Tips on stepping it up?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by d.magnitude, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    This is a question for any of you guys with a bunch of hives, or for you "sideliners" out there (a term I don't care for). This is a pretty broad and vague question, but I'm fishing for any advice I can get.

    I plan on trying to grow my tiny bee business over the next couple of years to the point where I can make a little money. Perhaps 50-100 production hives, depending greatly on how my queens and nucs continue to do. I currently run a dozen or so full colonies, and up to 30 nucs at a time, and I feel "maxed out" on time.

    A little more time will be opening up for me to work over the next couple of years, but I feel like I need to greatly improve my efficiency in working the bees. Efficiency in assembling materials I have a handle on, but I feel like I just spend way too much time actually working the bees for it to be feasible. How do you guys do it with 100 hives? Hired help? Or should I just learn to ignore my bees much, much more? How often, and how much time do you spend working a colony, on average?

    If I was a little younger, and single-er, and childless-er, I'd probably work a season for a local commercial guy; but that's just not an option for me right now. So I'll take any sage advice I can get from you guys that are making it work.