Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is our first year of keeping bees, and it is going really well! In talking to people we've met, we now have offers to run hives on two other farms, totalling 8 hives not on our property.

How have you all expanded your apiaries? Is doing this the second year a good idea, or are we still too naive and inexperienced? This is really exciting- if we do this, we'll have a total of 12 hives!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Is doing this the second year a good idea, or are we still too naive and inexperienced?
You may be, but don't let that discourage you. Go ahead. Learn all that you can by doing and asking questions and reading and asking questions and making mistakes. Failure can be a good teacher, if you learn and make adjustments. I usually have to make the same mistake a cpl of times before I learn.

Don't loose (loss?) the enjoyment factor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
Go for it - but be up front with the farmers about your relative inexperience. Ask questions about what kind of sprays are used on the farms and if they have any bear issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
I started with 1 in March and now have 12. I was a little uneasy about moving 8 hives out to the cotton fields, but amazingly, the bees get along just fine without me. Talk to the farmers so you know when, where and what they use to spray with. That relationship can save you heartache and pain of dealing with total losses in hives due to some dummy spraying and not telling you. I would liek to be at 20 before winter, but we will have to see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
You talking right up my alley! Last year I got my first swarm in April. By Nov I had 6. I lost 3 over the winter for dumb reasons. I started rounding up swarms and extracting bees out of peoples walls. I sold 2 and have another person coming for another hive here shortly with another person coming for 2 before the year in. Right now I have 50 hives though and enough equipment to get about 12 more going, so I will work on some splits here soon.
What's your goal for how many hives do you want? My short term goal is to get up to 250 by 2012 or 13. Long term is my retirement plan, maybe as many as 1000. I have 12 years to get it right.

C2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, 1000 hives is more than my goal! I think just doing this as a hobby, staying at 100 hives once we get there will be perfect. That gives us enough honey for our very large family of honey-lovers and leaves some to sell, too. If we had 1000 hives, I have a feeling our family would suddenly increase too, lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,242 Posts
[staying at 100 hives once we get there will be perfect.]

Can't happen, won't happen. You will lose 10, have to split 12. It's a revolving door thing. One week you might have 85, the next 105. catch my drift. Thats the reason I'm staying at 10, or 5, or 13, or whatever they dictate. I'm just glad I have Walter T Kelley Co. 30 miles away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
[staying at 100 hives once we get there will be perfect.]

Can't happen, won't happen. You will lose 10, have to split 12. It's a revolving door thing. One week you might have 85, the next 105. catch my drift.
well said, and soo true
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
I started this year with one good hive. With the nucs and packages I have bought and made 5 splits so far I'm up to 17 and finally their all doing well for now. I had to baby a couple splits but have requeened and their coming on strong now. Hope to be up to about thirty by the middle of summer next year, I have them in 4 locations now and I'm adding at least one more next year. After the farmers around me have found out about them they all want bees on their property and most don't want any honey or anything. They'll just have to wait in line as its expensive to keep adding even if your making splits and building your own eqpt. ;) If you have the time and resources I say keep going, your gaining experience everyday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Set some goals and work to get there. If you aim at nothing, you're sure to hit nothing. If you shoot for the moon and come up a little short, well, you're still part way there. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
i heard osmthing recently that made me change the way i think. A lady asked my wife what her new year goal was and my wife said to break 1 million in sales. The lady in turn said well, whats the worst case scenario? My wife responded $850,000. The lady looked right at her and said, then you will only do $850,00 because your mind has decided it is good enough. Change your thinking and you will change your life.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Can't happen, won't happen. QUOTE]

!00% agreed there. At the first of the year, my goal was to have 10. Blew right past it. So I said, ok, I'll just stop at 20 instead. Nope. 25? Nope. Ok, 30, but I will sell 5 to drop back down to 25. Uh-huh. When I was in my 40's I sold 2 and felt like i was getting rid of one of my kids! My wife still bugs me with "What happened to only 10?!" These lil buggers are like Pokemon "Gotta catch em all!" :rolleyes:

C2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
A lady asked my wife what her new year goal was and my wife said to break 1 million in sales. The lady in turn said well, whats the worst case scenario? My wife responded $850,000.
:) Your wife doesn't sell honey, does she? :)

I don't have a specific number in mind as a goal, like number of hives or number of dollars. I sorta do w/ hive count. That would be 600, more or less. Like any beekeeper w/ more than a certain number, at any one time I don't really know how many I have. Live hives that is. I know I have enuf. Because it isn't too many. Sometimes when people ask me that question, "How many hives do you have?", tha's what i say, "Enuf." Then I say, about 600.

As far as the money thing is concerned, I want to make enuf to stay above water. Enuf to pay the bills and feel okay, like I'm not drowning in debt. I expect to be doing this the rest of my life and that is good, knowing what I will be doing tomorrow or next year. As long as I can. What happens aftert that, we'll see.

What scares me lately, as far as the bee bizz is concerned is Trapilaelaps claraeae, another mite, which is in Australia and not far enuf away from where Australians produce queens and packages, some of which come here to the U.S. and Canada. If T. clareae gets here, I don't know how long we will be keeping anything other than AHB. And I don't know if AHB can stand up to T. clareae or not. It's time to close the borders again. No more imports of queens or packages. Drone semen, okay, but not those others.

Hope that doesn't bring you too down. Just thought you aught to be aware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
"What scares me lately, as far as the bee bizz is concerned is Trapilaelaps claraeae, another mite, which is in Australia and not far enuf away from where Australians produce queens and packages, some of which come here to the U.S. and Canada. If T. clareae gets here, I don't know how long we will be keeping anything other than AHB. And I don't know if AHB can stand up to T. clareae or not. It's time to close the borders again. No more imports of queens or packages. Drone semen, okay, but not those others."

My understanding is that this mite can only survive where the bees produce brood year round. Can't survive a broodless period. If that's correct the introduction of that mite will change beekeeping in the US but those of us in the north should be able to survive. I agree about closing the borders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Since your post about growing your business and not growing your hobby, then my first question would be about your business plan. Do you have one? What's it look like?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
My understanding is that this mite can only survive where the bees produce brood year round. Can't survive a broodless period. If that's correct the introduction of that mite will change beekeeping in the US but those of us in the north should be able to survive. I agree about closing the borders.
So ,you don't get queens or packages from down south or CA? And don't ever plan to again? Yes, they feed on the brood and don't have mouth parts that allow feeding on adult bees. I migrate south and alot of the commercial beekeepers in NY do. Very few stay put through the winter. So, I guess I may have to change that or go into politics. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
After reading this thread, I can say with exactly a dollop of certainty that you are all a bunch of ADDICTS. I can't imagine what Beekeepers Anonymous meetings would look like but two to sixty hives in two years?

Dang!

(of course, I'm now motivated to go from my six to at least twenty next year)
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top