Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: How many hives maked a beekeeper?  (Read 3747 times)

Offline max2

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1298
  • Gender: Male
How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« on: December 03, 2023, 12:17:01 am »
I often have " beekeepers" turn up looking for a queen, or a queen cell..some brood, a frame with honey..
I read in one of the Bee mags from the US that you need 10 hives per yard to really keep bees, meaning that you have the resources  to move and switch, add and balance.
I try to have at least 5 hives per yard.This allows me to take resources from one hive  and move it to a hive in need.It also makes it easy when you are splitting hives.
This has generally worked for me.

I try to keep not more than 50 hives at the moment as I have other interests and committments.

How many hives are other beekeepers keeping in the same yard?
How many hives do you keep in total.?

Online The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4843
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2023, 01:43:30 am »
I only have one yard, and I currently have 8 hives.  My goal is to be around 10, no more than 12.  I feel like with 10 colonies, I'd likely be pretty resilient against any sort of major trouble (disease outbreak, bad flow year, etc.), and it's about what I need for my family's needs in bee products, plus a little extra to sell. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Kathyp

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 20773
  • Gender: Female
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2023, 10:52:18 am »
It also depends on where you are.  When I was the only one around keeping bees I could keep as many as I wanted.  Now there are several commercial size operations around for the berry fields and not as many resources all year around.  The berry guys used to hire hives in, and now many are keeping their own.  Makes sense for them, I guess.  Probably cheaper to keep a beekeeper around.
Someone really ought to tell them that the world of Ayn Rand?s novel was not meant to be aspirational.

Offline beesnweeds

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 283
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2023, 11:37:10 am »
I read in one of the Bee mags from the US that you need 10 hives per yard to really keep bees, meaning that you have the resources  to move and switch, add and balance.

How many hives are other beekeepers keeping in the same yard?
How many hives do you keep in total.?

To be profitable or sustainable?  I dont keep bees as a business but I have one yard that has a full size colony and a 5 over 5 nuc thats been going for 9 or 10 years.  Nucs make the yard, so I usually keep about 20 hives that are a mix of nucs and hives.
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline max2

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1298
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2023, 04:26:57 pm »
It also depends on where you are.  When I was the only one around keeping bees I could keep as many as I wanted.  Now there are several commercial size operations around for the berry fields and not as many resources all year around.  The berry guys used to hire hives in, and now many are keeping their own.  Makes sense for them, I guess.  Probably cheaper to keep a beekeeper around.
So how many hives per yard works for you?

Offline cao

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1710
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2023, 02:01:36 pm »
I think to be self-sufficient and not need to buy outside bees, one should consider having 5-10 hives.  The goal to have at least 5 that over winter and maybe 10 or so during the summer.  With that amount you have enough resources to make up for the inevitable losses during bad times and enough to sell some bees during the good times.  It also allows enough bees to experiment on different management practices to see what works best for you.

When I reached the 10-12 hive mark, I felt that I was good to never buy any more bees. 

I did reach close to 100 hives a few years ago, that was too many to manage by myself.  I now have about 60 hives split between two yards about a mile apart.  Will probably be down to around 50 by spring which is fine by me.  I find that 20-25 hives per yard would work best for me.  I can comfortably work that many hives in a day without much difficulty.  Too many more than that and it can make for a long day.

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13225
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2023, 10:42:19 pm »
I agree with all the above concerning sufficiency etc, but to answer the original question; One hive of bees makes one an official beekeeper in my opinion. How successful that beekeeper will be, depends..

I had been a member here for almost a year before I got my first bee 'singular'. I studied the archives here as well as the current post of that time by our beekeepers here. I obtained my very first bees the hard way by the cutout method. After a year of studies and preparation and 'finally' obtaining my first hive, I considered myself an official beekeeper.  :wink:

Phillip
« Last Edit: December 05, 2023, 11:03:58 pm by Ben Framed »

Offline max2

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1298
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2023, 12:51:37 am »
I agree with all the above concerning sufficiency etc, but to answer the original question; One hive of bees makes one an official beekeeper in my opinion. How successful that beekeeper will be, depends..

I had been a member here for almost a year before I got my first bee 'singular'. I studied the archives here as well as the current post of that time by our beekeepers here. I obtained my very first bees the hard way by the cutout method. After a year of studies and preparation and 'finally' obtaining my first hive, I considered myself an official beekeeper.  :wink:

Phillip

If one hive makes a beekeeper  does milking two cows make me a dairy farmer?

The heading maybe missleading.
I wondered how many hives we consider enough in a yard  to make us " sustainable"?

One or two hives may well make you a keeper of bees but hardly a Beekeeper - if you know what i mean.

The fun and sustainability seems to start around 5 hives?

Other opinions?


Offline max2

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1298
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2023, 12:52:49 am »
It also depends on where you are.  When I was the only one around keeping bees I could keep as many as I wanted.  Now there are several commercial size operations around for the berry fields and not as many resources all year around.  The berry guys used to hire hives in, and now many are keeping their own.  Makes sense for them, I guess.  Probably cheaper to keep a beekeeper around.

Meaning...how  many hives do you keep these days and how many before the big boys/girls moved in?

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 20074
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2023, 06:42:05 am »
Probably the best path from no bees to sustainable is to try to get to where you have three strong hives, five nucs that you're hoping to grow into hives and seven mating nucs where you keep queens and spare parts.  But that's here.  You have a flow all the time.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13225
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2023, 06:59:24 am »
I agree with all the above concerning sufficiency etc, but to answer the original question; One hive of bees makes one an official beekeeper in my opinion. How successful that beekeeper will be, depends..

I had been a member here for almost a year before I got my first bee 'singular'. I studied the archives here as well as the current post of that time by our beekeepers here. I obtained my very first bees the hard way by the cutout method. After a year of studies and preparation and 'finally' obtaining my first hive, I considered myself an official beekeeper.  :wink:

Phillip

If one hive makes a beekeeper  does milking two cows make me a dairy farmer?

The heading maybe missleading.
I wondered how many hives we consider enough in a yard  to make us " sustainable"?

One or two hives may well make you a keeper of bees but hardly a Beekeeper - if you know what i mean.

The fun and sustainability seems to start around 5 hives?

Other opinions?

I was careful to add 'in that original answer'; "How successful that beekeeper will be, depends.." .  To become a 'successful' (my words), or a 'sustainable' beekeeper (your words), covers a 'lot of ground' 'with many twist', and is an entirely different subject. For example, Ian Steppler and his family not only maintain thousands of bee hives, but beef cattle as well, along with many many acres of crops.. I do not think they have entered the dairy cow or milk producing stage yet? lol  :shocked: :wink: 


« Last Edit: December 14, 2023, 08:24:56 am by Ben Framed »

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13225
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2023, 07:42:20 am »
Max you might enjoy the following discussion as it 'briefly' covers splitting, nucs, overwintering, and even varroa treatment (briefly)

Phillip

https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=54632.msg497529#msg497529
« Last Edit: December 14, 2023, 08:32:36 am by Ben Framed »

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13225
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2023, 08:16:41 am »
Probably the best path from no bees to sustainable is to try to get to where you have three strong hives, five nucs that you're hoping to grow into hives and seven mating nucs where you keep queens and spare parts.  But that's here.  You have a flow all the time.

Michael Palmer goes into detail in  "The sustainable Apiary"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A&pp=ygUSc3VzdGFpbmFibGUgYXBpYXJ5







« Last Edit: December 14, 2023, 08:29:33 am by Ben Framed »

Online The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4843
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2023, 05:18:38 pm »
If one hive makes a beekeeper  does milking two cows make me a dairy farmer?

The heading maybe missleading.
I wondered how many hives we consider enough in a yard  to make us " sustainable"?

One or two hives may well make you a keeper of bees but hardly a Beekeeper - if you know what i mean.

The fun and sustainability seems to start around 5 hives?

Other opinions?
As Phillip said, I think that success and the potential for expansion is a determining factor in "sustainability".  If you are keeping 2 hives or 2 cows successfully, such that you are able to replace losses and grow if/when it's desired, that's sustainable, and I think you are a beekeeper or a dairy farmer.  If you are keeping 2 hives or 2 cows, and they are dying every year and you have to buy new ones, or you are unable to produce more hives or cows with that number, then I'd hit pause on calling yourself a beekeeper or dairy farmer just yet.       
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline yes2matt

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 539
  • Gender: Male
  • Urban setting, no acaricides
    • Love Me Some Honey
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2023, 08:53:12 am »
I often have " beekeepers" turn up looking for a queen, or a queen cell..some brood, a frame with honey..
I read in one of the Bee mags from the US that you need 10 hives per yard to really keep bees, meaning that you have the resources  to move and switch, add and balance.
I try to have at least 5 hives per yard.This allows me to take resources from one hive  and move it to a hive in need.It also makes it easy when you are splitting hives.
This has generally worked for me.

I try to keep not more than 50 hives at the moment as I have other interests and committments.

How many hives are other beekeepers keeping in the same yard?
How many hives do you keep in total.?

I think you need six in a yard to be "sustainable" in the way you describe. Might could get by with five. 

I have 6 in one yard and ... something-teen in another. 

Offline saltybluegrass

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 445
  • Gender: Male
  • My Bible is living with bee energy one desire
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2023, 01:33:35 pm »
I agree with all the above concerning sufficiency etc, but to answer the original question; One hive of bees makes one an official beekeeper in my opinion. How successful that beekeeper will be, depends..

I had been a member here for almost a year before I got my first bee 'singular'. I studied the archives here as well as the current post of that time by our beekeepers here. I obtained my very first bees the hard way by the cutout method. After a year of studies and preparation and 'finally' obtaining my first hive, I considered myself an official beekeeper.  :wink:

Phillip

If one hive makes a beekeeper  does milking two cows make me a dairy farmer?

The heading maybe missleading.
I wondered how many hives we consider enough in a yard  to make us " sustainable"?

One or two hives may well make you a keeper of bees but hardly a Beekeeper - if you know what i mean.

The fun and sustainability seems to start around 5 hives?

Other opinions?

Guilty as two jived backyard can bee charged!!!
I had 5 in my subdivision yard and played with them a little as seen on YouTube
But my hives are set it and forget it but once a year to mail out the 5-6 gallons
My bees are a euphemism as Jacob said- be busy as bees.
But James said be of few masters meaning tend to your gifts
As I wander through this new divinity , I see things different now also with my bees wondering the masters they attend so diligently and with ultimate purpose.
Are we sure there isn?t a comedian bee that absolutely refuses to be defined to one task ?
Opinions secular and not
Bless you all
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Then all else falls in line
It?s up to me

Offline Ben Framed

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13225
  • Mississippi Zone 7
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2023, 03:48:31 pm »
Quote
Are we sure there isn?t a comedian bee that absolutely refuses to be defined to one task ?
Opinions secular and not
Bless you all

Love it Salty!   :grin:  Glad to see you posting!

Phillip

Online The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4843
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2023, 04:44:38 pm »
Well, since workers perform all the different hive tasks during their lifetime, I don't see what the comedian bee has to worry about!  :grin:  Nice to see you, Salty.  :happy:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Bill Murray

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 570
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2024, 08:00:16 pm »
MAX I tell people have 3 hives to start, start a resource hive (NUC) for each and grow from there.

Offline max2

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1298
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many hives maked a beekeeper?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2024, 04:25:01 pm »
From  the late Dr Richard Taylor
" you can't be a beekeeper just by having a few hives of bees.You've got to know what 's going on. You need to read books and the bee journals and, if you can, get into a beeclub.I've kept bees longer than anyone else in our club, by far, but I still learn useful things at almost every meeting. And besides  all that, there is joy in it, which is most important of all"

 

anything