I have four colonies. Started with two crowded 8 frame deeps. Split one with a swarm cell and decided to split the other one and let them make a queen. That one was tenuous? Thought for sure I made a mistake, but that hive caught up quick! I am purchasing twelve more from a multi generation, comm' bee operator. Eight coming in a couple of weeks four more to follow. I intend to split from them. Two hives donating a couple frames each to the new one and purchasing queens to introduce instead of taking the time to make new queens. June might be getting late for splits. (?) My goal is to have a minimum of 20 hives, double deep by spring in order to participate in almond pollination, then grow to thirty and on as time passes.  I'm learning a lot as I go. I have to jump into something with both feet in order to keep my learning curve from flattening out.  I'm also hoping to harvest honey in the future but not counting on it for this year and probably not next year as I'm more interested in making bees than honey right now. There is a good local market for it.  Creamed honey and comb honey as well as bottled honey.  My biggest challenge now is record keeping. Log books on the hives and expenses etc. I'm a decent wood worker and built several boxes, lids, and bottoms to have some extras. I am purchasing extra equipment including drawn out frames from the guy I'm buying from. He assures me they are disease and parasite free.   My primary goal is to build a third career, something I can take into retirement, work for myself, and hopefully make a good hand in the beekeeping industry.  Thoroughly enjoying it.   I always welcome advice, suggestions, and constructive criticism.

little john:
You might find Michael Palmer's 2013 'Sustainable Apiary' talk to be a useful video to watch, both in terms of initially making increase, and for keeping your operation sustainable in the long term :

Good luck


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