Expanding next year?......

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by LilWilli, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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    Who is going to expand next year---and why ?...I know I am, as I have found numerous prime locations to place hives on fallow pasture land.
    Rick~LilWilli
     
  2. Brenda

    Brenda New Member

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    Expand in number of hives or outyards? I'm adding a couple hives, but no new places.
     

  3. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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    Expand in any direction as you wish. I just was curious about who was gonna' add to their loads....I cannot for some reason.
     
  4. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Gonna try a couple of splits next year, increasing to a grand total of 4 hives! :)

    Will be keeping them in the same area.

    Walt
     
  5. Redcrane

    Redcrane New Member

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    started the year with 2 hives. Lost a queen in the weak one & then combined it with my stronger hive. Did an inventory today to determine what additional gear needed to start an additional 2 hives in the spring. So, I intend to go from 1 to 2 hives in the spring. I also intend to build some NUCs for use next year.
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I intend to DOUBLE my number of hives next Spring!

    ....from one to two. :lol:
     
  7. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I'll probably add about 50 more full size hives going into winter. May cut back on the number of overwintered nucs.
     
  8. LilWilli

    LilWilli New Member

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    Bjorn---Are nucs hard to overwinter?
    Rick
     
  9. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    As far as expanding is concerned, I need to drop about 30 pounds or 10% of my body mass.

    Oh, you mean bee wise? I am planning on coming back home from SC w/ 800 colonies and about 100 plus nucs for my own use and to sell. I took around 400 colonies and about 100 nucs to SC in October. I'm having 50 new 4way pallets built, so that's 200 colonies. I have lots of bottom boards and covers to use. I need to order queens to arrive in SC March 15th or so. I can get queen cells from a friend in SC.

    So, if the weather cooperates and the bees build up like they can, plans should go as wished. Though I know that that is alot to expect. "Best laid plans..." and all that.

    I may also be sending some bees to CA for the almond bloom. We'll see if that comes together. More later on that.
     
  10. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I have overwintered 5 framers, 5 over 5, and about any other nuc setup. Much depends on the weather. I had 4 good years of nuc success, then last year, a cold snap took out 75% of my nucs. We had some mild winters, but last year there was a week with nighttime temps at -5 and daytime temps in the low teens. The small clusters (bad fall buildup) just froze out.

    I'll continue to push the envelope, but I actually will try to use my empty full size hives more. The best way for summer nucs that I have found, is to concentrate on having them fall brood earlier than normal. Build them up into a 10 frame deep, then place 25 pounds of fondant on the inner cover.

    I can augment feed, but I can not change the bee numbers.

    I don't wrap or overwinter them on top of other hives. Till last year, I never seen the need. But unless all the ducks are all lined up, too many things can go wrong. I think in the far north, a certain amount of loss should be expected. It is not for the faint of heart.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    expanding??? well maybe.

    I do have 150 new deep boxes for which I will buy frames, wire and foundation today from Kelleys. I don't know at this time whether I will keep or sell those... there are just too many variables in the mix at this time.

    I do hope to add 2 or 3 new location again this year and with motor fuel cheaper I am planning on an expansion route up the Little Brazos River. this expansion was planned for 4 years back but the inevitable results of price gouging by the greedy oil party curtailed my plans.
     
  12. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I am looking for massive expansion next year, both in out yards and bees. I've decided to take this hobby professional, so I'm looking to expand as much as possible next year. I'm look to build up to at least 25 strong hives going into next winter, and 3-4 out-yards. Of course I'd be happier with 50 in 5-6 outyards, but 25 seems a lot more realistic right now. I know the rest of you commercial beeks are laughing at such a small goal, but I'm really trying to be realistic since I have so little to build from right now. For what it's worth, I hope to have 100 to 125 going into the following year's winter.

    Of course, I still have to build a lot of the equipment. I've only got enough boxes built for about 8 hives and only enough bottom boards / top covers for 3-4 hives, and only enough frames assembled for 2 hives... so I've got plenty to do this winter.
     
  13. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Sgt,
    No laughing here.... :thumbsup:

    My yearly totals (first 5 years) went like this when I started...Year 1-6 hives, 2-22, 3-51, 4-155, 5-400 Since then, I have maintain between 400 and 500 hives.

    Two things I did. One, I split and built most equipment, except frames. 2) What money I made, went into buying queens, as this allowed early splits and seemed the fastest way to build.

    Except for the first year I went chemical free, I have not seen huge losses. Coupled with the fact that I did not use debt, and paid for everything as I went along, it got me where I am today.

    An actual business plan, with achievable goals, is a must for any business.
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    SgtMaj, If you really want to grow, with the business paying it's way, think about removals. Call all the pest controls companies around Knoxville and tell them you will remove honey bees alive. When you get a call, go look at it. Don't make decisions or quotes over the phone. Once there, explain what must be done to get to them and that they will have to hire a carpenter or drywall man to do the repairs. Don't do the repairs yourself, as they will expect the next job free when a new swarm moves in. It will be between them and the carpenter. He should have sealed it.
    I get from 75 to 100 calls annually and remove 40 to 60 colonies a year. I charge 300.00 plus any extraordinary requirements, such as scaffolding, more than 4 hours, rented generator, ETC. The money can pay for a lot of woodenware and leave some left for gas and other expenses.

    You can get help with the removals from members of your local bee club. They will do it just for the experience. Once one gets to where they know what to do, you can start paying that one a little to keep him or her coming back.
     
  15. rast

    rast New Member

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    SgtMaj, I also had some business cards made and went to the parks and recreation depts. and electric dept. of some local towns. They were all receptive, but, to date none has called.
     
  16. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Rast, I would say that those type of places would rather spray them, most of the time they need to get on with work and the bees are just in their way, sad to say. You are correct though, a buiness card in the right place is a sure fire way to get a phone call. There is a pest control company here (must be very small) that got my nae and number off of CL and calls me or refers me for all of the honey bees situations he runs into, and I give out his name and number for the yellow jackets, hornets and wasp calls I get. Never have met the fella, and only talked to him on the phone once.

    Had a fella call me from Texas that had rental prop. here in town and said he thought it was honeybees in the house and wanted to know if I would go look at them (25 miles away), I ask if his prop. manager could send me a pic of them. He called me back a few minutes later and said that they were indeed yellow jackets, passed on the exterminators name and number. The exterminator call the next day to thank me and said that was the largest YJ nest he had ever seen and was a real money maker for him. So we agreed to call each other from now on.

    G3
     
  17. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Hey Sgt, I'm not laughing. We all have to start somewhere and in our own way. I started out w/ one hive, it died. Then i moved a couple of times and bought a couple of more from a friend who became my first mentor. Then I moved again and took 4 colonies to OH to go to Bee school for two years. When I moved to NY from OH I had a dozen hives. My next expansion was the buying of 200 colonies, extracting and bottling equipment, two outlets for the honey and two pollination agreements. FSA helped me that time. Which the seller insisted upon, so he could get all of his money at once. That's how he bought them too. Then I bought another 200, w/ FSA help again. And during that time I bought queens and made splits and started going south for the winter, where making splits comes earlier. All of this during the rise of tracheal and varroa mites. Then I dropped down to 100 from 732 and am slowly building back up to 800. Which is where I hope to be next spring.

    All of that to say, no one should be laughing at you. Maybe w/ you. Just joking. Good luck w/ your venture and I'm hoping to see that you are still w/ us for years to come.

    Maybe you could find an outfit to buy.
     
  18. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Next year? I did some expanding yesterday, didn't y'all? I wish these holidays didn't come so close together. I'm on a seefood diet. I see it, I eat it. Happy Turkey Day!!
     
  19. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I have given a lot of thought to that. But there's no way we could afford to buy an existing operation right now without taking on debt, and part of the agreement I came to with my wife when I ran the idea of taking beekeeping to a commercial level by her is that she made me promise that we wouldn't take out loans to do it. Still, it get's awfully tempting, especially when there are outfit's like Purvis Brothers up for sale... in an area we've thought about moving to many times... it's AWEFULLY tempting. But a promise is a promise and I intend to keep that promise until the boss tells me otherwise.

    That's a great suggestion that I will definately try to work with. But so far I've never even so much as tagged along on a removal... I might see if G3 needs any extra hands on the removals he'll be doing next year though... ;)

    Then maybe I could do what you suggested the year after that. Great idea though.
     
  20. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    You are always welcome to come along on a cut out, bee tree, trap out, or what ever. I don't claim to know a whole lot but getting your hands dirty is ane of the best ways to learn.

    G3