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Hello everyone!
After watching my grandfather enjoy bees as a hobby, I decided to take the plunge and setup a apiary.
My first two hives should be up and running in the next two weeks, and those will be my starters.
I can set up 12 hives at my home permanently, and for up to 60 days I can have as many as I want (if I am reading the law correctly?)
Once I have 12 established colonies I will try to find a chunk of AG land to lease from one of many local massive farms.
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.
Yeah, big dreams, right? Well maybe. I ran my own business for 17 years, so I have an idea what is involved.
Commercial pollination is what I am after, and a little honey for me from my 12 hives at my home :)

What to you think? A bag of popcorn and watch me fail, or do I seem to be planted in reality here?
 

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Welcome , Florida is pollen year round, I started with 1 and am at 13 now after 3 years. I am on the other coast. Enjoy it
No doubt on the pollen count! LOL. I was going to do this years ago in NY, but it was just not a long enough season, and I would have had to truck my hives to FL. Glad to be in the right place, and this close to the coast, we do not have many days under 50 degrees. If I am reading the bee calendar correctly, even in december and january Bush Aster, Wild Mustard Blooms all winter?
 

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I think your setup for failure. Buying lots of hives is easy. Keeping them alive is another story. There is a huge learning curve in beekeeping.
 

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You watched your grandfather keep bees as a hobby.
You are going to start with 2 hives and expand to 100-150 your first year.
You will then expand to 1000 hives your second year.
You are indeed an April Fool...just one day early!
 

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Hello everyone!
After watching my grandfather enjoy bees as a hobby, I decided to take the plunge and setup a apiary.
My first two hives should be up and running in the next two weeks, and those will be my starters.
I can set up 12 hives at my home permanently, and for up to 60 days I can have as many as I want (if I am reading the law correctly?)
Once I have 12 established colonies I will try to find a chunk of AG land to lease from one of many local massive farms.
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.
Yeah, big dreams, right? Well maybe. I ran my own business for 17 years, so I have an idea what is involved.
Commercial pollination is what I am after, and a little honey for me from my 12 hives at my home :)

What to you think? A bag of popcorn and watch me fail, or do I seem to be planted in reality here?
:lpf:
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I think that 12 hives is a nice manageable number for a 1st or 2nd year beek. The trick of course is having those same 12 hives come November. Until you can do that, the rest is all a fantasy. Become a beekeeper first, then talk about expansion plans.
 

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Put up you'r money and take you'r chance.

You can't win if you don't play.

Those who don't think they can are right. Best of luck to ya, :thumbsup:........ I'm going to buy a lottery ticket. :)
 

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Hello everyone! My first two hives should be up and running in the next two weeks, and those will be my starters.
There was a day26 years ago when I was in your same position.
What I decided to do was double the amount of hives every year so my skills would grow along with my responsibilities in the beekeeping industry.
I hung onto my day job for several years and the bees payed their own way as we paid off our land and college loans.
I am so very grateful for following this very conservative strategy.
No debt EVER, in the bee business.

When do you drop the day job and make a go of it?
Not one second before you are darn good and ready!
It sounds like a slow start. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 126, 256, 512....
Well thank heavens for an adequate training period!
I wish you the best!
 

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If you want to make a small fortune in beekeeping..............start with a large fortune!
Good luck and I hope you make it!
 

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you will need a whole bunch of empirical knowledge to make it solely on beekeeping. I suspect that any endeavour of man takes years of experience to master, whether it's woodworking, baking, masonry, or any other thing. Expect to be delayed, and stage your plans so that you have backup if something unexpected intrudes.

Best of luck....
 

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Just buy the number of hives you want to run and go for it now.
Anyone can be a beekeeper. Everything you need to know
can be learned in beekeeping books or is on the internet. Especially
helpful are all of the you tube videos of the hundreds of new beekeeping experts
world wide working their backyard hives showing everyone with an interest exactly what it takes
to be successful with bees.
Go for it.
:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys! Great mix of "the bees are going to kill you, and good lucks. :D

So tomorrow I head to the local beekeepers meeting in town. I am hoping to learn first hand from the local group!
Yes, I have watched internet videos. Thou I have to admit most of my learning came from here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3mjpM6Av4bxbxps_Gh5YPw
Not from amateurs on youtube.

I have a few personal strategies to keep my bees alive.
The first is never more than 500 hives to an area. Be it my own area, or a farm for pollination. I am hoping this keeps my dead loss to a minimum. As I grow I am sure this number will grow, but for now...
Second if I raise my own queens, they will come from my yard, and not from the main apiary. OR I will use queens from someone else. Looking at hygienic queens.
Third, as I grow I will hire a professional beekeeper :p Will be nice to have an experienced person once I hit 500 to help me.
fourth, I will be open minded, but not so open minded my brain falls out. So I will pump the local folks for as much information as they will give.

My first comercial goal is a pickup truck with a trailer full of bees for pollination by spring.
Yeah, I know this will mean a whopping $5000 for two months, but it should be my first income from bees.
If all has gone well by that point, I want to do 4 way splits on the strong colonies. That will take me to 300-400 by summer, allowing for a second 3 way split to 1000.
I have been reading a bit, and 1000 colonies is about the max a single keeper can take good care of. We will see how I feel at 500 :)
In the meantime my job pays well, and if my 100 colonies turn into 0, I still have a job :)

Grab some popcorn, I will make some videos, lets see how many stings it takes for them not to bother me. If getting spanked is any indicator, it took about 12 hard spankings for them to not be punishment anymore.
 

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Scoobretdoo’s new-found enthusiasm for beekeeping is experienced by every new beekeeper, , and easily understood by all of us. Considering the post is in the “Commercial Beekeeping” listing, and his only actual experience was watching a hobbyist grandfather, I appreciate the multiple responses, both clever and blunt, that normally would cause one to pause, and perhaps reconsider the plan (if not stop). What good is an open mind, if it is closed to suggestion from more experienced beekeepers?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Scoobretdoo’s new-found enthusiasm for beekeeping is experienced by every new beekeeper, , and easily understood by all of us. Considering the post is in the “Commercial Beekeeping” listing, and his only actual experience was watching a hobbyist grandfather, I appreciate the multiple responses, both clever and blunt, that normally would cause one to pause, and perhaps reconsider the plan (if not stop). What good is an open mind, if it is closed to suggestion from more experienced beekeepers?
The enthusiasm happened 8 years ago. After weighing the cons of doing an apiary in NY I knew I couldn't do it there.
Now I am in the "realized dream" phase. When everything has lined up in my life to give me the time and drive to find a new line of work.
I also have a job that provides me with enough income to afford to buy 1000 hives worth of supplies in 2 years without making a penny.
I wish I was more enthusiastic. Friggin stings hurt! Hives filled with bees are heavy! What do you mean 10 of my hives are empty! Yeah, I am in the real life phaze now.
I wish this was a first date fascination, but I am infected full blown with bee life. Will let you know in 6 weeks if this will be more than 12 backyard hives :)
 

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Reread Harry Vanderpool’s post. The best thing you can do is start at a slow steady pace. You don’t even have the infrastructure to support 20 hives no less a thousand. You have not idea what it is like to opearationally support a commercial Bee operation. Wake up and listen to the people that are doing it. Your like many others that have posted here Year after Year. Most are never heard from again.
 

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Interesting, this is the new spirit in your country = 'make America great, one bee hive a the time', and one year later you change to 'keep America great = one bee hive at the time'. We envy your stimulating endeavor, forward thinking progression that is so much missing in other nations.

I hope you take your grandpa as partner, you will need his retirement money for some time. Best of luck! Only the sky is the limit.
 
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