5 properties that I will be asking for permission to place bees. 3 of them are within 1 mile of my home. I will be starting that search in december. Not sure how slow I will go this year, money is an issue just now, divorce isn't cheap.

  7. #106
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    May 2015
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    Sacramento County, CA
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    879

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Note that Soarwitheagles is in California, so his climate and growing season is different from even the warmest parts of Connecticut.

    Nancy
    Great point Nancy! I suppose I should be more thankful for such ideal beekeeping climates and such!

  8. #107
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    Jun 2013
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    Fenton, MI
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    403

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by scoobertdoo View Post
    1 month to recover from that little setback. I have 8 now, with 6 queens. Next 8 way split in 3 weeks! https://imgur.com/a/X7jYKZt
    And how are you doing as of August?
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

  9. #108
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackam View Post
    And how are you doing as of August?
    Sitting on 11 successful colonies, Started feeding this week. Doing an increase saturday to two more, and 8 more by the end of the month.
    I should have my official queen permit this week, as my inspection was done last week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ADJmDrMrgc
    I am having trouble with one of my nuc boxes, and I need to figure it out. No matter what I put in it, I have killed two splits in that box.
    I will be adding bottom holes and screens this week to do one more split and bring me to 14 for saturday. Each time they died, there was water in the bottom of the box, so I need to give that water somewhere to go IMO. I now have my first pallet, and will order 4 more pallets next week to bring myself to a shipping size of 20. I will add more later this year, still wanting to be to 50+/- before the end of the year for january shipment to almonds. Still learning, 3 months in!

  10. #109
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    3,642

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Eleven successful colonies, that is wonderful progress! A real beekeeper.
    You are deep in the game now and closer than ever to your hive goal for the year.
    What was the goal again? 100? or is it 50?

    have you figured out why 'the experts have different opinions on everything'?
    and that with 50 years of experience keeping bees one would still have a very good idea of what's happening after only a few years away from
    the bees?

    Keep up the good work, and please continue to post updates.

  11. #110
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Eleven successful colonies, that is wonderful progress! A real beekeeper.
    You are deep in the game now and closer than ever to your hive goal for the year.
    What was the goal again? 100? or is it 50?

    have you figured out why 'the experts have different opinions on everything'?
    and that with 50 years of experience keeping bees one would still have a very good idea of what's happening after a break of a few years?

    Keep up the good work, and please continue to post updates.
    Thank you for the kind words.
    IMHO it seems that people just get set in a way of doing things. I have learned to respectfully listen, digest, and acknowledge all of the free opinions I am given.
    What matters at the end of the day is what works for me. So far my "always be splitting" strategy has worked. My bees are super healthy.

    To my goal... It has become a money issue, as I am starting a new business and paying for a divorce. If the money was there I could be at 30, now and 100 by year end, no problem.
    The truth is I am spending a lot elsewhere. I am trying to diligently chip off 500-1000 a month right now for bees. That equates to 5-10 colonies a month. Sadly it has been closer to 5 a month. First 3 cost me 1000, and now the cost per is $110. I think 50 is still a realistic goal with 6 months until they ship, and I am expected to have a 12 frame average per colony. Doing the math just a few days ago, I was thinking it would be 60, ready to go, but I could still have a setback or make a mistake. Lucky for me, mistakes are not going to cost money, only time. Losing a split costs me nothing. I am thinking of selling nucs this year. Each one I sell would pay for a full colony almost. Thou honestly at this point I would be happy enough with pollination just giving me all of my investment back, and spring honey making me a little cash. Big moves will happen next year. 50 coming back would become an easy 100 as soon as they show up.

  12. #111

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by scoobertdoo View Post
    I hope to go to 100-150 hives this year, and 1,000 next year. I should be able to quit my job in 2020 and go full time then.
    Your off by half to one third. Looks like its going to take a little longer than you thought. Stick with it you'll get there. Have you got your contract for the almonds yet?

  13. #112
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillybees View Post
    Your off by half to one third. Looks like its going to take a little longer than you thought. Stick with it you'll get there. Have you got your contract for the almonds yet?
    I have a broker.

  14. #113
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    That is so cool. Here in the Richmond area we dont get much for pollination. Once I hit 30 hives I am giving it a go, but 40 to 50 bucks per hive for six weeks just doesn't seem worth the hassle.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #114
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    That is so cool. Here in the Richmond area we dont get much for pollination. Once I hit 30 hives I am giving it a go, but 40 to 50 bucks per hive for six weeks just doesn't seem worth the hassle.
    If the crop is mutually beneficial EG you get honey you can sell, then 50-60 is worth is. The honey in Cali is nasty stuff, so you dont get any. So they pay more.

  16. #115
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    Aug 2016
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    Central Oklahoma
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    66

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    This is interesting
    Oklahoma bee keeper

  17. #116
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    Jun 2018
    Location
    Tacoma WA
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    15

    Default

    I was in your shoes about 3 years ago. Tried to jump in right away and bought 150 hives(in April of that year). The beekeeper told me he treated them for mites and I will be good until fall for mite treatment so didn't bother even thinking about mites. Come August the bees started disappearing and long story short I was left with 20 hives next spring. That year I was able to divide enough times to have 130 next spring. 330 this spring which I took to almonds. And have ~600 right now.
    One of my biggest regrets other than killing those 150 hives from in expierence was skimming money on Queens and buying the cheapest mated Queens on Craigslist. Much better now that I've been buying more expensive Queens from a big company in California. Wasted a bunch of time and money on those cheap Queens and only half those hives turned out to be nice good hives. Good Queens+mite treatment+food have been treating me really well.
    Another thing is I could have had about 800 this year but when I brought the 330 back from almonds they were really strong and started swarming almost immediately. I still have my full time job and couldn't get a week off to divide all of them. Many of the hives that swarmed made their own Queens and I thought all is good. The weather when the Queens were hatching was bad andnot having enough time to take care of all the hives many lost/replaced their Queens and slowly died off. Should have bought new mated Queens for the hives that swarmed and would have been around 800 right now.
    Hoping next year I'll be able to get enough money from the 600 to go full time beekeeping or atleast to get the whole spring/summer off to take care of them and grow to 1000 hives which is at the moment my end goal.
    Not sure about going higher than 1000-1200 because of the crazy employee laws/regulations in washington. Want to keep it to just enough work for me and to make a decent living off them.
    Also it was easy going from 20 hives to 130 that year because I had all the drawn out frames from from my initial failed investment. The biggest bottleneck I'm guessing for you will be money or drawn frames. This spring/summer I've been doing my full time job and working on the bees every evening and full day Saturday. Very time and energy consuming.
    Keep in mind you will also need a truck trailer and forklift when you reach about 100-150 hives and want to move them anywhere.

  18. #117
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    6,636

    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by scoobertdoo View Post
    If the crop is mutually beneficial EG you get honey you can sell, then 50-60 is worth is. The honey in Cali is nasty stuff, so you dont get any. So they pay more.
    Well, sort of. Almond honey is nasty but you don't get much and it disappears pretty quickly. They pay well for almonds because they demand large hives at a time of year when bees aren't typically large and the dangers and obstacles to moving cross country for an almond check are many. Factor in hive prep costs, trucking costs, brokerage/handling fees, California taxes, theft risks, entry inspections, release and trucking delays and the overall risk of having your bees out of your control and the inherent potential for pesticide and disease exposure and you will soon realize that the pot of gold loses much of its glitter.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #118
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    Grand Rapids, Ohio
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    1,214

    Thumbs down Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    After watching your youtube video this really needs to be bumped to beekeeping 101 form.

  20. #119
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    The comment above prompted me to watch the video. Good news on the healthy hives. But I do have a question. Where are all the bees? What I saw appeared to be more a bunch of nucs in 2 deep 10 frame equipment. When you lift a lid on a stong hive, the bees come rolling out and almost every frame is covered. Keep the feed on them and you'll get there but I saw nothing that was even close to being ready to split again (and I split pretty aggressively). Good luck and keep us posted.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #120
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    Mar 2018
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    st augustine, fl, USA
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    Default Re: My first two hives of 10,000 have been ordered :)

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    The comment above prompted me to watch the video. Good news on the healthy hives. But I do have a question. Where are all the bees? What I saw appeared to be more a bunch of nucs in 2 deep 10 frame equipment. When you lift a lid on a stong hive, the bees come rolling out and almost every frame is covered. Keep the feed on them and you'll get there but I saw nothing that was even close to being ready to split again (and I split pretty aggressively). Good luck and keep us posted.
    I am following the theory of keeping queens in emergency mode. As many splits as they will suffer, very few bees, tons of 1:1 to build them up faster(just started feeding sunday). Based on the health of my colonies after 3 months, I would say that it is working.
    Yes, few bees in each colony, by design. The only thing slowing me down is money and a lack of pallets. I could have them all in singles and be at 40 colonies right now if I had the pallets and money :P What I am doing, seems to be working well. Only time will tell how my plan worked out. I will not have large colonies until november/december/january.

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