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Going into yr 5. Im looking forward to and slightly dreading spring. I should say i only wanted 1 hive then got 2. Ups and downs over the next few years. Last year had 3 out 4 survive the winter. Everyone split. Had a swarm move into empty equipment unexpectedly. Gave 4 swarms from other bee yards away that people had called me to retrieve ended up with 7 in fall but one was weak due to trouble requeening after a split so combined. Have 6 currently. All seem healthy and were out flying today. I realised i will probably have 12 soon if i only split my own. New feeling panicked need more equipment. God here is hoping i catch all swarm cells and make splits and have each hive split once. I will probably still catch swarms for newbees as its easy and fun. But it seems like it never ends. I currently have 6 empty nucs and 2 empty hive bodies. So i have enought right away but will need more. Definatly need more supers. I think i need to build a new shed to house all my bee gear. My poor husband just eyes the giant packages from mannlake 馃槅 i had no idea what i was getting into when i pstarted down this road a few years ago.
 

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Warning: Beekeeping is highly addictive and will eat up all your time, energy and finances-Approach with caution.

My Sweet Wife read your post giggling and said" Ain't it the truth!":)
 

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Your lucky, I started with 2 hives and by year 4 i was up to 30 hives. Finally got in the groove my 5th year and was able to hold it down to 20 going into winter. Reversing hive bodies in the spring sure did help with preventing swarms or at least slowing it down. Plus having extra drawn comb really helps.
 

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i had no idea what i was getting into when i pstarted down this road a few years ago.
It is fun.

I made some Snelgrove boards this past Winter for swarm control.

Alex
 

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It is fun.

I made some Snelgrove boards this past Winter for swarm control.

Alex
I think you will have fun with the Snelgrove boards. Let us know how you are making out with them. I found the ease of swarm control took away a lot of the anxiety about swarming. It made queen replacement or nuc starting a snap!

If you have a handle on mites it does not take long before the colony numbers can get out of hand. I reached the point where more bees did not seem to equate with more fun.
 

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Like you Mariah, I just want to have one hive. I realize that I need to have another hive to deal with issues that arise and as a bit of insurance. My plan is to have one production hive and a beefy nuc to move frames into and out of. So it's mid January and I have four hives that are loaded with bees. Looks like I might end up with seven hives come May. I'm currently planning on making a bunch of nucs for sale in May to get back to my plan:)
 

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I too started with 2 several years ago and currently have 16. I decided that selling bees would be a good way to get back some of my investment and currently have orders to sell 6 nucs this spring. I am hoping to sell 20 and do some queen rearing. I was given the warning label when I started. I didn't read the fine print!
 

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Hey all, my bees did NOT come with the warning that beekeeping is addictive. Like others my original plan was one hive. After catching a swarm two months in, it became three, then six, then a dozen. I am sitting at 16 now and the end plan is 20 production hives, and to make 20 spring nucs, then over winter another 20. If I can sell all 40, I might break even each year. Hopefully, I am almost done buying and building equipment. My wife is getting tired of seeing bee stuff in the dining room. I have figured out that 20 hives is about as much as one person can handle if they still have a regular job and a life.
 

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I am somewhere where I am limited in the number of hives I can have due to law (on a 1/4 acre) so I have to keep the number of hives reasonable and can not grow much more.
 

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My wife is getting tired of seeing bee stuff in the dining room. I have figured out that 20 hives is about as much as one person can handle if they still have a regular job and a life.

crofter If you have a handle on mites it does not take long before the colony numbers can get out of hand. I reached the point where more bees did not seem to equate with more fun.
I agree - it's important (imo) to decide at the earliest opportunity what form your beekeeping is to take - and then stick to that plan, as hard as that may be. Whether it's to stay as a back-garden hobby, morph into a side-liner operation, or develop into an out-and-out professional activity ... otherwise it WILL become a case of the apiary running YOU, rather than you running the apiary. :(

You may even need to give colonies away if you can't sell them, otherwise their numbers will tend to double each year - and although I thought the rice and chess-board parable was Chinese, apparently it hails from India ... but the overall story pans out exactly the same: http://www.singularitysymposium.com/exponential-growth.html

It's very easy indeed for honeybees to take over your life and your home (ask me how I know this ...) :)
LJ
 

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MariahK,
"Hi, I'm John and I'm addicted to beekeeping..." Welcome to this confound beneficial beekeeping addiction.

Mental max number of hives is 20, and have enough double deeps to maintain just that, yet find myself buying more brood bodies, because they're cheap.
 

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I have been a hobby beek for 11 years +. I have pallets of unused gear here from downsizing. I was up to 17 hives at 1 time. It was turning into a part time job. I still have some hives, not 17.
 

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I've found that five hives is about my limit for time and equipment. Was up to eight a few years ago and couldn't take care of them properly then the mites and small hive beetles moved in. A great spring turned into a real ugly late summer and fall. I'm planning to split out a few nucs this year for swarm control and a little side money and concentrate on honey. Sometimes it feels like more work not to expand than to just run with it. Been a hobby bee keeper for about 27 years and still have the urge to shoot for the moon. :)
 

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my goal is to have 5 going into the winter and only keep 3 in spring. Sell all the extra from splits. I find that 3 hives is perfect for me. It doesn't take much time to manage at all. Plenty of honey for extended families, friends. In my area there is no shortage of nectar from Feb/March all the way to Oct/November. However the down side is that there are plenty of ants and mites. So fare I have been manage keeping them in checked, maybe beginner luck?
 

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After year 2 I caught swarms (really fun) and started giving them to people interested in the hobby. So far I have gotten 5 people into beekeeping but only 3 stuck. I try to get someone new involved every year and I mentor them to try and get them to stick to it.
 

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After year 2 I caught swarms (really fun) and started giving them to people interested in the hobby. So far I have gotten 5 people into beekeeping but only 3 stuck. I try to get someone new involved every year and I mentor them to try and get them to stick to it.
Howdy, Murdoch; you were telling me (at the local Assoc meeting) I should check with you in '19 re: controlling SHB #'s (to quote you: "You definitely have a beetle problem"). I'll speak with you at the next meeting to see when we can have an in-depth chat on what I can do.

My 3 hives (1, a nuc) still are holding on this winter -- so far. At last check (Oct.), I killed ~50+ SHBs apiece in the 2 hives and ~ 20 in the nuc. Those #s can't be a good thing ....

Mitch
 

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I started with 1 hive and I am up to 15 hive in 4th year because last year queen rearing was not successful. This year hoping to cross 30. I have more than enough equipments built up. Although I need to keep making frames!!
 

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you know you're in deep when you start ordering hive boxes in the discount quantities. Soon Mariah.......soon........
 
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