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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry, I couldn't resist. :D

Seriously tho,

a) How many hives can you reasonably keep while still working your 'day job'? 20? 50? More?

b) If you quit your day job, how many can you manage comfortably for a small business? (I'm thinking mostly honey production, maybe some pollination and nucs on the side, but not full-time breeding/selling bees)

c) At about what number do you absolutely have to hire a second person to help you out (not counting your spouse)? Or at what time of year, and for how long?

I'm not looking for exact numbers here...more like "400-500" or something like that... or if you're a 'solo' beekeeper with a lot of hives, I'd like to know how many you have!

Thanks for any inputs, and thanks for all the wisdom I've been silently absorbing so far!
 

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3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609


:applause:
 

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I'm managing close to 200 right at the minute. working a forty hour + work week. I'm guessing I can do close to 1000 without hiring someone on. Maybe more. Maybe double that. I'm pretty ambitious though.
 

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What's your standard of living? $50- 60,000 AGI? Do you want to keep it? Don't give up your day job. Or marry a nurse. Quite a few beekeepers that I know are married to nurses. In other words, have a second income coming into the home so you can maintain.

I keep around 600 cols. Work at it full time, but not as much as I should, perhaps. Produce, package and distribute to stores everything my bee hives produce. Not a bad life.
 

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I'm guessing I can do close to 1000 without hiring someone on. Maybe more. Maybe double that. I'm pretty ambitious though.
You must be. That's what it takes to be successful w/ 1,000 cols. But I'll bet you can't handle more than 500 or 600 by your self. I wouldn't recommend it. What if you broke your leg or got bit by a snake? Which I guess could happen w/ 200 or 20 even.

If you do do 1,000 by yourself you most certainly will need a skidder, truck and trailer.
 

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You must be. That's what it takes to be successful w/ 1,000 cols. But I'll bet you can't handle more than 500 or 600 by your self. I wouldn't recommend it. What if you broke your leg or got bit by a snake? Which I guess could happen w/ 200 or 20 even.

If you do do 1,000 by yourself you most certainly will need a skidder, truck and trailer.

your on. how much would you like to wager?
 

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First of all, let's understand that I wasn't being aggressive. I just know guys who do work 1,000 cols and more and they don't do it by themselves. Five hundred per man is about right.

Secondly, is actual wagering allowed on beesource?

Thirdly, if you are serious, I'd like to know your terms? How are we to settle the bet? When will you have 1,000 hives and how long do you have to run them, by yourself mind you, no help at all, not even the wife and/or kids, before we say "You win."?

Fourthly, how much would make it worthwhile to you?

Remember now, I am a beekeeper and therefore, by definition, don't have really deep pockets. :)
 

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your on. how much would you like to wager?
Some guys are stressed by 40 hour weeks. Others have energy to spare after putting in 120 per week. I'm betting you're closer to the latter category. One thing I've learned in life is that some can accomplish many times the average if they are sufficiently motivated and smart in how they go about it.
 

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I thought I wanted 15 hives but I think I've changed my mind. I know thats just a drop in the bucket for a lot of you! lol! I have four right now and I am realizing that especially while they are building up they are a lot of work! I have so many irons in the fire as it is, I don't think I need 15. I think 7-10 might be my max. Between work, grad school, farming, gardening, farmer's market, and just normal house chores and bees....I have my plate full. At least I'm off for the summers though. I've decided once I hit my max, when I need to split, I'm gonna make nucs and sell them locally. Very few people keep bees in my area but many are interested. I guess it would be a good way to get some started. :)
 

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What's your standard of living? $50- 60,000 AGI? Do you want to keep it? Don't give up your day job. Or marry a nurse. Quite a few beekeepers that I know are married to nurses. In other words, have a second income coming into the home so you can maintain.
...or marry a teacher, I knew of many beekeepers who were - not only a second income but summers off....lots of spare time to fill!
 

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...or marry a teacher, I knew of many beekeepers who were - not only a second income but summers off....lots of spare time to fill!
That would be me...but I don't have an issue with spare time. I'm pretty good at getting rid of any I might have.
 

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This is my first year and I'm quickly closing in on day 60 as a beek. I purchased four hives, captured and kept 5 more and captured a swarm for a grand total of 10.

My wife says "enough".

I may have to wait until next year to do splits, etc.

With the job I have, 10 is enough...for now ;)
 

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Tara, are any of these posts giving you an answer to your question?

I would ask you, how many do you have now? How much time are they taking you? And how much time do you want to devote in the future? If you really like beekeeping it can fill up all of your spare time and income. If you let it.
 

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This thread makes me angry!!! I have been walking around outside trying to say the title 5 times fast.....and its driving me nutz!
 

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By yourself as a sideliner with a full time job-100-200 colonies if you know what your doing and you got a few years under your belt with bees already.

I'm only running 700+ this year. I had help making splits this spring(30 hrs from 1 person) otherwise I do it all myself. It's a little hectic doing all the extracting by myself. Last year I was up to 950 hives but ended the season with 744. Again that year I only had a little help in the spring and did the rest of the season myself including the extracting. Needless to say after the season was done I didn't feel like doing anything for about a month while my wore out body and mind recouperated(SP?).
 

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:) Speeling is fine, as far as I can tell. :)
Did you do anything else during the season, like family stuff and relaxation or recreation?

"Leer Family Honey Farm", so the family all works together like lots of family farm situations?
 

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What's your standard of living? $50- 60,000 AGI? Do you want to keep it? Don't give up your day job. Or marry a nurse. Quite a few beekeepers that I know are married to nurses. In other words, have a second income coming into the home so you can maintain.
hhhhhmmmmm, ya know, if a fella was smart he would marry two nurses and give up the bees entirely ;).
seriously thou, alot of it is going to depend i suspect on how much time to have to get established. it takes years sometimes to develop your yard areas close to home and build up your bee count. the less time driving to the yards and nursing sick bees the better.
 
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